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Self-Help Online

Control of Your Future

For centuries, those facing troubles faced them alone. No matter what catastrophe loomed, people had to cope with few resources at their disposal. Friends were few, and widely scattered, information was limited – often even for the most privileged. Help was hard to find. As a result, humans have become very good at coping on their own. But a better answer is to cope while being able to draw on help. Online self-help provides people with the best of both words: independence, but access to the finest information and networking available, and the ability to reach out in seconds to locate more extensive help and support when flying solo is unreasonable.

Finding Your Way around Self-Help Options:

  • Understanding your problems.
  • Finding your resources.
  • Choosing a route.

Learning to Understand Your Issues

Before you can make use of the many options open to you, you must first define the areas you need to work on. In some cases, this is a matter of self-examination: Do you have a drinking or drug problem? Are you struggling with old traumas or with baggage from a difficult past? Do you simply need some help with organization and coaching? Do you need training in particular skills?

These questions can often be answered without further reference needed. However, many challenges are more difficult and subtle. In many cases, taking the time to use the many online references offered by referral agencies, medical institutions, clinics, hospitals, health insurance companies and others can provide guideposts to help you find your way to a clearer sense of what issues you need to address – on your own or with additional help.

Moving Through the Maze

There are many forms of online self-help. Whether you’re looking for a program to help you deal with depression or addiction, or to outline a path to career success, the Internet has someone ready to sell you a deal. Education, self-counseling, online 12-step, and more: all are available. Unfortunately, not all are reliable, and some few are outright scams. Finding your way through the maze and learning to tell the gems from the jokers is a challenge.

Fortunately, you can find help here, also. Numerous online and offline agencies police the Internet, and can tell you if an Internet program has been reported for unethical conduct, or has been proven ineffective or dangerous. Health Insurance companies, hospitals, and referral agencies are also often equipped with information to help protect clients from unscrupulous con artists and outright fakes and frauds. When choosing services, begin by considering them in comparison with all the information you have on how your problem is most effectively treated: see if the program matches the form and structure of treatment most highly recommended. If it offers new, untested treatment and techniques be very wary: such claims often warrant special care in checking the service. When claims are true and grounded in sound science and practice they may prove useful, but often such claims are an attempt to lure a client with false hopes, or tantalizing short-cuts.

Getting Help Making the Cut

Once you’ve narrowed the range down, and have a small set of choices open to you, it’s time to draw in additional resources to help you make your final decisions. Professionals in the field, and well-informed adults with the background to help evaluate your research, can help work out the best online self-help program or system open to you. This is the time, of all times, to draw on referral agencies and medical resources.


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