Self-Help That Works Book Summary - Self-Help That Works Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Self-Help That Works summary

John C. Norcross et al.

Resources to Improve Emotional Health and Strengthen Relationships

4.2 (77 ratings)
30 mins

Brief summary

Self-Help That Works by John C. Norcross et al. is a comprehensive guide to effective self-help interventions, based on scientific research. It provides practical advice and tools for overcoming various mental health issues and achieving personal growth.

Table of Contents

    Self-Help That Works
    Summary of 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    The two self-help topics covered in this blink are 1) Career Development and 2) Self-Management and Self-Enhancement.

    Our career choices are important. After all, what we do for a living can play an important role in how satisfied we are with our lives and how healthy our relationships are. So it’s no wonder that there’s an endless supply of self-help books on the topic of career development.

    In fact, out of all the categories, and of all the books recommended, one of the most positively rated is a book that has helped millions of people for generations now: What Color Is Your Parachute? This book, written by Richard Bolles, first came out in 1975. But since then, it’s been updated multiple times. Recent additions include topics such as helping those with physical disabilities find meaningful employment.

    There are many reasons why it remains a strongly recommended pick on the topic of career development after all these years. For starters, Bolles doesn’t assume readers are looking for their first jobs – or even their second or third, for that matter. It’s meant to be useful for people of any age and situation, be it a recent college grad or someone seeking a mid-life career change. It’s also written with warmth and humor, making it an engaging book to read.

    Changing careers can go hand-in-hand with an overall effort toward self-improvement. This brings us to the category of self-management and self-enhancement, another popular issue for self-help books. Of the many books discussed, a few are strongly recommended.

    At the top of the list is Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life, by Steven C. Hayes and Spencer Smith. Hayes and Smith introduce readers to the principles of ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is designed to help steer people away from spending a lot of time and energy on trying to change circumstances or conditions that are unlikely to change. Instead, it encourages people to practice acceptance – and focus that energy on healthier values.

    In both categories in this blink, the surveyed mental health professionals recommended many internet resources.

    For career development, the top websites include Peterson’s (, a useful resource for anyone considering a new college degree, graduate school, or embarking on other forms of adult education in the US. And for those who are seeking a new job, the website remains one of the most popular and biggest career development resources online.

    For self-management and self-enhancement, few online resources are more recommended than Psych Central (, a website that covers a wide range of mental health, psychology and self-help issues. For many of the issues covered here, the surveyed mental health professionals recommend Psych Central as a valuable online resource.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Self-Help That Works?

    Key ideas in Self-Help That Works

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Self-Help That Works about?

    Self-Help That Works (2013, Fourth Edition) offers the valuable service of taking the top recommendations from mental health professionals in the US and compiling the results in one handy volume. You’ll find which self-help resources the experts recommend on over 40 of the most popular topics.

    Self-Help That Works Review

    Self-Help That Works (2014) is a comprehensive book that explores evidence-based self-help strategies for various life challenges. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With insightful analysis and empirical evidence, it provides readers with practical tools to address their personal issues effectively.
    • The book covers a wide range of topics, from relationships and addiction to mental health, offering holistic guidance for personal growth and self-improvement.
    • Through authentic stories of individuals who have overcome challenges, the book engages and inspires readers, making it an enlightening and motivating read.

    Best quote from Self-Help That Works

    Kidshealth is an outstanding website that has three distinct sections – one for parents, one for kids, and one for teens...

    —John C. Norcross et al.
    example alt text

    Who should read Self-Help That Works?

    • Anyone wondering what the best self-help books are
    • People looking for tips on better living
    • Couples and parents seeking advice

    About the Author

    John C. Norcross, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified clinical psychologist who works at the University of Scranton as a professor of psychology, and at SUNY Upstate Medical Center as an adjunct professor of psychiatry.

    Linda F. Campbell, PhD, is an award-winning researcher who works at the University of Georgia as a professor and director of the training clinic at the university’s Department of Counseling and Human Development.

    John M. Grohol, PsyD, is a researcher, author, and expert in developing and designing online psychology resources. He’s the author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online.

    John W. Santrock, PhD, is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. He’s the author of such psychology texts as Life-Span Development and Child Development, and coauthor of Your Guide to College Success.

    Florin Selagea, MS, has a master’s degree in professional counseling from Georgia State University and is pursuing a doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Georgia.

    Robert Sommer, PhD, served as president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Population and Environmental Psychology. He’s the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Distinguished Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of California, Davis.

    Categories with Self-Help That Works

    Book summaries like Self-Help That Works

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Self-Help That Works FAQs 

    What is the main message of Self-Help That Works?

    Self-Help That Works highlights evidence-based self-help techniques to improve well-being and achieve personal growth.

    How long does it take to read Self-Help That Works?

    The reading time for Self-Help That Works varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Self-Help That Works a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Self-Help That Works is worth reading as it provides practical strategies backed by research to enhance self-improvement and well-being.

    Who is the author of Self-Help That Works?

    The author of Self-Help That Works is John C. Norcross et al.

    What to read after Self-Help That Works?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Self-Help That Works, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey
    • Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly
    • Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
    • Toxic Positivity by Whitney Goodman
    • What We Say Matters by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike K. Lasater
    • Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer
    • Losing Eden by Lucy Jones
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
    • One Decision by Mike Bayer