Self-help systems are methods that individuals can use to improve mental health or to develop confidence and improve their lives. Some of the most common types of self-help systems are the Abraham Low self-help system for individuals who suffer from mental illness and tools and resources that people can use to lead healthier and happier lives. These systems can be conducted in supervised mental health facilities, though they also can be used by individuals in their own homes and on schedules that work well for them.
According to many experts, Abraham Low was one of the first proponents of self-help systems and an originator in the self-help movement. His ideas were based on the concept that mental health patients might benefit more from acting as participants in their treatments as opposed to being subjects of psychoanalysis. He proposed that individuals join groups with other individuals who have similar problems, where members of a group help others to realize their moments of weakness and to develop strategies for success. While a goal of Abraham Low's self-help systems was to make patients more self-reliant, he also believed that health professionals should communicate with group members and at times even supervise meetings.
It is not true, however, that self-help systems are used only by individuals who have mental health issues. People who are quite functional also can benefit from using self-help tools. Individuals who deal with losses in their families, for example, can join support groups. This allows them to discuss feelings with others who may be having similar experiences.
Books, audio recordings, and videos also can serve as self-help systems. For example, a person who fears that he or she is falling behind in his or her career might purchase a book about discovering hidden or repressed talents. Another person might benefit from audio recordings that help him or her to become more assertive in the workplace.
Individuals interested in finding the most effective self-help systems might determine where they are in their lives and what kind of assistance they need. An individual who has been under the care and supervision of health professionals for many years, for instance, should consult a trained professional who can recommend groups or other resources. A person who lives independently, on the other hand, and who simply wants some pointers to improve his or her life might read book reviews and ask friends for recommendations. Regardless of which self-help systems you choose to use, it is important to remember that progress often isn't immediate.