Frequently Asked Questions
What Does a Psychologist Do?
The role of a Psychologist is similar to that of a coach or a teacher, rather than that of a medical doctor. A medical doctor will diagnose a problem and possibly give you medicine to cure the problem. A Psychologist works with patients to identify stressors and to collaboratively develop solutions to life’s problems. For individuals struggling with depression or anxiety, psychologists seek to identify past history that might contribute to emotional distress. Then, the psychologist helps the patient let go of old stories and beliefs that might be causing the patient to relive maladaptive patterns in the present. A new, more successful way of thinking, believing and acting can be developed and applied. Letting go of old hurts, emotional attachments and painful memories is also a goal of psychotherapy. Psychologists use research based interventions such as cognitive behavioral, mindfulness and insight oriented psychotherapy to assist their clients in finding better functioning and improved peace of mind.
Psychologists will rarely provide advice about how a patient should solve a problem such as “Should I get Married?”, Should I get Divorced?” or “Should I leave my job?”. Although “radio show therapists” do give advice over the radio, this is not the role of a Licensed Psychologist in the office. Pro’s and con’s of decision possibilities can be explored, but the decision is always left up to the patient.
Couples come into therapy seeking assistance in resolving communication difficulties, feelings of unfairness or inequity in the marriage, or help resolving hurts such a infidelity and emotional disengagement. Psychologists help couples by applying interventions which seek to have each individual be more careful about thinking through what they say before they say it. Choosing problems or battles to argue about, letting less important “junk” behaviors go and learning to accept each other as indivuals are common goals of therapy. Couple’s therapy also helps individuals learn to be more sensitive and aware of each others’ attempt to communicate and be listened to accurately. Some couples need help learning to stop toxic behaviors such as critizing, numbing out, saying hurtful or cruel things to one another and fighting back before they have heard their partner’s complaint.
How do I know if I need a psychologist?
Most people who seek psychotherapy have been in pain for some time. They have tried ignoring the problem, taking medication and talking to friends and family but have not felt better. Seeing out an objective, trained professional can often be the most efficient way of handling when you feel stuck and cannot find another way of resolving a problem.
What happens on a first visit?
Dr. Hibel will take a history of your problem and get an understanding of what goals you would like to accomplish. Often, just expressing pent up thoughts and feelings gives people a sense of immediate relief.
Do you prescribe medicine?
Dr. Hibel does not prescribe medication. If a medical evaluation is needed you will be referred to a medical doctor.
Have you received any awards or accomplishments?
Dr. Hibel has received the Psychologist of the Year award and distinguished psychologist award from the Florida Psychological Association