ask-the-psychologist

Here are some typical questions that psychologists get asked, perhaps, you’ve asked them at some point.

  • 1

    My family doctor wants me to follow his/her advice better but I’m having trouble doing that. Can a psychologist help?

    YES! A clear and increasingly important goal for psychologists is to work closely with you and your doctor to form a team to help you improve your ability to care for yourself. There are many reasons that can contribute to us having difficulty taking care of ourselves. Discovering what these reasons are and helping you overcome them or work with them is what I can do.

  • 2

    My Child is having trouble in school- getting poor grades and having trouble keeping up. Is there some sort of test that can be done to find out what’s going on and what I should do?

    As a psychologist, I CAN help with this question. There are many reasons that contribute to kids having trouble in school and these need to be explored carefully. Schools are often limited by rules they have to follow, class time, and sometimes personnel limitations to do this well. One key question is whether a child has ADHD or experiences problems with learning differences and psychologists are well equipped to assess for these conditions… and then make referrals to others who specialize in helping the person work within their abilities.

  • 3

    I’ve tried college and it doesn’t seem to be working for me. Am I a failure? Am I going to be able to take care of myself? What can I do?

    A. I can certainly help here. It helps if you can find a psychologist who has lived varied experi- ences in life. Such a person may be better able to accept and understand how you feel. However, your basic abilities, what you are interested in and how you learn all need to be evaluated. This is a form of vocational assessment. It is important to know that well over 50% of the world population does not go to college, and earlier generations did not-yet we have progressed very well. Many people actually learn best from actually doing a type of work or job. This approach used to be called apprenticeships and they worked very well. Perhaps such an approach can be found for you. There are many famous people who fall into this category.

  • 4

    I’ve been through some really bad experiences (like war or a serious accident) and feel alone, no one seems to understand how I feel so I avoid talking about my feelings. Can a psychologist help?

    Many times they can, if they have some background in having gone through difficult ex- periences themselves or have worked in and with trauma situations in the past. Psychologists have direct training in how the brain processes information from the world and changes that into our emo- tions and behaviors. The key piece is in accepting what has happened to you, encouraging you to talk about it and listen to you. Then, working as a team, positive changes can occur.

  • 5

    I’ve had problems with substance abuse and have been through the programs but… some- times it feels like they’re not working. I still don’t feel good emotionally and sometimes have urges to use-can a psychologist help?

    Many times Yes! This is especially so if the psychologist has had experience working in or with people in the substance abuse field. Many times the substance abuse (even of prescription drugs) can be a symptom of other underlying problems. The substance use and a person’s inappropriate use of substances can be a way of self medicating. I can help in uncovering the problem supporting the substance abuse.


If you recognize yourself or someone you know in any of these questions call Dr. Winkler at Goshawk Behavioral Health at 231-642-4642 and see if working together we can help you feel and function better.