I received my PhD from the University of North Texas in 1976 and was licensed as a psychologist in 1978. My first six years of practice was spent in community mental health centers around the state of Texas. At one point, I was the Chief Psychologist at Wichita Falls Stated Hospital for four years. These early experiences prepared me to function in a variety of clinical settings with a widely diverse population of patients.
In 1989, I entered the private sector, as a staff psychologist at the Center for Psychiatric Medicine in Houston, Texas, treating patients with chronic pain both as inpatients and outpatients. Patients were taught self-management skills and educated about pain and maximizing the quality of life with pain. I also ran a group for family members with a focus on adjusting to the impact of chronic pain on the family. My experience there strengthened my awareness of the connection between mind and body and the importance of addressing both in treatment.
In 1992, I joined the staff at St David’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Austin, Texas as a psychologist in the inpatient pain management program. That program was similar to the one at CPM. Three years later, the program was discontinued and I was absorbed into the inpatient rehabilitation program. For the next eighteen years, I worked with literally hundreds of patients and their families who suddenly found themselves facing adjustment to life changing, often catastrophic, injuries and illnesses. Most of the patients there were experiencing severe trauma and pain as well. Many patients and families were delighted to be treated by a Christian psychologist at a time of crisis in which their faith was seen as a resource and incorporated into the adjustment and healing process.
Since 2013, I have maintained a private outpatient psychology practice with a focus on treating individuals with trauma, PTSD, persistent pain, and chronic, often debilitating illness. My interest in chronic pain is personal. I experienced persistent low back pain for thirty-five years as a result of two motorcycle incidents. I know firsthand how limiting pain can be and how important it is to do regular self-maintenance such as exercise, pacing, stretching and practicing good body mechanics, good nutrition and stress management. I practice what I preach. I have exercised most days since September of 1976. I love hiking and photography. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. The trails in Georgetown, Texas are pretty great, too.
As I work with people, I view them through the lens of adaptation, i.e., always doing the best they can, given their life experiences rather than seeing them as being sick, dysfunctional or some other way that engenders guilt, shame, or blame. I carry hope, encouragement, humor and joy and share those with my patients. My goal for each person I treat is to release them to be able to choose to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
I maintain my vision of hope and joy through my faith in God, my loving wife and family, exercise and my childlike fascination with nature – where I spend as much time as I possible can.
SERVICES AND FEES
Individual psychotherapy is the primary modality of treatment provided. Family consultation may be a part of the therapy as an adjunct to address the impact of the client’s condition on the family.
The fee for services is $150 per session. Self-pay and insurance are accepted. I am a provider for:
Scheduled appointments must be canceled at least 24 hours in advance in order to avoid a $50 service charge.
If you are worried about your immediate safety or the safety of a loved one call 911.
Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy
Francine Shapiro, PhD
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
Bessel van der Kolk, MD
In 1987, psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. made the chance observation that certain eye movements can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts, under the right conditions. She went on to develop her observation of this effect through scientific research and in 1989 published a study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. Her research study reported success using EMDR therapy to treat victims of trauma. Since then, EMDR therapy has developed and evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers in a variety of research and clinical settings all over the world. Today, EMDR therapy is a set of standardized protocols and procedures that incorporate elements from many different treatment approaches.
In addition to having been scientifically validated as being effective for post- traumatic stress, EMDR therapy has been reported as being helpful in treating a variety of clinical conditions including:
Traumatic effects of sexual and/or physical abuse
Chronic medical conditions
Persistent or chronic pain
EMDR therapy has a direct effect on the way the brain processes and stores information. Normal information processing is restored such that following a successful course of EMDR therapy, a person no longer relives the images, sounds and feelings when the event is brought to mind. What happened is remembered, but it is much less upsetting if at all. In essence, the brain is allowed to process the memory as it processes normal non-traumatic memories. EMDR can be thought of as a brain based approach that helps a person recall disturbing events in a new and less distressing way.
An actual EMDR therapy session as described by EMDRIA looks like this. A client and therapist identify a specific problem as the target of the treatment session(s). The client is instructed to bring to mind the disturbing memory, what was seen, felt, heard, thought, smelled, etc., and what thoughts and beliefs are currently held by the client about themselves as a result of that event. The therapist directs movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain such as alternating bilateral auditory tones, or vibrations usually accomplished through small hand held paddles. While noticing the back and forth bilateral stimulation, the client also focuses on the disturbing memory and reports whatever comes to mind without editing the content or trying to control the flow of thought. Each person will process information uniquely, based on personal experiences and values. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory is reported as less disturbing and is associated with positive beliefs about one’s self such as, “I did the best I could.” During the EMDR therapy, a client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a reduction in the level of disturbance. The EMDR protocol is standardized across therapists however, the client is in control of the process and arrives at their own creative solution to the disturbing memory or event in their own unique way.