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LauraABJ comments on Scientific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge - Less Wrong

138 Post author: lukeprog 20 January 2011 08:44PM

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Comment author: LauraABJ 23 January 2011 05:06:58AM 10 points [-]

Self help usually fails because people are terrible at identifying what their actual problems are. Even when they are told! (Ahh, sweet, sweet denial.) As a regular member of the (increasingly successful) OB-NYC meetup, I have witnessed a great deal of 'rationalist therapy,' and frequently we end up talking about something completely different from what the person originally asked for therapy for (myself included). The outside view of other people (preferably rationalists) is required to move forward on the vast majority of problems. We should also not underestimate the importance of social support and social accountability in general as positive motivating factors. Another reason that self-help might fail is that the people reading these particular techniques are trying to help themselves by themselves. I really hope others from this site take the initiative in forming supportive groups, like the one we have running in NYC.

Comment author: curiousepic 24 January 2011 03:04:09PM *  2 points [-]

frequently we end up talking about something completely different from what the person originally asked for therapy for (myself included)

Is this because you performed some sort of "root cause analysis", or simply where the conversation strayed?