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The University of Southampton

The 'Others': How Other People Influence the Way We Use Psychological Self-Help

Kate Cavanagh

University of Sussex

Psychological self-help materials are widely available within the public domain and recommended as a first-line intervention for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2011). But - despite its name – ‘self-help’ can be a surprisingly social phenomena and in this talk I'll discuss some of my research bound by the common theme of exploring the influence of other people on the way we use psychological self-help. This work sits at the interface between interpersonal and clinical psychology. The "others" to whom I'll refer will include early caregivers (in relation to personality development and attachment orientation in adulthood), peers (in relation to subjective-norms and social support), self-help authors (in relation to how therapeutic ingredients are communicated in self-help materials) and health care professionals (in relation to their role in self-help guidance and support).

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