Many people don’t have access to adequate treatment, thus in these cases alternatives to psychotherapy such as self-books have enormous potential. They may be a powerful way to help people who otherwise aren’t able receive services.The number of self-help books stocked at the books stores is staggering. There are plenty of options. The question is: how do we choose a self-help book that will helpful?
 
One thing readers may not realize is that a writer doesn’t need any training or background in mental health in order to write a self-help book. The result is that self-help authors often suggest things based on outdated ideas-if they’re based on anything at all. Another problem with the self-help literature is that even with books that are written by recognized experts in their field and based on well-researched psychological treatments; there is rarely any research on whether the book itself is effective as a standalone treatment. A self-help book may be based on supported principles, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the average person picking up the book can effectively put those principles into practice and/or benefit. Nonetheless, there’s some evidence that self-help books are effective in the treatment psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, and panic.
 
How to choose self-help books
1.) Choose books that target specific problems, ones that are more general may be less useful.
2.) Avoid books that promise miracle cures.
3.) Look for books that offer very specific guidance on how to use them and how to monitor whether you’re improving.
4.) Books by authors who work at an academic institution may be safer. The reputation of academics lies more on their ability to be objective researchers than on selling books or promoting their own brand of therapy. Consequently, they are less likely to support unfounded ideas, as that may damage their reputation as academics.