Self-Help or Self-Harm? This Emotional Life - PBS

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Self-Help or Self-Harm?

Perspective Overview

  1. A survivor's story

    Michelle, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, talks about her struggle to find the tools to survive emotionally.

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  2. Behind the scenes with Dr. Phil

    Dr. Phil talks with Dan Gilbert about his show, the self-help industry, and the role of personal responsibility.

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  3. We are what we choose to think

    Louise Hay, an author and publisher of self-help books, talks about the power of positive thinking and the failure of science.

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  4. Sorting out the good from the bad

    Dr. John Norcross on the dangers of self-help.

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Self-Help or Self-Harm?

Self-Help or Self-Harm? Is America’s $10 billion a year self-help industry really helping?

Of the people who successfully change their behavior, 75% have done so on their own without professional treatment, yet the self-help industry exists without regulation and scientific research. How can we know what works and what doesn’t? Is America’s $10 billion-a-year self-help industry really helping?

Michele, a cancer survivor, talks about her search for strength. Dan Gilbert interviews author Louise Hay, TV psychologist Dr. Phil and self-help researcher Dr. John Norcross.

  1. A search for meaning

    Chapter 1: A search for meaning

    Michele, a cancer survivor, struggles with the changes in her life. She discusses her experience at the Heal Your Life Conference and self-help book fair.

  2. Hearts, minds, and the inner ding

    Chapter 2: Hearts, minds, and the inner ding

    Dr. Phil offers a behind-the-scenes look at America’s most popular TV psychologist.

    Louise Hay talks about positive thinking and the failure of science.

  3. Investigating self-help

    Chapter 3: Investigating self-help

    Dr. John Norcross, an expert on psychotherapy and self-help, discusses the problems related to the unvetted use of self-help materials.