Dr. Bob HumphriesMore than two decades have passed since the young man walked across the mall and sought out Bob Humphries. It doesn’t matter how old the story is. Humphries, a licensed psychologist, still smiles at it.
During Humphries’ first few years practicing, he helped a young man through a difficult period in his life. Now, after having gone through the Navy, the man spotted Humphries walking in the mall and thanked him for helping him to get his life together.
“Those are the moments that are very rewarding,” Humphries said.
Over the course of a given week, there isn’t any one mental illness Dr. Humphries treats. The popular Stark County psychologist does, however, have a couple of things he sees as a common issue during the last few years. Depression and anxiety are the two most common diagnoses Humphries sees coming through his office doors, and more and more people are being treated for anxiety without popular prescription medicines.
“We collaborate with physicians often … and there’s a preference to start with talk therapy and not use medication right out of the gates,” Humphries said. “Stress and anxiety are issues you try to help people deal with and manage throughout life.”
Treating anxiety is changing. Talk therapy is being used more than it was a few years ago when Xanax was a popular medication to prescribe. Counseling has evolved over the years; so has Humphries.
“I’m a different kind of therapist today then when I started, and that’s based on experience,” Humphries said. “I think we’re trained to be gullible and believe what people bring to us. We get seasoned, and we learn.”
Since 2008, Humphries has helped grow the practice at Vista Psychological & Counseling Centre in North Canton. At the end of his long days—he balances a relatively full teaching load at Walsh University—Humphries is able to rest easy at night.
“The reward comes from knowing you made a difference in someone’s life,” he said. “You helped them get better; you recognize the growth they’ve made.”