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January 01, 1988 - Image 57

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-FEELING GOOD

ARE YOU OUT OF
CONTROL?

RIGHT PRODUCTS
RIGHT PRICES
RIGHT SERVICE
RIGHT ON
SOUTHFIELD ROAD

04,

Are Your Frustrated With The Yo-Yo Syndrome?
Do You Believe You'd Never Look As Great As You'd Like?

For example, some profes-
sionals think clients with
anxiety disorders might par-
ticularly benefit from self-
help tools, because they could
focus on relaxation and the
feelings in their bodies. Ob-
viously, though, says one pro-
fessional, "These tapes are
not intended for people who
need major personality re-
structuring."
Using high-tech techniques
without therapy, however,
sometimes allows people to
fool themselves about the
severity of their problems, ac-
cording to Wright. "When
you treat yourself, it's easy to
think that your problem is
more serious than it is, or you
can minimize the problem,"
he contends.
When do you decide to go
see your doctor? When you
feel low? When you develop a
fever? When you develop
other problems? Self-help can
lead to denial. After all, you
can say, I'm already taking
something for it."
There is another component
to all of this that disturbs a
mental health professional
like Wright. Some of the high-
tech self-help devices are
marketed by quasi-spiritual
groups. "We've spent years
getting out of the mystical
realm and becoming an
empirical-based profession,"
he says. "This affiliation with
anything mystical is an
about- face for the profession."
If you do decide to use one
of these high-tech tools as
part of a self-improvement
plan, there is no "seal of ap-
proval" from, say, the Amer-
ican Psychological Associa-
tion that marks one method
as better than another. Cur-
rently, no group is monitoring
these devices. Nor does any
government agency approve
the programs, points out
psychiatrist Dr. John Lion.
"They only do that (give ap-
proval) if (the program) gives
prescriptive instructions,"
that is, gives prescriptions for
medicines.
"I'd like to see a profes-
sional organization screen
these (tools), especially to
make sure they don't make
exaggerated claims," Wright
says.

Individual practitioners,
however, are venting their
concerns about self-help pro-
grams, particularly those
that seem to make pie-in-the-
sky promises. An article in
the January 1987 issue of
American Psychologist, entitl-
ed "Self-Help Treatment
Books and the Commerciali-
zation of Psychotherapy,"
came to the conclusion that
there are major limitations to

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Continued on Page 17-F

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

13-F

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