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Can A Self-Help Book Replace Sessions With Your Therapist? (Also Known As Shelf-Help)

Written by: Rebecca Jones, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


This is a really good question. And one that I get asked a lot by family, friends, and clients alike.

As demand for good therapists, coaches and Hypnotherapists soars, and as people's finances become ever more uncertain, many opt for the much cheaper option of buying a self-help book instead of the more expensive option of seeking a therapist.

And so is this a good or a bad idea, and can reading a self-help book be as successful?

Here are some thoughts and ideas to help guide you...


Before I discuss reading self-help books, reading any genre of book is good for our mental health. Research shows that reading for pleasure is amongst some of the top ways for improving our mental wellbeing. Reading for pleasure, whether that is reading a novel, a classic, a nonfiction book, an autobiography, or anything at all, lowers our blood pressure, slows down our heart rate, deepens our breathing, thus increasing our oxygen levels, aids sleeping and reduces sleeping problems such as insomnia, increases and improves strong mental health traits such as resilience, confidence, self-esteem, motivation, and inner strength. Moreover, reading for pleasure increases intellect, and improves and creates neural pathways and brainwaves.

So what is not to love about reading!!

Reading is a secret weapon that we all have access to. And research suggests that reading for 10 minutes each day can have a significant impact on our overall health and mental wellbeing.

What about reading a self-help book?

Reading a self-help book is a great starting point. Maybe you have just started to feel a little unwell, or not quite yourself, or perhaps something has just happened recently in your life where you feel that you need a little bit of extra help and support.

Reading a self-help book can really help you gain insight into what you are going through, and why you are feeling the way you are. Some books even offer you techniques and tips on how to help yourself to feel better. As well as strategies to help you resolve any challenges or obstacles you may be facing. And some books also really help you to turn the corner for the better.

Moreover, Reading a self-help book is a much cheaper alternative to seeing a therapist.

And for short term, temporary issues, this may be all the help that you need.

And finally, it can also be a great, alternative gift as a stocking filler!


For more complex issues, or issues that have been going on for more than a few weeks, even months, then seeking the advice of your G.P. initially, and then seeking the help of a professional, well qualified therapist or coach is advisable.

Sometimes issues, challenges, obstacles, and mental health issues are more severe and complex. They may have lasted a few weeks or more, even a lifetime. Perhaps professional help has already been obtained without success. And so this will need the help of a medical professional/experienced therapist.

For example, issues, conditions and disorders such as PTSD, anorexia, addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies would all need external, professional help outside of the pages of a book.

(This is not to say that reading a self-help book alongside medical/therapeutic treatment is not an excellent combination and addition. In fact, I would say that this is advisable).

Shelf-Help :

Here are a few recommendations for you:

  1. Paul McKenna, Change Your Life in 7 Days.

  2. Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear & do it Anyway

And finally, my own book:

3. Rebecca Jones, Source Your Inner Jet-Pack: Rapid Transformations for Life's Jetsetters.

Link here:

My newly published book is also a self-help book that contains real life case studies and examples, as well as techniques and strategies that anyone can use themselves at home to help them to overcome challenges and obstacles in life, to get them unstuck, and to propel them forwards to start living the life they dream of.

The book begins with my own personal story. It describes how I became a Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist and Coach. And it tells the story of my own transformation in life, my complete and utter life transformation and change, and how I created my own successes and my own dream life after tragedy, following injury, loss and recovery.

Each chapter shares a story and personal experience, followed by a client case study.

Within each chapter, there is also an illustrated example of how a client used one or more of the techniques and strategies mentioned to overcome an issue/barrier/challenge etc. to then attain success and achievements in their own life.

These techniques and strategies are then fully explained and demonstrated at the end of each chapter so that the reader can then practice these techniques in their own time by themselves, in the comfort and safety of their own home. This will enable any reader of my book to access these fantastic strategies and techniques too and to enable them to transform their own life too!

In conclusion, reading of any kind is great for our mental health.

If we're feeling a little stuck or challenged, for whatever reason, reading is a grea5 step forward.

And if we have more complex or long term issues, reading is a great added extra and add-on to also seeking medical help and the help of a well qualified and experienced therapist/coach/ Hypnotherapist.

Thank you.

Rebecca Jones

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Rebecca Jones, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rebecca Jones (M.A. DipPCH) is a Rebecca Jones (M.A. DipPCH) is a Clinical Hypnotherapist & Consultant (GHR, GHSC) (GQHP, MAC) and CEO/Founder of 'Paris St. Cloud' & 'The Empire State of Mind'

Initially trained by Dr. Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna, & now a much trusted & highly valued part of their team, Rebecca is a highly sought-after expert in her field. Rebecca is an inspirational therapist and consultant with her thriving practice in Harley Street London and a successful clinic on Deansgate in Manchester; Rebecca is an inspirational therapist & consultant

An honoree of the Crea Global Award, Rebecca received this prestigious award in recognition of her innovative ideas, resourcefulness, and her achievements and accomplishments in the areas of mental health and therapy work. Other award winners included the incredible global celebrity, Oprah Winfrey.

Rebecca works globally with clients across the world. Also, with a clinic on Fifth Avenue, NYC, USA, Rebecca works with International clients F2F and online virtually worldwide.

Rebecca's clients include VIP & celebrities, Governments and Government Officials, United Nations, British Council, OECD, Diplomats, Silicon Valley, and more.

Her latest book 'Source Your Inner Jet Pack: Rapid Transformations for Life's Jetsetters' is published, is out now, and is available here!

During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Rebecca has donated her services freely to all doctors, nurses, and medical staff working in hospitals and ICU departments in hospitals worldwide.

Moreover, she has also been conducting her clinical research study and clinical trials to treat patients suffering from Long COVID.

There is no other such study taking place in the world. It is unique and one of a kind. It is the first of its kind globally and is at the forefront of therapy and innovation, described as a flagship and ground-breaking research study.

This has been followed by her uniquely devised therapeutic techniques and treatment plans for patients and clients and a series of workshops, seminars, and training programs for therapists, medical practitioners, doctors, and hypnotherapists.

Rebecca is now the CEO and Founder of the 'Long COVID Therapy Institute.'

During the pandemic and Lockdown, Rebecca has also provided additional Free Online services, including Free Coaching courses for 'Resilience and Wellbeing in Lockdown' and free services for NHS doctors and nurses in the UK.

Rebecca has also been interviewed for the media and radio about her business and her work.

As well as working with her private clients in the clinic, Rebecca also provides Corporate seminars, events, & training, as well as well-being sessions and Professional Development courses (CPD) for Businesses, Schools, Corporate, & other Groups.

Rebecca is also a professional trainer, training, qualifying, and certifying future Coaches, Mentors, Therapists, and Hypnotherapists.

Rebecca is a Guest speaker for public engagements, business events, charity dinners, and fundraisers, both in the UK and overseas.

Rebecca's unique clinical hypnotherapy and consultancy methods enable individuals, private and corporate clients alike, to build better lives, redesign their futures, and create personal freedom today!



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