15 ways to make self help books and web resources work better

A quote from Chris Williams (2008), taken from the Good practice guidance on the use of self-help materials within Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.

  1. Set aside a time and place to work on your project everyday.
  2. Don’t drink alcohol or nibble while working on your plan. Tea, coffee or juice are OK though.
  3. Get energised before sitting down to work. Anything that uses your muscles for a couple of minutes is OK.
  4. Go through it over and over till you know it by heart. Write notes and comments. Think about what it’s saying.
  5. Make a plan and write it down, step by step. Be sure to make them small, simple steps that you will be able to do.
  6. Think about eating an elephant. You can do it if you take lots of little mouthfuls.
  7. You WILL get stuck from time to time, so work out what to do about it in advance.
  8. Your plan is like a new year resolution so don’t let it fade away. Check your progress every week.
  9. Get a lot of help. The more people know about your plan, the more help you’ll get and the more likely you are to succeed.
  10. Write yourself a letter from 10 years in the future – “Thanks for being strong all those years ago”.
  11. Pepper your fridge with post-its. Write I CAN DO IT on the mirror.
  12. Imagine you are your own best friend and give yourself some good advice.
  13. Think like an athlete and get coaching and support from anywhere and everywhere you can.
  14. Plan your support sessions in advance – know what you want to say or write to a friend, a group, a counsellor or a doctor. 15.Write an agenda and use it in support sessions.
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