Saturday, 4 July 2009

Self-help makes you feel worse

So here is the scientific argument that 'Self Help' might easily become 'Self Delusion'.The appeal of mantras that you can 'be whoever you want to be' and 'do what whatever you want to do' are certainly appealing.

Many therapeutic, counselling and advisory approaches do a fantastic job of helping people recognise self imposed limitations on their ambitions. This is invariably achieved through helping the 'client' notice what is missing or ignored from their mental map of the world and then guiding them in drawing upon their often undervalued resources and potential.

Much of this approach is founded upon a philosophy that manifests itself through Positive Psychology a type of psychology that affirms the good in the situation and the capability of the individual.

This is all well and good, and psychologically we have 'bad' feelings because of their evolutionary benefit. They help us recognise the 'reality' of situations and they protect us from engaging in unnecessarily risky behaviours. Imagine acting on the song lyrics 'I believe I can fly...believe I can touch the sky..." when standing on a cliff top. The result of such an attempt would rapidly confront you with ontological reality of gravity, velocity and mass.

Perhaps the most famous positive thinker was King Canute who sincerely believed he could stop the tide coming in!


The message is clear. Don't be gullible and believe everything you read from a blogging 'Life Hack'. Remain sceptical of their claims, and be sure that you check that they advise what they advise for 'your' benefit and not theirs!

Posted via web from Gullibimundi

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