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December 8th, 2009
04:35 PM ET

Good, bad and ugly self-help: How can you tell?

Many self-help programs are useful, but some can direct people in ways that aren't right for them, a psychologist says.

Many self-help programs are useful, but some can direct people in ways that aren't right for them, a psychologist says.

Jason Hanna
CNN

Amber Lemna says studying "The Secret" is changing her life for the better.

The 2006 book and film discusses the law of attraction, something adherents say allows people to attract what they want by envisioning it and believing it will come. Lemna says she's used it to kick-start a business idea: attaching decorated tabs to credit cards so people can easily pull the cards from wallets.

Thanks to "The Secret," she says, she's attracted people and resources to help her and already is selling the tabs in 10 local stores.

"Nothing has been the same since I've listened to the CD [of the book]," said Lemna, 29. "I can control how my day goes."

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. vivwolsk, NYC

    Any exercise program or emotional self-help program has to become a part of your life, not just a one-shot solution. So the fact that they need to be repeated is not a negative. I am a psychologist and while some people need regular long term psychotherapy, many are just emotionally out of shape and some simple regular emotional exercises can be great help. I teach clients daily "emo-cises" but they only work if done regularly just like physical exercise.

    December 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm |