Self Help Books vs Counselling

There is a plethora of self help books in circulation. Some I have read over the years and some I have just dipped into now and then. My conclusions are that there is something useful in all of them. The content has often been inspirational in part, and I have learned a few techniques which have influenced myself and my thought processes for the better.

It is my opinion that whilst they may be beneficial on one level there is not one that I could claim has ‘saved my life’ made such a profound difference as I would recommend to everyone. This is of no surprise because for one we are all individual and no one method suits everyone. For two they often suggest a change in thinking which at first is often new and because it’s new the reader may embraces it as some sort of cure to their lives.

I can hear someone shouting at this article ‘I have read it you must it’s the best thing in the world’ well that’s great for you. However it may not work for everyone.

I engaged in self analysis for years, meaning I examined and explored my thinking, behaviour and actions. Some of this helped but more often than not became frustrated and confused often using self help books. The problem was I was seeing myself from the subjective outward looking stance. This is only one perspective and to see it from someone looking inward with a more objective understanding and with adequate training is far more beneficial.

Counselling is about you examining and exploring yourself from your view point looking out, and the counsellor working with you to understand what you are experiencing and understanding the clarifying and examining this and giving you another perspective as a trained professional looking inward.

Counselling also enables the therapeutic relationship, which a book doesn’t really give. You may have understood something from the book and not quite fully understood its implications, then attempt to apply it to you self incorrectly. With a counsellor you can discuss this and gain clarity and understanding.

I am not against self help books, or some self analysis but bear in mind they have there limitations.

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