How to Protect Yourself Against Bad Self-Help

Dangers lurk within the U.S.’s $12-billion self-help industry. Here is how to spot the warning signs

By Maia Szalavitz

Although dozens of studies suggest that research-based self-help can provide real benefits—in particular, for anxiety, depression and drug addiction—more than 95 percent of self-help books and programs have never been subjected to scientific scrutiny, according to John C. Norcross, a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and co-author of Self-Help That Works (Oxford University Press, 2013). People can, however, better protect themselves from potentially dangerous self-help rituals, Norcross and other investigators say, by learning to recognize warning signs of dubious experts and by understanding how peer pressure impairs judgment.

Click here to read the article at Scientific American.