i sometimes come across shows on tv like maxed out, suze orman's show, and personal finance shows of that ilk. they're not bad, but they're all alike and they're a lot like other kinds of advice shows -- people call in, describe a pretty dire situation, and the host says something like: you can't do that, you can't live like that, you need to save, blah, blah, blah.
yes, it's all true, but the key to helping people to me is not to tell them what to do, but to teach them how to do it. when it comes down to it, over extending and over spending seem to be habitual, practiced, almost unconscious behaviors. if you don't realize how you got into your current situation, it's going to be easy to find yourself back in the same situation a year or two down the road.
fortunately, i think we as people are pretty stuck in our ways, so, if you can reverse max-out type behavior and turn it into savings, i find that it's pretty easy to get out of debt, and start building a nest egg or a rainy day fund.