I generally think self-help books promise a lot more than they deliver. I've come to believe that this book is an absolute game changer in the world of behavioral medicine.
So, how do you know if this book will be helpful for you?
"Self-Therapy" is based on Internal Family Systems therapy. (Think--a system of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but with a rather different approach.) It is geared toward individuals who do what I call "triggering". If you tend to have very turbulent relationships, or keep rehashing past offenses in your head, or get told by your spouse that you act like you have two personalities, or are a pathological people-pleaser, or find yourself frequently repeating that behavior you decided never to do again, or have panic attacks over trivial threats, or are easily hurt or offended, or have been told you are manipulative, or have overwhelming fears of not being believed, being abandoned, not being good enough, etc, then you are probably "triggering". As you progress toward middle age, you will likely find that these behaviors become increasingly problematic in your relationships. If this sounds like you, consider getting this book.
I am a family physician and was becoming frustrated with an inability to help my patients with (axis II) personality disorders understand and heal their condition. Meds don't work very well and traditional counseling is only marginally better. I knew how to recognize a patient with a personality disorder, but I didn't understand what caused it or how to explain it to a patient in a way that they 1) believed me, and 2) understood what I was talking about. These patients are often misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, and before I found IFS I almost never saw someone recover or improve.
A social worker directed me to do some research into Internal Family Systems therapy and I eventually stumbled across "Self-Therapy". This book not only helps you diagnose yourself, (ie. "what is causing me to feel and act this way?") but also how to treat yourself. I am gradually coming to believe that Internal Family Systems therapy is the only type of therapy that is more than marginally effective for healing this type of emotional injury. I find myself recommending this book to one of my patients on at least a weekly basis. It doesn't hold the solution for every emotional problem, but it's one of the best tools I've found for my mental health arsenal. If nothing else, it can really help you understand others' behavior better.
I initially read this book trying to help my patients. In the end it has also helped my family, my marriage, and my personal happiness. Color me impressed.