Once you have identified the problem, or are seeking to further examine a psychological issue, who do you go to and what can you do? Chapter 16 of our textbook details many of the possibilities for treatment of various emotional, behavioral, and inter-personal problems that many people deal with within their daily lives. Some options include group therapy (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous), family therapy (to improve communication within families), interpersonal therapy, and many other forms of treatment. Regardless of the form of therapy, it is important to be aware of possibly ineffectual therapies masquerading as truly helpful methods of treatment. Biomedical treatments such as medication, electrical stimulation or, as a last resort, surgery, are also available.
One of my favorite examples of why thinking critically is important is when approaching advertisements for self-help books. When we take into consideration that 3,500 new self-help books are published every year (Lilienfeld, 657), it begs the question as to how many are actually legitimate! As the majority of these self-help books are untested, one cannot just assume that the contents of a chosen self-help book will by truly helpful or if it will in fact exacerbate your personal issues. Be sure to avoid the potential pitfalls of untested therapies and the vast world of self-help books available on the market!
- Lauren Y.