When Help Hurts

Kirby Brown, daughter of Ginny Brown, sought self-help measures to grow both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, a tragedy unfolded that could have been avoided.

The Self-help industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry valued at over $9.9 billion. It’s scary to think that an industry this large has no regulations or laws, and practitioners are not required to have the proper credentials or be held accountable for their actions.


Ginny Brown joined us this week to share with our listeners the dangers of the self-help industry and why she founded SEEK Safely, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to guide and educate consumers, and to keep self-help practitioners accountable for their actions through legislation.


Ginny shared the emotional story of how her daughter Kirby tragically died seeking personal and professional growth.  Kirby, who she says was “drunk on life” and lived outside of the box, was a seeker. She was always looking for ways to improve herself and she tragically lost her life when she sought help from an unqualified self-help guru during a spiritual retreat.


Ginny hopes that by sharing Kirby’s story that listeners will learn the red flags you need to know to protect yourself and others so that these tragedies do not continue.




How can you tell the difference between a self-help scam and the real deal?

People can, and do, lie about their credentials. Do your due diligence. Research, ask questions, check references. Most importantly, listen to your GUT! We have all been in a situation when we hear our inner voice telling us that something isn’t right. Pay attention to that voice! We also have to be self-aware of our own vulnerabilities. We tend to look for self-help when we are at our most vulnerable, but we still need to be able to make rational judgements despite our emotions.


Why don’t we hear about the dangers of the self-help industry more often?

If someone is in a situation where they seek out self-help and the program or the guru doesn’t help them achieve what they wanted to achieve, a lot of times the guru will convince them that it’s their fault. Saying that they didn’t work hard enough or were not smart enough to be successful when there is no research or science behind what they’re teaching. People feel ashamed when they feel like they have failed, or that they have been scammed.


What do you want Kirby’s legacy to be?

Whatever you’re seeking, make sure you protect yourself. Our mission is to empower the seeker to be more self-aware, ask more questions, promote ethics and safety in the industry, and get legislation passed for basic guidelines. SEEK stands for self-empowerment though education and knowledge. We have resources on our website, www.SEEKsafely.org so consumers can use them to educate themselves on red-flags and for practitioners to sign a promise of ethics in the industry. I hope for Kirby’s legacy to be that who she was and the way she lived her life will inspire people to live with more passion and more joy and that her death can serve as a cautionary tale for others to live with an open heart and open eyes.


LISTENERS: Have you ever sought help from a self-help guru? Share your experiences and wiZdoms with us! Either leave us a voicemail at 1-646-653-9278 or send us an email. We may talk about it - or we may even talk with YOU - on the air!


You can learn how we help job seekers, employers, and employees by visiting My Success Platform and PEAR Core Solutions.

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