for Anxiety, Depression
and Other Emotional or Interpersonal Problems

Dr Bob Rich, MSc, PhD

Healesville Victoria 3777 Australia
phone +61 3 5962 3875
Click to email me


   Nowadays, most of my internet activity is on my blog Bobbing Around. This often includes psychological posts. For example, almost every monthly issue of my newsletter has answers to cries of desperation.

   My next book has done so well that the publisher has invested in an audio copy. You can read the first chapter, table of content and several advance reviews. This is From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide.

   I have presented some of the evidence in From Depression to Contentment that the traditional systems of classification of "mental disorders" are useless. A review of the evidence in Nature bears me out. It is well worth reading.

   Over the years, I've answered many cries for help. Some are recurring issues, and I intend to collect related ones with an explanation, so they are readily available for people suffering from that issue. The first one is Answers to self-assessed sexual abusers. These are actually people the law would acquit of any crime, but they have been torturing themselves with guilt and shame, often for many years.

   Another frequent source of distress is obsessive thoughts about murder. I have provided the links to 20 answers to such people here, and a plain-language theoretical explanation for this terrible problem at my blog.

   Domestic abuse is a huge hidden problem. Maybe you are abused and don't even realise. Read my interview with Erin Ireland whose book addresses this issue.

   Read my new essay on The impact of stress on health.

   As of the 30th of November, 2013, I have retired from offering psychotherapy. From that date on, I am forbidden from applying the label "psychologist" to myself, even as in "retired psychologist!" Yes, I know, the law can be a funny beast. However, it is perfectly legal for me to redefine myself as LIFE COACH AND COUNSELLOR, so thatís what I am, and the qualifications that enabled me to be a [unmentionable] are admirably suited for my new occupations.

   Two of my medical friends have had the courage of standing up to Big Pharma. Read Charles Whitfieldís paper, Psychiatric Drugs as Agents of Trauma, reproduced with permission from a peer-reviewed journal, and an essay by Oleg Reznik on the problems with the drug treatment of chronic pain.

   Read the account of my most pleasing recent success: helping a separated couple to stop traumatising the child they both love though they hate each other.

   I have found myself describing my package of techniques for getting rid of the nasty habit of smoking so many times that I'm sick of it. So, I've written it up and posted it here.

   Note that every buyer of any of my books, in any format, purchased anywhere, qualifies for a FREE book from among those of my titles that are available in electronic format. Look at the list of available books.

   I presented a short paper on pro bono email therapy at the Australian Psychological Society's annual conference in Canberra, October 2011.

   Dr Ellen Walker has allowed me to reproduce her excellent essay, which clears up misconceptions about a childfree lifestyle.

   A recent survey of readers indicated that $5 is about the right price for an electronic book. Of my three psychology books, Anger and Anxiety is sold for $5.50 by Twilight Times Books. I have now reduced the price of the electronic versions of Cancer: A personal challenge and Personally Speaking: Single-session email therapy with Dr Bob Rich to $5. As time allows, I'll make the modifications to my other books at and

In August 2010, I delivered a talk at the conference of the APS College of Counselling Psychologists, Victorian Branch on paradox in therapy.

Want to have a good relationship? Have a look at my summary of the research evidence.

 I have recorded my favourite guided imagery scripts on an audio CD. Be relaxed and healed by my voice.

   Psychotherapy? What for?
   If you are wondering if a talk therapy might be of help to you, or trying to convince someone to seek help, you'll want to read this.

   Read a wonderful essay by Cheryl O'Brien: How to Graduate from the College of Hard Knocks. This is for you if you have suffered.

   This site is now listed on

   I am writing a book about depression. Here is an entire chapter on what to do to fight back against it. Actually, the same tools work against all kinds of emotional distress.

   TWILIGHT TIMES BOOKS have reissued my popular self-help book Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias.

   Read a review of my second psychology book Personally Speaking and a NEW review of my popular Anger and Anxiety.


ByRegion Healers' Award

National Directory of Online Counselors
This site is listed on National Directory of Online Counselors.


Worthy of note:

       Buy any of my books, and you can request any of my electronic books for free.

       Michael Gathercole has developed a new model of depression, one that will be useful to every sufferer, and to everyone trying to help someone else to cope with this debilitating problem. His paper is scholarly, but written in plain language most people will understand.

   Michael has kindly given me permission to reproduce his new model of depression.

       I don't have the time at the moment to post new web pages, but this one may help others affected by the most terrible act a person can do. She said no -- and he killed himself.

       My second psychology book is available. It is Personally Speaking: Single session email therapy with Dr Bob Rich. This book was one of five finalists in the 'Non-Fiction (Self-Help)' category of the EPPIE 2002 Awards.

Finalist, EPPIE 2002 Awards.

       Want to do the best for your child or teenager? Investigate two books by my friend Joan Bramsch.

       A young woman's conquest of bipolar disorder, without drugs

       Posted at last: an interview with one of my clients.

        Internet Counseling is available, and effective.

        A Toastmaster speech, about how children should be raised.

       A reprint of an important article about antidepressants. I have also reproduced two reactions to it: from a friend whose husband nearly died, and another whose doctors wanted her to take a pill with effects worse than the disease.

       Also read my advice to sufferers of cancer and those who love them.

       It isn't psychology but I must tell you: Several of my works of fiction have been published. Five of them have won international awards. Have a look around at
You can buy all these books here.


    Counseling works. It helps people who are stuck in a hell of emotional or interpersonal problems. The success rate of counseling is about the same as that of medicine for problems of the body.

Tips on attacking a problem

    The aim of counseling is to increase your control over your own life. A good psychotherapist is a catalyst. Sometimes, a problem may take a lot of work to overcome, because all problems involve long-standing habits, and habits are hard to change (but possible). However, you donít necessarily need a helper for all this work. A long-standing, chronically painful situation can often be changed in a process that starts with a few sessions. The changing is not done by the therapist, but by the client. Like a catalyst in a chemical reaction, the therapist's presence stimulates the activity of other participants.

   Almost everything we do involves habits. We could not function without them. However, when we are in distress, this is because a previously useful habit has now become counterproductive.

   Habits can be broken, though it's hard work. Read how.

What counseling is NOT

*    Counseling is not advice. Advice is someone telling you what to do. Psychologists rarely do this. They are much more likely to ask you questions that challenge your thinking, and make you see the world in a new, more fruitful way.

    Occasionally, a therapist will present you with information you didn't have before, or teach you a skill you lacked (for example assertiveness training; instruction on the use of eye contact and body language in communication), but a good therapist will always suggest or invite, leaving the decision to you.

*    Counseling is not psychoanalysis, or mind-reading, or hypnosis. There is nothing mysterious about it, no invasion of your inner being, no extended probing. Some counselors do use hypnosis as a tool, but this is in a way that leaves the client in control.

Buy a copy of the book Anger and Anxiety:
How to be in charge of your emotions and control phobias?

*    You don't have to be crazy to benefit from counseling. Rather, it is for those who currently have trouble coping with their circumstances (which may or may not involve mental illness). People with serious psychiatric disorders can benefit from counseling, often in combination with drug therapy. In my view, for them one important role of counseling is to address secondary problems: feelings of worthlessness, meaninglessness, depression, being stigmatised, being imprisoned by a label, rebelliousness to a life sentence of being different.

    People who have no psychiatric disorders can suffer from the same kinds of problems. Counseling can help them enormously.

written with a child.

How counseling works

    Steve de Shazer, the well-known Solution-Focused Therapy researcher, has said, "Therapy is magic. I don't know how my clients do it."

    This is spot on. I don't know how or why counseling works, but its effectiveness is supported by a huge body of scientific evidence. There are a great many theories, and many of them have an element of truth. The fact is that therapists using many different techniques, based on many different theories, achieve about the same level of effectiveness in helping people to break the shackles of long-standing problems.

    My own belief is that a chronic problem is maintained by how the sufferer reacts to it.


     This is determined by three things:

 *the sufferer's self-perception;


*habits of thought and action;


*the reactions of other people.

All of these can be changed.

   If you live near me (Healesville, Victoria, Australia) you may wish to see me for face-to-face counseling. Check out the services I offer.

   From anywhere else in Australia, you might want to try telephone counseling.
   And from anywhere in the world, you can gain my help through the internet.

   Twenty years ago, I changed my life for philosophical reasons. The accidental byproducts have been contentment, a productive, creative and interesting lifestyle, and children who have grown up to be my friends, and people I can be proud of. My essay explains the ideas that led me there.

   Other pages on this site:

   "Detoxifying Anger ", a paper I presented to an international conference on helping the victims of crime.

   My Contacts page lists many resources for people seeking help (suggestions for other links are welcome).

   And in case you're worried, you might want to read my privacy statement before filling out one of my forms.

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