5 Problems with the Self-Help Industry

The self-help industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It fills bookstores and conference rooms. It’s made media celebrities out of people and capitalized wildly off the growing self-consciousness of recent generations. And although it’s changed the lives of millions of people — mostly for the better, I assume — it still lacks a certain credibility with most. Many regard it as simple snake oil. Others laugh at the bizarre superstitions that get passed off as legitimate life advice. Many try self-help out but are left feeling disgruntled.


Clinical psychology doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record of personal change either, but at least when you lay down on the sofa, you know you’re dealing with a qualified expert who is telling you what to do based on 100+ years of empirical research.

With self-help, god only knows where half of these people come from. It’s a market-driven, rather than a peer-reviewed industry. The onus is on the reader to sift through the material and decide what’s credible and what’s not. And that’s not always easy to do.

The following are five major problems with the self-help industry today, and they’re unlikely to go away.
1. self-help Reinforces …