Dr. Hardebeck's answers to
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do I need a psychologist? People should be able to make
behavioral changes for themselves, or for their families.
True, most of the time, people can change their own undesired
behavior, or can help their children change negative behaviors. When
individuals and families are able to function healthily, they do not need
the services of a mental health professional.
But sometimes people need help because a situation becomes
unmanageable. Mental health care is similar to physical health care in
this way: most of us can manage everyday cuts and bruises, but we
certainly wouldn't think of conducting surgery at home. Helping someone
who is “having a bad day,” or teaching children to behave properly are
certainly manageable within most families. But disorders such as autism,
anxiety, depression, eating disorders, phobias, psychosis, and many,
many others are indeed real conditions. People who have these
conditions are not just “looking for attention,” and are not able to “just
stop acting like that” on their own.
In addition, there are sometimes difficult situations that might be
manageable on your own, but a mental health professional can help to
direct your efforts and get better, faster results. These situations might
include child behavior concerns, relationship problems, adjustment to
life changes, and self-esteem difficulties.
Sometimes families and individuals need the help of a mental health
provider. It is not a sign of weakness any more than seeking the help of a
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