While most health care services grouped under a specialty are
usually similar (for example, one eye doctor is much
like any other eye doctor) the same is not true for
mental health specialists. There are significant
differences in academic education, expertise in
assessment, licensure requirements, and continuing
education. In the state of Texas a Licensed Psychologist
will have a doctorate degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D.),
graduation from an accredited program from a approved
university, and successfully complete both a written and
Along with the extensive
educational and practicum experience each therapist will
tend to use a particular form of psychotherapy or
counseling that fits their way of approaching the
process. With over 400 types of psychotherapy there can
be a wide range of possibilities as to what perspective
the therapist works from.
I tend toward a model of
counseling that combines cognitive and behavioral
approaches to help my clients achieve their goals.
Cognitive therapy is formed around the idea that how we
think influences and directs our actions. As we walk
through our daily lives we engage in an internal thought
process that establishes our judgments about situation
and what actions we should take based on the rules that
we operate from. These rules were established when we
were growing up and sometimes do not fit our current
situation. Learning to capture these "rules" and
cognitively challenge them with more refined beliefs is
the essence of this approach.
emphasize the importance of gathering the "evidence" for
a particular thought or action. A common issue in
counseling involves negative self-image such as a sense
that one is stupid or unable to sustain relationships.
This "prediction" is challenged and a measurable plan of
action is set up that will either confirm or deny the
I view counseling as tending toward short-term length of
therapy with the client involved in completing homework
assignments between sessions. Written materials are
provided to help this "real-time" practice so that
central points can be reinforced.
Individuals are typically
seen for 45-50 minutes once a week. I encourage
communication between sessions via the telephone or by
email. More frequent sessions may be used in times of
new stressors. Contact with others involved with the
person in individual counseling may be included.
I do not offer couples or
marriage counseling but refer out to other practitioners
who offer services in those areas. I have also stopped
working with individuals under the age of 18.
I offer group counseling
from time to time as sufficient numbers of interested
individuals are found. Groups that I have offered in the
past include: Coping with Physical Health Problems;
Grief and Loss; Parenting; Finding Intimacy; and