As the son of the queen of self-help books, I am, then, the prince of pop psychology: I have read as many if not more self help books as my mom. Back in the day, we had therapy but we either didnâ€™t have money for it (and companies surely didnâ€™t cover it in any insurance plansâ€¦ ever) or we didnâ€™t want to deal with the stigma that small town mentalities would inevitably put on one who had to visit the â€œnuthouseâ€ or get his or her head â€œshrunkâ€. The next best thing, for first my mom and then, by proxy, for me, was to read the latest self-help books.
The first one I recall in relation to my brilliant and avid, voracious, reader mother was Gail Sheehyâ€™s PASSAGES, a brilliant survey of all of the stages of life and the instrumental changes each person at each stage undergoes. The last one I remember my mother sharing with me was one of the many self help books I needed, unfortunately, despite (or as supplement to) my weekly therapy sessions: THE COURAGE TO HEAL (a fat ass book of a size sufficient to using it as a doorstop, and its accompanying workbook).
In between the self-help books Mom would pass on to me or I would snatch up as soon as she finished reading them and the self-help books I only occasionally indulge in now were at least 1500 self-help books on love, sexuality, spirituality, religion, and the paranormal. There was the life-saving (literally, not figuratively and not exagerratedly) book by Melody Beatty called CODEPENDENT NO MORE; the brilliant compilations by Thomas Moore, such as SOUL MATES and CARE of the SOUL: A GUIDE to CULTIVATING DEPTH and SACREDNESS in EVERYDAY LIFE and Diane Ackerman, with her books A NATURAL HISTORY of the SENSES and A NATURAL HISTORY of LOVE; Shakti Gawainâ€™s LIVING IN THE LIGHT: A GUIDE to PERSONAL and PLANETARY TRANSFORMATION; James Redfieldâ€™s THE CELESTINE PROPHECY and THE TENTH INSIGHT; David Viscottâ€™s HOW to LIVE with ANOTHER PERSON; and the stunning imperative read, NECESSARY LOSSES, by Judith Viorst.
There are hundreds more self-help books I could list here, of course, but you will have to find for yourself the ones that appeal to and work best for you and your situation/needs. According to one psychologist, though, it is better to use self-help books in moderation and to do so in conjunction with therapeutic treatment. And since today we can thank the self-help master above for head-shrinkers and guardians of nutbags, that we can do.