Self-help vs counselling /therapy
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Couldn’t I just use a self-help book? There’s a lot of self-help material out there and some of it’s very good. And I’d say that what’s going to make the difference is not which book or approach you use use but the way in which you engage in the work. Change work requires disrupting your
historical patterns and I think it also requires that you start to spot and name patterns or ways of feeling and thinking and behaving that previously were either not
obvious to you or indeed were entirely invisible to you. This need for the disruption of old habits and the acquisition of new ways of seeing
yourself and the world are common to lots of learning, whether that’s learning to play the piano, to speak Spanish, to juggle, or to manage intrusive feelings of say panic or anxiety.
A teacher or, in the psychological case, a counsellor or a therapist can really help. It’s not that the good stuff isn’t in the self-help book, it’s that an experienced person can help you spot things that at this stage in your learning process you can all too
easily miss. And of course a teacher or counsellor or a therapist can also give you support and encouragement and celebrate with you as you do the change work and as you
succeed.

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