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Implications of Psychological Theories for Self-help: Introduction

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

A variety of psychological theories and perspectives relevant to self-help are presented below. Some of these theories are more science-based than others, but every theory included here has some relevance; some insight to offer a person seeking to understand how to help themselves. These various theories can help you to understand why you might act think or feel a particular way under particular circumstances. More importantly, the theories may help suggest to you how you might go about fixing your problems.

There are five basic psychological theories describing human nature that are relevant with regard to self-help, and which have good scientific or professional backing. These are: Learning theory, Psychodynamic theory, Humanistic theory, (personality) Trait theory, and a whole set of theories that describe Human Development from infancy through adulthood.