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Psychological Self-Tools - Online Self-Help Book
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Chapter 1 - Self-help: What is it?Chapter 2 - Understanding the Nature of your ProblemChapter 3 - Overview of Bio-Psycho-Social TheoriesChapter 4 - Meeting Basic NeedsChapter 5 - Changing Behavior and ThoughtChapter 6 - Changing Your MoodChapter 7 - Changing Your KnowledgeChapter 8 - Changing Your RelationshipsChapter 9 - Changing Your Identity and MotivationChapter 10 - Your Unique Self-Help PlanChapter 11 - Dependency
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Introduction to the Online Self-Help Book

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Apr 22nd 2016

a pathway over sand dunesThe first "noble truth" of Buddhism states a fact that is obvious to many people who will be reading this center: life involves suffering. At various times in life, most people will be faced with one or more mental health, wellness or life issues that will cause them pain in one form or another and which they will want to rid themselves of. People faced with such issues and illnesses have three basic options for getting help. They can seek help from medical or mental health professionals (or people who hold themselves out as teachers of one sort or another); they can choose to work on their problems themselves through a process of self-help; or they can combine professional/teacher and self-help approaches. There are many benefits to be had from professional helpers. In some cases and for some problems, the only real benefits that can be had are had through professional helpers. This is certainly the case with serious mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. Nevertheless, professional helpers are expensive, seldom available as much as you might like, and limited in terms of what they can offer. For these and other reasons which we'll outline below, it is a very good idea for people dealing with painful issues and illnesses to learn methods for helping themselves.

This center is directly concerned with helping people learn methods for helping themselves manage and even overcome various troubling mental health, wellness and life issues. Self-help for mental health and wellness issues consists of learning about the nature of distressing issues, learning how to measure or assess those issues and how they can be resolved, and then choosing and following a course of action that will help you to resolve those issues.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

A BLESS - RICARDO RAMOS - Oct 29th 2013

Is simply amazing tofind thiskind of book on line and free!!

i guess internet is great but places like this make it powerfull, and is great to have access to a source of help for a world in need of mental healing and guidance to get ride of doubts about how to dea lwith  and where the root of the troubles are percibed  today more than ever we need us each other to acomplish  the persuit of happiness.  

Thanks for the fantastic book! - - Jan 3rd 2013

I am so impressed by this book. It seems to cover the fundamentals of living a good life, is presented simply and clearly, and provides exactly the information people need to enact change for themselves. I am inspired and will certainly be back for more!

Stay True - - Jan 19th 2012

This online self-help book seems really helpful,just as it say. It has great interesting points that one should consider. Reading and living this could create a new and better life for you and others around you. Things will get better with time. You have to go through the bad to get to the good. Keep the Christian Faith no matter what, for all good things come from above. Remember to walk by Faith, not by sight. God Bless!!

Relish your pain - Susie - Aug 28th 2010

Take pride in that which has made you suffer because of the great learning it has bestowed upon you.  Your private pains make you uniquely you, and capable of giving so much to others who have experienced trauma or sadness in the form of wisdom.  Learn to set a good example as one who has suffered and then triumphed over getting over it and going forward, happy that the bad things are not attached to you.  We have the ability to choose to let go and smile with releif.  All you have to do is LET GO.  It is as simple as that.  I think it was Baba Ram Das that said "Be here now."  Let go and be here now....reach out to others and help them instead of festering in your own despair. 
This has helped me so much.  Doesn't it make you sad to think of someone else feeling sad?  Please let go and smile for me..........for all of us.

minds work on the positive - kathy - Aug 4th 2009

Our minds work on the positive so I like reading that kind of letter.  The letters with negative situations could cause more damage to someone by suggestion.

2sw2r - bangoo - Jul 22nd 2009 توبيكات افلام مسلسلات

Thanks for your observations on the page, as a "regular" American, it is unusual to get the observations of a Buddhist...

Sending Love - Janjan - Jul 15th 2009

I would like to send my love to all those people who are suffering. You may feel worthless, you may think other people see you as worthless, but I'm saying we are all worthy of being on this planet. I'm so sorry if you are hurting (as I often am) but surely the love and understanding of a like-minded person is worth a lot. I wish peace and healing to all those who suffer. Try to share your love and kindness, it's the only way forward for a caring and compassionate world. If we all aspire to this the world would be a better place. X

parenting a mentally ill teenager - k.a - Jun 15th 2009

Hi, I've been raising a boy for 7 yrs who was in fostercare. He is now 14, he has a "mood disorder", is obsessive-compulsive, angry, narcisstic, and adhd.  He is very creative, but easily stressed and anxious.  It has been an overwhealming responsibility raising him and a yr ago he began destructive behaviours @ home (to our property) and began stealing and lying constantly.  He now lives in a group home (2 mos) and is home every weekend.  I want to reliquish my custody.  He would still be in our life (visits, etc) but I would not parent him full time.  I feel bad for him, yet the stress it has caused at home seems overwhelming.  He has been on medication and weekly therapy since he came to live in our home.  He does not take responsibility for his actions and actually seems to be oblivious to how his behavior affects others.  I am done!

Hard-copy? - Rob - May 12th 2009

This free online book is great, but is it available to be purchased offline? Also, a list of references would be great if possible!

Editor's Note: At the present time, Psychological Self-Tools is only available in this online-format.

Yeah need help - - Apr 26th 2009

Hello,  I suffer from pain and anxiety and depression. I'm troubled by my own personal failings in social relationships. I've read the comments on this page and am not sure this place will help me but I wanted to add my voice to the conversation. I have not tried to kill myself yet and probably won't though I am not happy to be alive. After I lost several jobs and my wife left me and I lost all that I had I sought professional help. I am now taking medication that helps a little but not a lot and am going to seek further professional help while also utilizing the resources on the internet to help myself.   The one thing that has remained constant in my life is my Christian faith. With out the love of Jesus and the guidence from God I surly would have killed myself by now. There have been a couple of times when I was on my knees praying to Jesus to take the pain away and show me a path to improve. Each time something has happened to rescue me from the depths of my distress. I just wanted to let the readers here know that for me Jesus has been a saving grace and though I suffer I know it is not in vain and somewhere in God's time I will be happy again.

I love this book - Helen - Oct 26th 2008

I have printed some chapters of this book in 2000, I kept them and now I'm back, looking for other helpful readings. I was happy to find the book is still here! Thank you! 

i want sea more - tukaram - Sep 24th 2008

yes i can sea by my eyes, but i want to sea totaly by my inteligent mind for progress, for self help, to  love each and evry live and nature,

because i think if i can sea properly, yes then i have othority to  take and give the love to and from  world or creator

there's so much pain - - Sep 3rd 2008

man there's so much pain i can't stand it anymore i don't see how i'll ever be happy or successful it's not fair that you get one life and you have to suffer so much. :(

- - Aug 19th 2008
thanks for your help about self help everbody needs ıt

Recently got it - patti - Jul 23rd 2008

Have been suffering from anxiety and depression since a young child, and recently learned I suffer from avoidance disorder.  I'm eager to know if any one out there has any input to this problem.

Thank you,


Self Help requires true inner strength - Bob Hauck - Mar 5th 2008

For those of you who seek help here, know that you are stronger than most. In order to help yourself you have to be willing to see parts of yourself that you do not like. I would venture to guess that most people are unable and/or unwilling to do this. I commend the authors and those that see self improvement.

Love is the key - - Feb 26th 2008

I just want to send out Peace and Blessings to all those who may stop by here for help, whether for a loved one or for yourself.  i am truly honored to share this planet with you and I just want you to know that I certainly do Love you, wherever you are and whomever you may be!!!!!!  That's from my heart!


Amazing - Smith - Jan 26th 2008
I have never heard of an online self help book but I think that this is an wonderful idea to help people with those secretive problems that you do not want to broadcast to the world. There are a lot of people going through things, and if this is going to help cope with those problems, I say try it. This is very amazing!  

difficult to find help from others - Straw - Dec 15th 2007
    I am a Chinese girl, and suffering from some mental disorders judging by myself. It is difficult to get help from others here, so hopefully I can get some advice here.

hypochondrium - Andrea - Aug 2nd 2007
This is my first to this web. my friend has hypochondrium and it has made his life terrible. I am wondering what kind of article I should read in order to help him.

This is a fantastic website - - May 16th 2007
Thank you so much. This website looks to be just what I need right now, especially the in-depth self-help tools.

never knew - EMily - Apr 23rd 2007
I never knew what was wrong with me. It took a friend to help me relize that only i can fix my pain and no one else can. No one else has been able to get rid of the emptyness in me. Now i have to find a way to feel better before this ache kills me.

to the person below - - Nov 27th 2006
i hope things get better

I dont like to be alive - muneca - Nov 3rd 2006
too many painful memories and it never stops

Thanks Elsa - N - Oct 26th 2006
Thanks for your observations on the page, as a "regular" American, it is unusual to get the observations of a Buddhist

To live is to Suffer - elsa - Sep 22nd 2006
The first Noble Truth translates more precisely as "To live is to Suffer." It is inevitable which is why Buddha thought that the only way to escape the endless cycle of suffering is to reach enlightenment. It doesn't involve defines what it means to suffer. I am a Tibetan Buddhist since birth. I am not a depressed individual. I am a simple person but I do believe that there was simply a misinterpretation of this Noble Truth and wanted to let you know. It is very kind of you to offer help to those who are suffering and are unable to live because of it. I notice this much more in the U.S versus in the 3rd World. Interesting thing though....that there is a big difference.

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