What is self-help?

What is self-help in psychology?

Self-help refers to a broad area of psychological theories and practices that aim to help individuals improve their personal well-being based on an individualized view of their personality. Self-help is thus related to the concept that one can only help oneself.

Even the best therapeutic intervention cannot work for a patient until the patient implements it for his or her own benefit.


The therapist suggests that the client develop a representative image for his anxiety. He invites him to name this image so that the therapist can get a plausible idea of it.

If I as a therapist get an image named by my client – and if the client experiences this as helpful, it is the client’s achievement. He has felt into himself, he has explored his inner images and chosen one.

Therefore, any psychotherapeutic help is always self-help on the part of the patient. No therapist in the world should imagine that he can change a person.

A good therapist asks wise questions that start search processes in the patient. The search process itself and the experienced cognition are achievements of the patients.

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