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Reflections on change: Part III

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Dr. Dombeck received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1995 ...Read More

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p> There’s been a fair amount of change here at recently. Dr. John Grohol, the co-founder, developer and director of since the beginning, has left CMHC Systems (corporate sponsor of ) and in order to take a position with drkoop.com. This is a big change for in many ways – has been very much a reflection of Dr. Grohol’s energy, passion, and commitment to developing online mental help. Look around this site and marvel with me for a moment at what he has built. I don’t expect you will be disappointed. Truly – has become a great and beneficial resource that offers something relevant to most every visitor. We here at have got our collective hats permanently off in admiration for Dr. Grohol’s accomplishment. We wish him the best with his new enterprise.

I (Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.) am the new Director of . I’m a Clinical Psychologist by training, and one with strong interests in computer programming and using computers to help people. I spent much of the last few months in a job search, hoping to find a position in which I could combine my psychotherapeutic and computer interests. Such positions are difficult to find as the two fields (psychotherapy and computers) tend to not understand one another all that well. I more or less jumped at the chance to take on the Directorship of . I’m very glad to be here and hope to do good work.

I’ll take the remainder of this editorial to outline what form this work will take over the next months.

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p> Steady as she goes

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p> In music, you have to hear both the sounds (notes) and the spaces in between the sounds (rests) in order to make sense out of a melody. The course of ‘s development has been a little like a melody. There have been many ‘notes’ in the course of development. For the moment, however, it is time for a ‘rest’.

Over the years of its existence, has developed into a rather large (some might even say completely large) set of mental health resources. Each of these resources is important although not all will appeal to each user. While many may value our site reviews as a starting point for learning about different mental disorders, others may value the community that exists in our forums and chat rooms. Still others may search our Clinicians’ Yellow Pages to find help in locating a therapist, or search our job links for a new position in the Mental Health fields. There are many more examples I could give. My immediate goal is to keep all of these resources running smoothly. At least for the moment accomplishing this goal will require the majority of my attention.

As time and resources permit – I will address a second important goal; To tune and upgrade the database engines that run . This process (begun by Dr. Grohol) will help us to better manage the diversity of information present on the site, as well as to insure that the site continues to run smoothly as we grow.

We will resume adding new features to our family of offerings in the near future. After all – has been in constant development since its inception – I see no reason to monkey with this tradition. In particular, both myself and CMHC Systems are quite interested in finding novel ways to use computers and the internet to help people manage and overcome mental health difficulties. We will be investing a good portion of our developmental energies in this direction in the months to come (more on this another time).

For now – please enjoy the site. All of our efforts here will be devoted towards keeping your experience here as effortless and informative (and pleasant!) as possible.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
Director,

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p> Reference:
Dombeck, M.J. (Aug 1999). Reflections on change: Part III. [Online]. .

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