Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren


  • Vanina PapaliniEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_80


Self-help consists in a set of predetermined actions that the subject applies to himself or herself to resolve subjective ills. Its goals are utilitarian: it addresses the subject’s inner being with the aim of facilitating a better adaptation to the world. The definition of self-help does not have to do with a specific problem but rather a method. Its theoretical foundations come from different sources: organizational psychology, management, sociology, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, and religious and philosophical spirituality. Its conceptions of subject underpin the idea that the mind is capable of controlling the body and emotions.


Contemporary self-help consists of a set of predetermined actions that the subject applies to himself or herself to resolve subjective ills. Both the diagnosis, or identification, of the problem and its solution reside in the individual (Papalini 2006). Self-help books, seminars, conferences, and videos address the...


Self-help Self-development Positive thinking Managerial literature New Age Self-control Success 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Investigation and Study of Culture and SocietyNational Council for Scientific and Technical ResearchCórdobaArgentina