• Indulis Paičs Riga Stradiņš University (LV)
  • Kristīne Mārtinsone Riga Stradiņš University (LV)
  • Jeļena Ļubenko Riga Stradiņš University (LV)



self-help, self-help methods, self-help research, self-help techniques


In recent years, the number of studies covering mindfulness, self-compassion practices, progressive relaxation, meditation and other self-help therapies or therapeutic interventions has grown rapidly. The vast interest in the field has caused fragmentation in methodological approaches and theoretical models, as well as a diffuse use of terminology, which makes it challenging to compare and critically evaluate the results of various studies. The purpose of this article is to collect and analyze the main trends and conclusions of theoretical and practical research devoted to self-help practices in recent years (2012-2017). The strategy in source selection was the following: a) researching the PsychArticles section of ProQuest database; b) main search criterion: Subject ("Self-Help Techniques"); c) additional search criteria: time of publication; peer-reviewed articles. For further analysis a research question was raised: what research topics appear in these sources and how are they elaborated? To answer it a narrative content analysis approach was used. As a result, five most significant research topics, which show an overview of latest tendencies in the research of self-help practices, were identified.



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Ambwani, S., Cardi, V., & Treasure, J. (2014). Mobile self-help interventions for anorexia nervosa: Conceptual, ethical, and methodological considerations for clinicians and researchers. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(5), 316–323.

Ashworth, D. K., Sletten, T. L., Junge, M., Simpson, K., Clarke, D., Cunnington, D., & Rajaratnam, S. M. W. (2015). A randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: An effective treatment for comorbid insomnia and depression. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(2), 115–123.

Balzer, A. M., & Mintz, L. B. (2015). Comparing two books and establishing probably efficacious treatment for low sexual desire. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(2), 321–328.

Beck, A. K., Forbes, E., Baker, A. L., Kelly, P. J., Deane, F. P., Shakeshaft, A., … Kelly, J. F. (2017). Systematic review of SMART Recovery: Outcomes, process variables, and implications for research. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(1), 1–20.

Berger, T., Boettcher, J., & Caspar, F. (2014). Internet-based guided self-help for several anxiety disorders: A randomized controlled trial comparing a tailored with a standardized disorder-specific approach. Psychotherapy, 51(2), 207–219.

Bernecker, S. L. (2014). Helping clients help themselves: Managing ethical concerns when offering guided self-help interventions in psychotherapy practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(2), 111–119.

Bodenmann, G., Hilpert, P., Nussbeck, F. W., & Bradbury, T. N. (2014). Enhancement of couples’ communication and dyadic coping by a self-directed approach: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(4), 580–591.

Brown, D. J., Arnold, R., Fletcher, D., & Standage, M. (2017). Human thriving: A conceptual debate and literature review. European Psychologist, 22(3), 167–179.

Cachelin, F. M., Shea, M., Phimphasone, P., Wilson, G. T., Thompson, D. R., & Striegel, R. H. (2014). Culturally adapted cognitive behavioral guided self-help for binge eating: A feasibility study with Mexican Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(3), 449–457.

Ebert, D. D., Berking, M., Thiart, H., Riper, H., Laferton, J. A. C., Cuijpers, P., … Lehr, D. (2015). Restoring depleted resources: Efficacy and mechanisms of change of an internet-based unguided recovery training for better sleep and psychological detachment from work. Health Psychology, 34(Suppl), 1240–1251.

Fanelli, D. (2012). Negative results are disappearing from most disciplines and countries. Scientometrics, 90(3), 891–904.

Glasgow, R. E., & Rosen, G. M. (1978). Behavioral bibliotherapy: A review of self-help behavior therapy manuals. Psychological Bulletin, 85(1), 1–23.

Greenfield, B. L., & Tonigan, J. S. (2013). The General Alcoholics Anonymous Tools of Recovery: The adoption of 12-step practices and beliefs. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 553–561.

Greer, C. L., Worthington Jr., E. L., Lin, Y., Lavelock, C. R., & Griffin, B. J. (2014). Efficacy of a self-directed forgiveness workbook for Christian victims of within-congregation offenders. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 1(3), 218–230.

Griffin, B. J., Worthington Jr., E. L., Lavelock, C. R., Greer, C. L., Lin, Y., Davis, D. E., & Hook, J. N. (2015). Efficacy of a self-forgiveness workbook: A randomized controlled trial with interpersonal offenders. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(2), 124–136.

Grilo, C. M., White, M. A., Masheb, R. M., & Gueorguieva, R. (2015). Predicting meaningful outcomes to medication and self-help treatments for binge-eating disorder in primary care: The significance of early rapid response. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(2), 387–394.

Hasan, N. S., Babson, K. A., Banducci, A. N., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2015). The prospective effects of perceived and laboratory indices of distress tolerance on cannabis use following a self-guided quit attempt. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(4), 933–940.

Heinz, A. J., Peters, E. N., Boden, M. T., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2013). A comprehensive examination of delay discounting in a clinical sample of Cannabis-dependent military veterans making a self-guided quit attempt. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 21(1), 55–65.

Hesser, H., Gustafsson, T., Lundén, C., Henrikson, O., Fattahi, K., Johnsson, E., … Andersson, G. (2012). A randomized controlled trial of internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy in the treatment of tinnitus. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(4), 649–661.

Hilbert, A., Hildebrandt, T., Agras, W. S., Wilfley, D. E., & Wilson, G. T. (2015). Rapid response in psychological treatments for binge eating disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(3), 649–654.

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Johansson, R., Hesslow, T., Ljótsson, B., Jansson, A., Jonsson, L., Färdig, S., … Andersson, G. (2017). Internet-based affect-focused psychodynamic therapy for social anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial with 2-year follow-up. Psychotherapy, 54(4), 351–360.

Jorm, A. F. (2012). Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychologist, 67(3), 231–243.

Kaldo, V., Ramnerö, J., & Jernelöv, S. (2015). Involving clients in treatment methods: A neglected interaction in the therapeutic relationship. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(6), 1136–1141.

LaBrie, R. A., Peller, A. J., LaPlante, D. A., Bernhard, B., Harper, A., Schrier, T., & Shaffer, H. J. (2012). A brief self-help toolkit intervention for gambling problems: A randomized multisite trial. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(2), 278–289.

MacKenzie, M. B., & Kocovski, N. L. (2016). Self-help behaviour of Canadians with perceived needs for mental health care. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 57(2), 130–141.

Mintz, L. B., Balzer, A. M., Zhao, X., & Bush, H. E. (2012). Bibliotherapy for low sexual desire: Evidence for effectiveness. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59(3), 471–478.

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Schueller, S. M., & Parks, A. C. (2014). The science of self-help: Translating positive psychology research into increased individual happiness. European Psychologist, 19(2), 145–155.

Shea, M., Cachelin, F. M., Gutierrez, G., Wang, S., & Phimphasone, P. (2016). Mexican American women’s perspectives on a culturally adapted cognitive-behavioral therapy guided self-help program for binge eating. Psychological Services, 13(1), 31–41.

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How to Cite

Paičs, I., Mārtinsone, K., & Ļubenko, J. (2018). SELF-HELP PRACTICES: LITERATURE REVIEW. SOCIETY. INTEGRATION. EDUCATION. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, 7, 196-207.