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Psychology and Neuropsychology Evaluation and Therapy

Individuals encountering problems with cognition, emotional functioning or behavioral functioning may benefit from services of our psychology and neuropsychology team.

The team of licensed psychologists at TIRR Memorial Hermann includes specialists in clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and rehabilitation psychology.

Psychologists are involved in the care of most patients admitted to our inpatient programs at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital and provide a range of services for patients seen in outpatient settings, including TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Clinic and TIRR Challenge Program.

The Role of the Psychologist

Psychologists are active members of the treatment team. Roles that the psychologist may serve on the interdisciplinary rehabilitation team include:

  • Assisting in the identification of cognitive/emotional strengths and weaknesses to help clarify diagnosis and guide treatment recommendations.
  • Providing cognitive rehabilitation services to improve functioning within the treatment setting and within the community.
  • Assisting patients and their families in coping with and adapting to the effects of injury or illness.
  • Assisting patients and families in developing strategies to prevent secondary complications and to promote healthy behaviors.
  • Working together with other members of the interdisciplinary team to identify and implement strategies to assist in maximizing participation in therapies and maximizing functional outcomes.
  • Working with patients and family to identify goals, and to develop and utilize strategies that assist them in meeting their goals within the home, workplace, school or other community setting.

Evaluation Services

Evaluation services offered include cognitive screening and monitoring, monitoring of mood and behavior, psychological assessments and therapy.

Cognitive Screening and Monitoring

For those admitting to TIRR Memorial Hermann who present with changes in cognitive functioning, the neuropsychologist will be involved in conducting brief evaluations of responsiveness, orientation, attention, memory, and other cognitive abilities to monitor progress over time and to guide treatment.

Monitoring of Mood and Behavior

Psychologists will conduct brief screenings of mood, affect, and behavior to monitor coping and to identify needs for additional supportive services.

Comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment

Neuropsychological testing is a way to examine brain function as indicated by cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, visuospatial abilities, and problem-solving. Other abilities assessed may include motor skills, emotional status, academic abilities, and functional abilities. Neuropsychological tests provide an objective measure of an individual's strengths and weaknesses.

Neuropsychological assessment has a major role in diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and educational and vocational planning. It is valuable for pre- and post-treatment assessment. Neuropsychologists at TIRR MH provide assessment services on an inpatient and outpatient basis to children, adolescents, and adults with the following conditions or needs:

  • Traumatic brain injury,stroke, and other acquired brain injury (for example, hypoxia, infection, brain tumor).
  • Degenerative disease (for example, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis).
  • Medical conditions affecting brain functioning (for example, cardiovascular, renal, liver, respiratory disorders, infectious diseases).
  • Memory, attention, or language problems that impair functioning
  • Upcoming or recent neurosurgery

Psychological Assessment

Psychologists at TIRR MH provide psychological assessment services to evaluate factors such as mood, personality, and coping resources to assist with treatment planning for psychotherapy or other services. Psychologists provide assessment services to assist in identification of such conditions as:

  • Mood disorders (for example, Major Depressive Disorder)
  • Anxiety disorders (for example, Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
  • Adjustment disorders (for example, Adjustment disorder with Depressed Mood)
  • Other mental health conditions (for example, thought disorders, impulse control disorders, substance abuse and dependence, personality disorders)

In addition, psychological assessments are provided to assist with presurgical evaluations, such as those requested for:

  • Spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain management
  • Surgical decompression surgery for occipital neuralgia

Therapy Services

Psychologists and neuropsychologists at TIRR Memorial Hermann provide treatment services that aim to increase function and quality of life for persons living with disability, activity limitations, and societal participation restrictions.

The focus is on assisting individuals and their support systems in coping with, and adapting to, the effects of the injury or illness. Psychologists work together with an interdisciplinary team of professionals and the persons served to help maximize individual functioning as well as to broaden participation in important social roles, such as relationships and activities, recreation, education, employment, and general community life.

Supportive Counseling/Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating emotional and behavioral concerns by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy helps you learn how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.

Psychotherapy may focus on helping identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. Psychotherapy may help to increase awareness of and acceptance of thoughts and feelings and then to commit to making changes, increasing the ability to cope with and adjust to situations.

Behavioral Health Interventions

Psychologists assist patients with helping promote health and prevent and treat health conditions. They work with patients to help them develop healthy habits and choices, including:

  • Training in self-management
  • Use of specific behavioral strategies (such as relaxation training)
  • Cognitive-behavioral approaches for assistance with problems such as stress management, insomnia, and chronic medical conditions

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Psychologists and neuropsychologist assist patients with developing skills and strategies to address areas of cognitive difficulty, such as problems with:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Visuospatial functioning
  • Planning and problem-solving
  • Social communication skills

Services are provided in either group or individual sessions with a focus on increasing functioning in important life roles outside of the treatment environment.

Behavioral Assessment and Management

Psychologists and neuropsychologists work together with the treatment team to identify and manage problem behaviors. Systematic evaluation is conducted to identify the specific behavior problem, its frequency and setting of occurrence, and its functional purpose to assist with developing a plan to help manage the behavior.

Strategies such as positive reinforcement, differential reinforcement of preferred behaviors, and other behavioral techniques are used to promote more adaptive behaviors and discourage maladaptive behaviors with the ultimate goal being to lead to functioning that will maximize the individual's ability to participate in meaningful life roles.

Return to School Transition

For individuals returning to school after sustaining injury, our psychology team assists with facilitating a smooth transition back to the classroom

Psychologists and neuropsychologists, along with other members of the interdisciplinary team, will work with students, parents, and school officials to identify accommodations and supports to help the student be able to participate successfully in the academic environment. The psychology team also assists with preparing the student and school peers/staff for the social and emotional adjustment issues involved in return to school. These services are provided at both our inpatient and outpatient locations.

Education

Psychologists and neuropsychologists provide education to patients and family members regarding several topics of interest, including brain structure and function, behavioral management, stress management, and coping. Education is provided in individual and group sessions and is tailored to individual patient and family needs.

Referrals

Patients or families interested in inpatient or outpatient programs at TIRR Memorial Hermann may contact us or call (713) 797-5942 or toll-free (800) 44-REHAB (73422).