Self-help or self-improvement is a self-guided improvement—economically, physically, intellectually, and emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis.
When engaged in self-help, people often use publicly available information or support groups, on the Internet as well as in person, where people in similar situations join together. From early examples in self-driven legal practice and home-spun advice, the connotations of the word have spread and often apply particularly to education, business, exercise, psychology and psychotherapy, commonly distributed through the popular genre of self-help books. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, potential benefits of self-help groups that professionals may not be able to provide include friendship, emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.
Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated b