Psychological Self-Help

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Often the same methods were applied to anxiety, depression, and panic, i.e. they
became broad scope treatments. The publishers often market many of these
teaching techniques in a bundle for several hundred dollars. It isn’t clear that the
actual self-help training you get improves as the price goes from $15 to $350 or
more…nor is it clear (no research!) that the help offered in the expensive packages is
significantly better than other people’s advice on a few pages.
The work by Doc Childre and others, usually called HeartMath methods, is based on
the premise that the rhythm of the heart can influence much of the nervous system,
such as the brain, the immune system, and many emotions—anxiety, depression,
and anger. Therefore, by using computerized techniques (FreezeFrame) that regulate
and calm your heart, e.g. focusing on positive feelings (appreciation, concern,
empathy), you can gain control of your emotions that interfere with studying and
interacting wisely and effectively. The healthy calm heart relieves anxiety, improves
health, and helps you avoid anger impulses or outbursts (Childre, D. and Rozman,
D., 2003). One might suppose, reducing these emotions calms the heart too. Which
( and companies offer methods of
analyzing heart rate, several training procedures for individuals and for schools, and
many books and programs. See for slick ads about this
Another large, well advertised system of change, called the Sedona Method, offers
several books and other ways of learning their methods, such as an audio class
($239), videos, and expensive seminars dealing with various emotional problems
(Dwoskin, H. and Levenson, L., 2002). Their method consists of teaching people how
to release or “let go” of unwanted, harmful emotions. They say everyone is looking
for exactly the same thing—imperturbable happiness, the natural state of living (they
say). In essence the Sedona Method says you can choose to easily stop feeling any
emotion—anger, nervousness, fear, sadness and on and on. You can start by asking
yourself: “Can I just drop thinking about this concern I am having?” If not, “Can I
just allow this feeling to be there?” If so, “Can I welcome this feeling?” Don’t fret
about your answers; you are just feeling out the possibilities to the question: “Would
I rather have this feeling or get rid of it?” If your answer is “I don’t want to ‘let go’
yet,” then ask “Well, when?” Repeat the same process until you are ready to “let go.”
Do this often enough, and you have found happiness.
“When you do “let go” of an obsession (often an emotion coupled with a desperate
need to “figure out” why you feel this way), you become free to see or create
alternative solutions. Most feelings don’t have to be solved right now…maybe not
ever…just “let go.”
Both of the above treatment programs have a spiritual aspect and sometimes seem a
little snake oil-ish. They “guarantee” the results.
It is hard to know if the two systems for coping with anger mentioned above are any
better than brief, simple, free methods, such as the following two: Adam Waterhouse
[], a Buddhist friend who has helped edit this book
during the last year, has written a 3-page, free pamphlet, entitled, A Method for
Overcoming Anger. He suggests these logical steps: 1. Do I have some anger I’d
like to overcome? If yes, what is the object of my anger? 2. What fault am I
finding with this person or object? 2a. Is it fair to judge the entire person/object on
the basis of one characteristic? Am I giving too much weight to that factor? Bright,
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