Damon G. LaBarbera, PhD


Nov 30, 2023
Mental health practitioners sometimes specialize. They wil declare they are experts on autism, or eating disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. I don't really think that is a great idea, though.

In my own health care, I'd rather see a generalist rather than a specialist unless I really need some specific procedure. I don't want to go to someone who specializes in some particular area, to the exclusion of others, since they are more likely to diagnose you with what they particularly happen to know about. The saying, "If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail," applies. Similarly, if a client feels anxious and goes to someone who specializes, so their ad says, in anxiety, they will have their beliefs confirmed. Who knows what a more holistically oriented practitioner would find--anxiety, after all, is often secondary to other disorders, sometimes tertiarily. Really, you want to find someone who is able to absorb a broader array of symptoms to make a diagnosis, and oftentimes that will be a generalist.