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A (Reluctant) Suggested List Of Self-Help Psychology Books

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I say reluctant because most self-help psychology books are pretty much crap.  The author has often simply found something that worked for him/her and believe that whatever they did can be generalized to a much larger audience.  The techniques & ideas are often untested and based on pseudo-science.  The titles and the books themselves often offer a baseless false hope - a cruelty that nobody deserves. Finally, the best help comes from a trained therapist who can guide their client/patient through the process of getting better.

Not everyone has access to a therapist and not everyone can afford a therapist.  For those folks there are a few books that I think can be useful and offer some assistance.  I offer these to those folks who simply cannot get in front of a therapist.

I offer these titles without comment.  The books speak for themselves and they are among the very few mass market books that I trust.  I often buy these in bulk, at used bookstores, to give to counseling clients and to family, friends, and students.  Indeed, you can find all of these books at used book stores for a few bucks each and they are likely all available from your library.

Note: While all of the links are from Amazon they do not contain my Amazon affiliate code.  On my own website I would include my affiliate code but not here.

Issue:   Big setbacks, death, tragedy, long periods of bad luck

Issue:   Depression and Anxiety

Issue:   Feeling empty, spiritual loss, find meaning in life.

Issue: Feeling like a doormat, unable to say no, wanting to be more assertive

Issue:  Seeking a path in life that makes sense - wanting more meaning in life.

Issue: Wanting to rid yourself of fears and anxiety that are holding you back.

I think those issues cover most of the big concerns that we have in life.  If you have read a book that you found very helpful please leave a comment with the book title and the author.  Others may find it useful as well.

Erick R Williams, M.A., M.S.
erick99 posted Jun 02, 2012

I've been looking for a book that might help with a little bit of depression. Thanks for the list. I'll try the book you listed for depression.

Jameson99 (rep: 19) posted Jun 02, 2012


Sweet. Thanks for the list.

badandy538 (rep: 511) posted Jun 02, 2012


Nice list, erick99! Thank you for the time you put into this as well as adding the links for us. :)

FibroMom (rep: 244k) posted Jun 02, 2012


Thanks for Sharing Eric. I think on some level we can all use self help. What do you think if Follow your Heart by Andrew Matthews. My brother recommended it and I have read it.

lilywow (rep: 8.7k) posted Jun 02, 2012


I haven't read the book lily but I will find it and read the first chapter or so. Thanks for the recommendation.

erick99 (rep: 432k) posted Jun 02, 2012


I struggle with a lot of depression and trying to find meaning in life, so thank you for these suggestions. You really are a great member here :)

munkin2u (rep: 1.3k) posted Jun 02, 2012


Thank you so much, munkin2u, for the very kind words :)

erick99 (rep: 432k) posted Jun 02, 2012


Thanks so much for posting these. I'm really interested in the "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" one. Oddly, I have absolutely no problem saying "No" and being assertive at work, but I find in my personal relationships that it's a lot more difficult. I think I would be a lot happier with myself (and my friends/relationships!) if I could just say what I really feel sometimes.

canis444 (rep: 263) posted Jun 02, 2012


I anice List, but I would also include a book on PMA - Postive Mental attidue. I find this works for me.

skaro964 (rep: 24.6k) posted Jun 03, 2012


I really don't know what the freak this is about.....

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Jun 03, 2012