Self Help Products


Numerous self help publications and tools such as relaxation cd's are available for purchase from bookstores and other sellers offering assistance for anxiety and depression. Using self help products to treat conditions such as panic disorder is known academically as bibliotherapy. Research on the effectiveness of bibliotherapy as compared to Example Imagetreatment provided directly by a psychologist has shown that treatment   by  a  psychologist  produces  significantly superior results.  The probable reasons for this include the fact that people are more likely to lose motivation when using bibliotherapy and often will only attempt to use the pieces of information which they believe may be useful in helping them for their condition (often missing important aspects due to their subjectivity). The most important factor is likely, however, that when you see a specialist psychologist they will be able to address any deficits in your knowledge directly and specifically, tailoring the information and techniques provided to suit your particular symptoms.

For these reasons it is important to remember that self help techniques are no substitute for seeing a specialist psychologist directly.

Despite this fact, it is sometimes not possible to see a psychologist in person, often because there is no psychologist in your area who specialises in treating anxiety disorders. In these cases bibliotherapy can be of benefit and is recommended.

For this reason the professional staff at NSWADTC are presently constructing comprehensive self help treatment manuals which will be available for purchase in the future. It is intended that these programs will incorporate some interaction via the internet with one of the centre's psychologists in order to 1) tailor the self help therapy kit to best suit your individual needs and 2) conduct program evaluation and adjustment at intervals during the self help process to maximise treatment outcomes. Stay tuned for developments in this regard.

In the meantime when choosing self help materials remember that CBT (click here for more about CBT) styled manuals are likely to produce the optimum results. A good source for the purchase of evidence based self help publications is the Australian Psychological Society website. To access this information simply click on the APS logo below and then on the publications link at the top of the page.

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