ABOUT DR. HARDY
What is the first thing you think about when you think of Dr. Hardy? He is Arthur Boydston Hardy, "Dr. Hardy" to his patients, words said with great respect, and a casual "Art" to his friends. You probably think about how he helped and changed your life, and then how he helped so many people.
He was born March 28, 1913 in Sydney, Nebraska, a town in the best spirit of small town values and society. He talked about the Church being the social center of the community and he talked with the fondness of Church dances.
In 1963, Dr. Hardy practiced and started his research into anxiety, phobia, and agoraphobia. This was a time when Dr. Joseph Wolpe, a South African Psychiatrist and Dr. Arnold Lazarus, a South African Psychologist were at Stanford. They were researching and founding a new type of therapy, Behavior Therapy and later they went on to be the major forces in Cognitive and Behavior Therapy. Art would attend their lectures and experiment with the techniques in his practice.
Besides working on these standard behavior therapy techniques, Dr. Hardy would videotape group and individual sessions and then study the videos. He was doing a lot of group therapy and role-playing.
Perhaps many of you know what a marvelous psychiatrist he was. I can remember how he would watch a patient's face, neck, and body posture and tell them how they were feeling. This gave them incredible belief into Art's ability to help them. Patients felt that Dr. Hardy could look into them which made them feel secure and trust what he was doing. He also could plot the trajectory of a life. He would explain to one of my brother's, John, what he would do next. When John wound up doing it, he was annoyed that Dr. Hardy had predicted it.
Later, he also did research with the founder of another major theory in psychology, Social Learning Theory. Dr. Albert Bandura, a professor at Stanford, conferred with Dr. Hardy in his phobia research.
It was during the period in the early 1960's that other physicians complained that he was not doing medicine. In fact, he was acting like a psychologist because he did not believe that drugs helped anxiety problems and he was certainly not practicing Freudian Psychoanalysis. He even referred to his method as eclectic, whatever he could find that really helped his patients.
It was during Dr. Hardy's period of experimenting with behavior therapy that he got a call from a woman who said that she could not come into his office, that she could not leave her home. It was then that Art broke with tradition again and went to the patient's house. What ensued was his discovery of agoraphobics, an underserved problem because they did not go to see therapists.
Dr. Hardy's treatment of agoraphobia, or the morbid fear of things, places, or situations, and usually involving an intense need to be in a "safe place" or with a "safe person", was dramatically successful. He developed what he called in vivo systematic desensitization, or helping a person to extend his or her boundary of security by confronting the source of threat and working through it using relaxation techniques.
Because success was so dramatic, the local media started writing about Dr. Hardy and his method. He was on local radio talk shows frequently, television appearances, as well as magazine and newspaper stories. It touched a strong chord in the audience because agoraphobia was a problem that therapists at the time did not understand and could not label as a syndrome. When listeners identified with the problem, realized there were others like them, and finally saw there was hope, the emotional outpouring was incredible. There were far more agoraphobic and people with anxiety and phobia problems than the mental health profession realized.
To give you an idea of how extensive the media involvement became, especially in the late 1970's, Dr. Hardy was on the Today Show, 60 Minutes (rerun twice), Geraldo Rivira, Phil Donahue, and Oprah Winfrey. After Phil Donahue and 60 Minutes, he received over 20,000 requests including many from psychotherapists who wished to be trained in his methods. He was on many radio talk shows. especially Owen Span. There were magazine articles in Vogue, Parade, the New York Times Magazine, Playgirl, People. Family Circle, Glamor, Reader's Digest, and even a U.S. Public Health Service Pamphlet.
There were many newspaper stories including the LA Times that ran five stories, three in one year alone, the NY Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In 1979, there were 51 newspaper stories and in 1983 he was in Ann Lander's column.
These articles generated over 50,000 requests for help from all over the world.
In 1975, Dr. Hardy started TERRAP (acronym for territorial apprehension) to further develop his method and to set up a network of therapists trained in his method and using the materials he developed. Over 45 TERRAP centers were set internationally. His method became more and more refined becoming a comprehensive cognitive and behavior therapy program consisting of education, relaxation, desensitization, field work, discussion of how thinking patterns affect behavior, communication, and assertiveness training with field work.
One difference from other therapies was that Dr. Hardy's method was always based in the real world. For example, patient's might practice assertiveness training by going to a local supermarket and returning a banana. Patient's worked on extending their areas of security by driving further and further form home, relaxing to the experience, or extending the people they felt secure with by doing things with new people.
Dr. Hardy helped found the Phobia Society of America (now the Anxiety Disorder Association of America) to provide information about the condition. He was on the Board of Directors from 1980 to 1984 and was President from 1984 to 1987.
Dr. Hardy practiced what I call leverage, through the media, a business organization (TERRAP), and an association, he helped thousands more people than he could have ever helped as a solo psychiatrist. I try to practice this concept in my profession by working for a publisher of psychological materials. Through our materials we help millions of people.
The profession followed Dr. Hardy's lead and more and more psychiatrists and psychologists began practicing similar methods. Many researchers acknowledged what they called the TERRAP method. More and more research showed the power of what Dr. Hardy had developed. He received numerous awards including an award form the American Psychiatric Association, the University of Nebraska, and two awards from the Anxiety Disorder Association of America.
In 1984, Dr. Hardy married Crucita who loves him deeply and was very good for him. She was wonderful to him through his battle with cancer.
The day before he died, Michael Friedman, a psychologist with the Cleveland TERRAP and a close friend of Dr. Hardy's, visited and told him that he had been to the important Consensus Conference held by the National Institutes of Health. The conclusion at the conference was that research indicated that the cognitive and behavior therapy method, Dr. Hardy's method, was superior to any other treatment, including pharmaceutical treatments. When Dr. Hardy heard this conclusion, his comment was, "We knew this all along, didn't we."
The way Dr. Hardy died was also characteristic of one of his beliefs. He would talk about the old model of medicine where a physician would go to a patient's home and they would charge the rich a lot and the poor very little. When Dr. Hardy was in his final distress, a neighbor physician came and helped him be more comfortable. After he had left, we asked who he was and no one knew his name. He was there because it was the right thing to do.
Dr. Hardy was a man who helped so many in so many ways. Many of us can attest to how he changed our lives. He was a pioneer whose life sent ripples around the world, who believed in jumping in and succeeding at anything he set his mind to, whose unshakable belief in people, and whose constant giving to those in need were a powerful combination that we will always be grateful for. Through his TERRAP Program, he lives on in all of our lives.