Self-help books have been growing increasingly popular over the past 50 years. One of the earliest and best of the bunch continues to be Albert Ellis’s, “A New Guide to Rational-Emotive Therapy”. As a practicing cognitive-behavioral therapist, I have recommended this and other self-help books to clients for years. This book clearly explains and demonstrates the application of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) to reducing anger, depression and anxiety. Inspired by the power and usefulness of self-help books, particular of a cognitive-behavioral nature, I developed my own series targeting specific areas like anger, stress, depression and worry. I called it the “pocket therapist” series. The books are compact and designed to be carried in a pocket or purse so that they can be read and referred to easily and often. The self-help book on Alcohol and Depression have been included in the bookstore of the Albert Ellis Institute and a related series geared for the military and their families is used by the armed services.
With the trend moving rapidly towards “apps”, I have no doubt that more and more self-help books will be obtained through electronic devices of all sorts and self-help education through traditional books will continue to decline. However, I believe that self-help books will continue to be read and of value to a smaller market of those who prefer to learn visually rather than through listening to books on tapes or audio apps.
The value of small pocket sized self- help books is that they are easy to carry and use in the moment. Because you can carry them in a pocket or purse, clients are more likely to refer to it when the need arises. Due to their small size, they are inexpensive and affordable by most individuals. The practical nature of small self-help books makes them a good choice for therapists to use with their clients.