What is a Psychologist?
Psychology is both a science and a profession. It is the study of behavior and experience. Psychologists work to develop reliable scientific knowledge based on research. They then use that knowledge to help people with everyday problems.
Psychologists are trained to understand the biological, mental, emotional, and social bases for human behavior. Clinical psychologists specialize in the psychological diagnosis, psychotherapy, and research into the causes and treatments of emotional problems.
Psychologists typically complete more graduate course work on human behavior than any other mental health professional or physician. After earning a four-year college degree in psychology, they complete an additional four to six years of full-time graduate study resulting in a doctoral degree (Ph.D.), followed by a one-year residency and one year supervised experience. (10-12 years of full-time study before licensure).
To become a licensed psychologist, one must complete written and oral exams covering all areas within psychology as well as a written exam on state laws and ethics given by the State Board of Examiners.
What is Psychological Testing?
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What is the Difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
A psychologist generally will have a “Ph.D.” degree. A Psychiatrist will have a “M.D.” Psychologists are experts in the use of therapy and behavior change techniques, psychological testing and assessment. A psychiatrist will have a general medical training followed by specific residency in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are trained in the use of psychotropic medication and assessing biological causes of emotional disturbance. A psychologist will often work with a psychiatrist, providing assessment data useful in selecting appropriate medications or adjusting the dosage of medication. A psychologist will also work with non-psychiatrist physicians or family doctors to provide assessment data useful in managing patient care.
How do I know if you can help me with my problems?
No one can know for sure. Every situation is unique in its own way. It is first important to consider the training and background of the psychologist. No psychologist can be all things to all people. Consider if the psychologist has experience with similar situations and if so, how extensive is that experience. There is a big difference between a psychologist who has completed thousands of evaluations and one who does testing every once in a while. Psychologists have strict ethical guidelines about practicing outside their areas of expertise. Usually a psychologist would assess your situation either before or during your first visit. At that time the doctor will be able to form an initial assessment as to whether your needs fall within his or her area of expertise. If he or she is unable to help, they may be able to make an appropriate referral based on this initial assessment.
A psychologist can help you identify your problems, and then figure out ways to cope with them; to change contributing behaviors or habits; or find constructive ways to deal with a situation that is beyond your control.
Does therapy work?
Therapy works by helping you look objectively at behaviors, feelings, and thoughts in situations you find problematic. It helps you to learn more effective ways in dealing with those situations. Therapy is a collaborative effort. You and your psychologist will identify your goals – what you want to have happen, and agree on how you’ll know when you’re making progress. Your psychologist will talk to you about of time it may take to help you make changes.
Nine out of ten Americans surveyed by Consumer Reports said that psychotherapy had helped them. In another recent major national study, half of the patients studied were making improvements after eight sessions and over 75 percent after about 20 sessions. Several studies have link the benefits of therapy to reduced medical visits, increased productivity at work, and improved quality of life.
Do you accept insurance?
We accept most insurance plans. However, what your particular plan covers can vary quite a bit from plan to plan. Coverage can depend on whether we are in or out of your network, deductibles that may not have been met, and other limitations. We are currently providers under Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare South, Value Options, as well as a few others. The best way to find out your exact coverage is to call the 1-800 number that is usually on the back of your insurance card. Provide them the contact information and the service you are requesting. They will be able to tell you exactly what your coverage is, what deductibles apply, what your copay would be for each visit and so on. If we are not a provider in your network, ask them about your out of network benefits which can still be reasonably good.
If it turns out we are not on your plan please discuss payment options with us. We take most major credit cards which can help in spreading out the impact of fees.
How do I make an appointment?
It’s easy, just call. Our main number is 281-554-6100. Please understand that we maintain a voice mail system to maintain confidentiality and accuracy of messages. Over the years we have found that most of the people we work with prefer this method to other alternatives. While it limits direct availability that one might have with having a receptionist answer, it does maximize confidentiality. You know that when you call only your doctor will listen to the message. When you call for the first time choose option #1 if you are new to our practice, #2 for Dr. Jones, #3 for Dr. Zinn or #4 for Lindsay Weinmann. You may also request a consultation by using this link: Click here to schedule a consultation