This Emotional Life: Self-Help

On January 4th, PBS broadcast a show called “This Emotional Life,” which talked about different theraputic techniques and recent breakthroughs in mental health counseling and treatment. It turned out that my mother in law watched it; and the therapist I work with; as well as a bunch of my clients. In case you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and click the pic above to check out some of the excerpts from it.

The video excerpt above is about the dangers of some self-help. Dr. John Norcross makes a few points about self-help, and how only about 20% is based on actual research. Additionally, he mentions that there is a danger in the “power of positive thinking” and how people can use it to the extreme and say that calamaties that come their way are a result of their not thinking positively enough.

This actually reminds me a lot of some old school Christian thinking. If something bad happened to you, then you must have sinned in some way. However, if you’re grounded in reality in any way, shape or form, you would realize that everyone runs into difficulty, and some people’s difficulty is greater than others. It strikes me though, that positive thinking has its merit, and he even says in the interview that our Thoughts do have a lot to do with how we operate (which is a concept I talk about a lot here).

So I guess what I’m asking you to do is this: Watch the video and ask yourself if the self-help that you follow is backed by data of some kind, AND is the self-help you’re following potentially damaging? One thing that I’m going to do for sure from here forward, is actually do some research to see if my technique is either done somewhere else by someone else, and if there is research to show that what I’m doing here works.

Don’t get me wrong! I do have my education and 8 years experience to back me up on what I’m throwing out here. However, I think its important to be able to offer you current, accurate and valuable information on how to manage your stressors.

What do you think? Does your self-help work? What is it? Talk to me people.