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CAN SELF HELP REALLY HELP?

Automatic happiness? Sounds like a science fiction story about cheery robots. But that’s our topic for today. It turns out that online help automates mental health. How can that be bad? Well, only research can tell us how good or bad it is.

The model is to offer self-help resources to people suffering from anxiety, depression, relationship troubles . . . and to people who want to be happier, to flurish, to thrive. Can we actually help ourselves suffer less and enjoy life more?

Can online self-help courses make a difference? Acacia Parks has done some exciting research. She finds that they reliably help the people who participate. I was impressed with her report that three or four interventions in an online self-help course made a bigger difference than six!

(Too many interventions start to be self-defeating.)

Frankly, we need to raise the level of mental health in this country, and we don’t have nearly enough counselors and therapists to accomplish that. So offering online help might make a big difference.

(Why not offer my own blog right here at  www.drlynnjohnson.com to your friends, colleagues, and clients? Lots of self help materials there! Plus if they subscribe to this newsletter, they get nifty stuff! Link my blog post today and send it on! Imagine how happy you will be when all your facebook friends are so glad that you posted that link!)

(Anyway, the books I have featured on this website, Enjoy Life, Get on the Peace Train, and The Healing Power of Sleep are all self-help and my own clients tell me that they are able to get better much more quickly by following that guidance.)

(PS: If you encourage people to pick up my own books, send them to this website, not to online book sellers!)

(Here’s the actual link: http://enjoylifebook.com/products-page/books/)

Where was I? Oh, yes, online self help. Acacia is offering a new online project of self help, no cost, of course, and if you are a mental health pro, it would be a wonderful service to your clients if you refer them. Here’s the Psychology Today post where she describes her latest endeavor.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-self-help/201402/testing-self-help

Maybe I’ll do a short YouTube video on “Self-help: What works?” Now that I have committed myself, I’d better get the camera out!

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