Professional Assistance for Self-Help Acitivities
The term “self-help” increasingly becomes a slogan. More and more, it is recognized that necessary changes in behaviour have the greatest chance of success and lasting results, if the person concerned acts on his own initiative and finds his own methods as to how and when a new behaviour pattern is developed out of his old, habitual mode and presented to his social surroundings. Firmly regulated programmes - be they ever so lavishly equipped with material and personnel - are usually considerably less effective. As a rule, such programmes provide the person concerned with little freedom of action an therefore apply to very few individuals. Often, so much effort is spent on getting the clients used and adjusted to the numerous experts, apparatuses, written material and instructions that little time remains for their serious personal problems. Such “perfect” programmes only function as long as the experts are there to supervise them. They are quickly forgotten when the individual must accustom himself, his family, friends and colleagues to his new patterns of behaviour which may be in so many ways different from his former ones. This is valid for a lot of development policy programmes in the Third World as well as for many programmes of health education.
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