John T. Stallworth, J.D., Ph.D.
David S. Litton, Ph.D.
Carol Pierce-Davis, Ph.D.
Rebecca Redwood, LMSW-ACP
Theodore Carlos, M.A., LPC
Whitney Humphrey, M.A., LMFT-A
Dona Stallworth, Ph.D.

A Guide to Psychological Health Care

A Psychologist May Be Helpful

When feelings and problems seem beyond your control, a psychologist may be helpful. Common signs of trouble that may lead you to seek psychological help are:

  • feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • sad feelings that persist
  • fears that seem excessive or disabling
  • excessive nervousness and tension
  • changes in mood or behavior
  • excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • overeating
  • difficulties in relationships with others
  • sexual difficulties
  • an inability to concentrate or remember
  • problems adjusting to physical illness
  • difficulty in coping with daily situations

For your child or adolescent the signals may include:

  • resistance to school attendance
  • learning difficulties
  • under-achievement
  • bedwetting
  • over-activity or lethargic behavior
  • frequent nightmares
  • exaggerating or falsifying the truth
  • headache or stomach ache with no medical basis
  • poor peer relationships
  • withdrawal from family/friends
  • sexual promiscuity
  • running away or delinquent behaviors
  • alcohol or drug use

Services Psychologists Offer

Psychologists assess and treat a broad range of emotional, mental, and behavioral problems, whether those problems are related to life adjustment or illness and injury. Services provided by a psychologist may include:

  • Assessment of intellectual functioning, learning disabilities, academic abilities, and vocational interests
  • Evaluation of personality or social, emotional and behavioral problems
  • Individual, group, marital or family counseling and psychotherapy
  • Specialized approaches such as biofeedback, relaxation training, hypnotherapy, mediation services, grief counseling, and pain or stress management

Finding a Qualified Psychologist
To find a qualified psychologist you may:

  • Inquire of friends and family who may have recommendations
  • Inquire through the referral service of your local area psychological association. Local psychological associations affiliated with Texas Psychological Association (TPA) are listed on the back cover. For further locating information, contact TAP (512) 454-2449.
  • Ask another professional, such as school counselor, physician, attorney, or minister
  • Look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory under "psychologists" and speak directly with a psychologist about services offered and qualifications

Information for Consumers of Psychological Services

Psychologists engaged in independent psychological practice in Texas must be licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Such licensing requires that the psychologist:

  • Be trained at the doctoral level - Ph.D., Ed.D., or Psy.D.
  • Achieve qualifying scores on certification exams and on an oral examination
  • Have two years supervised experience, typically a pre-doctoral internship year and a year of postdoctoral supervised work/training
  • The American Psychological Association, Texas Psychological Association, and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists have established a code of ethics and standards for providers of psychological services as an effort to assure that the psychologist you consult will:
  • Meet basic standards in training and experience
  • Practice only in specialized areas where he or she has competence
  • Develop a plan to help you cope with your problem's
  • Be mindful of your legal and civil rights
  • Know about and use the network of human services in your community when referral to another resource is needed
  • Keep proper records of the services you receive
  • Maintain confidentiality in accord with legal and ethical requirements.

There are certain things you can do to be an informed consumer of psychological service:

  • During your first contact with a psychologist, discuss your problems and find out what you can expect in terms of treatment.
  • Ask about the psychologist's training, experience, and skills to treat your problem. You may also contact the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (see below for address and telephone number) for basic information about any psychologist - date licensed, degree, school, and information about training or practice.
  • Discuss length of treatment. For some problems short-term treatment of no more than twelve sessions is sufficient. When problems have persisted or are complex, longer treatment may be necessary.
  • Ask about cost. Fees are customarily based on an hourly rate. Expect fees to be in line with those of other highly trained professionals. If the cost would create a hardship, most psychologists will assist you in finding appropriate services within your budget. Most often health insurance will cover at least a percentage of charges for psychological services. Study your policy or ask your insurance agent if you are uncertain. In addition to private health insurance, Medicare is a source of reimbursement for psychological services offered by Medicare providers.

If dissatisfied with treatment, it is recommended that you discuss your concerns with the psychologist. A second opinion might be requested of another psychologist or outside consultant. If concerns continue and unethical behavior is alleged, you may contact the local area psychological association, the Texas Psychological Association (6633 East Highway 29O, Suite 305, Austin, TX 78723), and/or the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (9101 Burnet Road, Suite 212, Austin, TX 78758, telephone 512-8352036).

  • In Your Area
  • Abilene Psychological Association
  • Bell County Psychological Association
  • Bexar County Psychological Association
  • Brazos Valley Psychological Association
  • Capital Area Psychological Association
  • Dallas Psychological Association
  • East Texas Psychological Association
  • El Paso Psychological Society
  • Greater West Texas Psychological Association
  • Houston Psychological Association
  • Montgomery County Psychological Association
  • McLennan County Psychological Association
  • Nueces County Psychological Association
  • Panhandle Psychological Association
  • Red River Psychological Association
  • Rio Grande Valley Psychological Association
  • Southeast Texas Psychological Association
  • Tarrant County Psychological Association
  • Texoma Psychological Association
  • Victoria Psychological Association

    For more information, contact:

    Texas Psychological Association
    6633 East Highway 290, Suite 305
    Austin, 1X 78723 (512) 454-2449
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