About the Editors

Patti Lou Watkins, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Women Studies Program at Oregon State University. Her background is in psychology, having obtained her bachelor's degree from West Virginia University, her master's degree in applied behavioral analysis from the University of the Pacific, and her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech. There, she began her collaboration with her former professor and current coeditor, George Clum, evaluating interventions for panic...

Conclusion and Recommendations

The research to date suggests that self-help approaches for women with eating disorders and those at risk for developing an eating disorder are widely used, feasible to deliver, and effective. Studies conducted in Europe, Canada, and the United States contribute to the generalizability of findings. However, the majority of studies sampled young, white women and recent research shows that eating disorders and body image issues occur across a broader age range and among more ethically diverse...

Types of Self Help Programs

Self-help programs for eating disorders are offered in a variety of formats. The most common format is bibliotherapy. Hundreds of self-help books on eating disorders have been published. The approaches range from empirically validated CBT (e.g., Overcoming Binge Eating Fairburn, 1995) to religiously oriented (e.g., Loving Your Body Embracing Your True Beauty in Christ Newman, 2002) to those using the popular For Dummies series format (Anorexia & Bulimia for Dummies Beck, 2004). Didactic...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is characterized by unwanted, repetitive, anxiety-generating thoughts, images, ideas, or urges that seem impossible to control. Often, the person with obsessions believes that catastrophic consequences are presaged by the obsessions. Compulsions, on the other hand, are repetitive behaviors or mental acts, intended to reduce anxiety associated with obsessions. Effective psychological treatments have focused on repetitive and prolonged exposure of the obsessional material, intended to reduce...

Review of Selected Manuals

Self-help manuals to quit smoking are readily available in a variety of local and Internet stores. Recently, we assessed the number of books available through an Internet retailer using stop smoking as the search term. This search returned 305 items. This points to the popularity of self-help treatment manuals for smoking and also makes daunting the possibility of reviewing all the available books on this topic. Rather, six best-selling smoking manuals found at two national booksellers were...

Self Help Bibliotherapy for Eating Disorders

Reading self-help books is commonly reported by women with eating disorders. Rorty, Yager, and Rossotto (1993) found that almost half (43 ) of women with eating disorders reported reading self-help books. The majority reported high levels of satisfaction with this approach. Although a number of studies examined self-help workbooks with modest therapist contact, to our knowledge there have been no studies that examine the efficacy of self-help books without additional intervention. In 1993,...

Bibliotherapy

The most common self-administered treatments for depression are biblio-therapies, or self-help techniques presented in the written format of a book or tract. This self-help modality already has a place in depression treatment as an adjunct to therapist-led interventions. One survey indicated that 60 to 97 of psychologists use bibliotherapy as part of their treatment for at least some of their clients (Starker, 1988). Of the available types of bibliotherapy for depression, the majority are those...

Does Self Help Work for Children

Discussing the advantages and limitations of alternative forms of health care is moot if these modalities are ineffectual. Self-help for childhood disorders has a somewhat weak evidence base. For some formats and some health conditions, the data are very encouraging. But for other combinations of formats and health conditions, few if any data are available to indicate that effects are anything more than placebo. We now turn to the state of the evidence for self-help interventions for children...

References

Ackerson, J., Scogin, F., McKendree-Smith, N., & Lyman, R. D. (1998). Cognitive bibliotherapy for mild and moderate adolescent depressive symptomatology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 685-690. Adams, S. J., & Pitre, N. L. (2000). Who uses bibliotherapy and why A survey from an underserviced area. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 45, 645-649. American Psychological Association. (2001, February). Psychology Promoting health and wellbeingthrough high quality,...

Types of Self Help for Sexual Dysfunctions

Self-help interventions for sexual dysfunctions can be grouped by type of venue and further examined by amount of therapist contact. Bibliotherapy, video therapy, and computer-assisted sex therapy can be conducted with little or no therapist involvement using a program installed on a home computer. Telephone therapy, conducted by itself or as an adjuvant to bib-liotherapy or video therapy, and Internet therapy using e-mail communication, requires some therapist involvement. These different...

Application of Self Regulation to Self Help Treatments

Self-help books (SH), as well as other venues for presenting SH programs, can be classified in terms of their intent. Some are designed to encourage, to provide hope for individuals who are without hope, or to raise the aspiration bar higher than previously dared. Such books often use first-person accounts of someone overcoming adversity previously thought intractable or of achieving at a level previously unimagined. Other books seek to establish a goal as well as to provide information on how...

Blueprint for Developing Effective Self Help Programs

As yet unanswered is the question of how to sequence treatment modules for programs that, as a whole, have demonstrated effectiveness. Which elements are necessary and which merely fillers To begin to answer this question requires an analysis of effective programs developed to date, an examination of self-regulatory elements that have been found efficacious, and a logical analysis of how to sequence various treatment elements. With considerable humility and with the expectation of being proven...

Available Self Help Materials and Target Audience

A search of the Amazon.com Web site using the keywords self-help and sleep produced over 40 hits. Included in the top-selling books were No More Sleepless Nights (Hauri, 1996), Can't Sleep, Can't Stay Awake A Woman's Guide to Sleep Disorders (Kryger, 1999), Say Good Night to Insomnia (Jacobs, 1999), and Seven Days to a Perfect Sleep (Gordon, 2003). The majority of available materials come in book form. Audio media (tapes or compact disks) comprise the remaining commercially available titles....

Specific Phobia

SP is diagnosed when an individual experiences persistent and irrational fear of particular objects or situations and actively avoids contact with such objects or situations. Specific phobia is one of the most common anxiety disorders. In the United States, approximately 11 of people will suffer from SP at some point in their lives (Kessler et al., 1994). Four subtypes are specified including animal, natural environment, situ-ational, and blood-injection-injury types. Ample evidence exists that...

Social Phobia Social Anxiety

SoP refers to a fear of social situations that leads to avoidance of those situations or that, when entered into, is accompanied by intense anxiety. When the situations producing the fear are avoided to the extent that the avoidance interferes with social or occupational functioning, the problem merits a diagnosis of SoP. Because of the nature of the disorder, treatments have often included exposure to social situations, either by being conducted in a group context, or by contriving exposures...

About the Authors

Anderson, Ed.D., is an assistant research professor of psychology specializing in community- and Internet-based health behavioral research with diverse populations. Her research interests include the evaluation of the theoretical foundations of behavior and interventions, computer-based measurement, and multivariate approaches to analysis. Manuel Barrera, Jr., Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Arizona State University. He also is an adjunct...

Self Regulation Theory and Self Help Therapies

CLUM Self-help treatments for emotional and physical disorders often utilize, implicitly or explicitly, principles of self-regulation that are used to produce and maximize change. An examination of these principles and the theoretical frameworks that organize them help us to understand how best to maximize change and how self-directed change comes about. Theories of self-regulation have emerged from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology,...

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Self Help Approach

As with many other physical and mental problems, self-help approaches for sexual dysfunctions have been pursued throughout human history. Examples include herbal and animal medicines that have been passed on through generations and were believed to enhance male potency and female erotic responsiveness, to delay male ejaculation, or to relieve sexual pain. General models of help-seeking behavior (Dean, 1989 Wills & DePaulo, 1991) have been applied to sexual dysfunctions (Catania et al.,...

Dieting and Weight Loss

The 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System BRFSS data shows that up to 46 of U.S. women and 33 of U.S. men are presently trying to lose weight Bish et al., 2005 . Currently, the weight-loss charge is practiced most frequently by Hispanic 50 , Caucasian and African-American 45-46 women, followed by Hispanic 34 , Caucasian 32 , and African-American 31 men based on data from over 180,000 participants in the BRFSS 2000 Bish et al., 2005 . Weight-loss strategies included eating fewer...