Psychological Self-Help

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called psychotherapy "the purchase of friendship." In recent years
there has been less of a stigma against "seeing a shrink." Thank
goodness! It is a cruel and stupid idea to put down people for seeking
help. What's really dumb is to not seek help when you need it! Besides
individual therapists, there are group therapies, encounter groups, and
church groups, like marriage enrichment. Most towns, schools, and
hospitals have a psychologist or social worker available. Most counties
have a Mental Health Center staffed by competent professionals. All
these resources concentrate on helping us get along with each other.
Don't hesitate to go for help. 
To find our where your local Community Mental Health
Keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to "treat" a relationship
(e.g. a marriage) if only one person is in treatment. Likewise, a
weekend encounter may help you disclose intimate feelings with your
temporary, two-day "friends" but these skills may not generalize to
your permanent "friends," like spouse, father, daughter, co-worker,
etc. Indeed, some psychologists argue that it is much more effective
and reasonable to learn new skills, attitudes, and awareness while
interacting with your spouse, friends, relatives and colleagues at work,
rather than in encounter groups with "instant friends" (Flanders,
1976). In certain circumstances, however, it is better to not know the
other group members (so you can disclose more openly). Several
references will help you decide if growth and encounter groups have
much to offer you (Egan, 1972; Lieberman, Yalom & Miles, 1973;
Schutz, 1975; Shiffrin, 1976). It's best just to try it and see. 
Relationships within the Family
The family
The central parts of our self-concept are introduced by saying "I
am a _____" or "This is what I do." Almost equally important,
however, is our identification with our family, as when we say "My
father was a _____" or "Our family home is (was) in ______" or "I'd
like for you to meet my family ____." Our family of origin (Mom, Dad,
brothers and sisters) and our childhood are important, permanent
parts of us. In addition, our need for intimacy is so strong that most of
us expect to marry and have another family of our own, our family of
procreation. We want emotional closeness; we want to share our lives.
Fortunately, 60% of children get along well with their parents. The
greatest fear of children is of losing their parents. Early in our lives,
our parents know us better than anyone else and they are more likely
than anyone else to love us unconditionally throughout much of our
lives. Our family of origin also provides us with other life-changing,
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