Not much, as it turns out.mike

At least, that’s what Mike Bundrant and I think.

Mike’s a busy guy. He not only blogs here on PsychCentral at NLP Discoveries, he also has his own information-packed blog, and, to top it off, is a top-notch radio dude at NaturalNewsRadio, where he hosts the show, Mental Health Exposed.

Mike interviewed me about resiliency on his show and I really encourage you to take fifteen minutes or so to listen. Not only did we talk about the five components of resiliency: Acceptance, Perspective, Social Support, Positive Actions, and Finding the Gifts, we also found common ground in our general antipathy toward the self-help industry.

Now, I need to give a disclaimer here: I think there are many good books in the self-help industry.

However, having said that, I also believe that there is a large portion of the self-help industry that leads readers down a path that promises happiness, riches, or a perfect life if you’ll only “do these 5 steps” or “follow these 10 rules” or “use this 40-day guidebook.”

A search on Amazon for the word “happiness” reveals 30,960 books. “Rich” finds 45,610 books and even a search for “perfect life” turns up over 1,000 books.

This tells us two things: 1.) People, including us, are interested in being rich, happy, and having a perfect life, and, 2.) There is money to be made in an industry that covers these topics.

In our interview, Mike Bundrant and I call out the self-help industry on its overall tendency to set the reader up for failure. I hope you’ll listen to the broadcast to find out more about why we agree on this topic.

Oh, and you’ll learn a lot about bouncing back, too. 😉

Please listen and I also encourage you to take Mike up on his offer of a FREE (I love things that are free) 20-minute video on ending self-sabotage. Just enter your email in the box on the left sidebar of his home page.

To learn more about how to discern if a self-help book is actually going to be helpful for you, take a look at Doug Toft’s short, concise post, Won’t Get Fooled Again – Three Levels of Credibility in Self-Help Books.

For the record, here are just a few of the people I find most trustworthy in the self-help field:

Kristin Neff

Brene Brown

Barbara Frederickson

Sonja Lyubomirsky

Pema Chodron

There are many more, but these are the researchers and spiritual leaders who have been most important to me and my work lately. I hope you’ll check out some of their work.


Speaking of bouncing back, download my FREE ebook, Bounce Back! 5 ways to survive and thrive through life’s ups and downs.