Texas Child Study Center Services

At the Texas Child Study Center, we provide evidence-based treatment for children with emotional and cognitive diagnoses and work with their families to provide understanding and guidance. We have developed disease-specific assessment and treatment programs to address conditions such as autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders (including social phobia, specific phobias, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder), depression (including self-injury and suicide attempts) and post-traumatic stress. Our approach includes ongoing assessment to evaluate the impact of treatment on children’s symptoms and functioning, and feedback to kids and families on their progress.

We also provide assessment and treatment for children and adolescents with acute or chronic medical illnesses, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, obesity, and traumatic injuries to address co-occurring mental health issues that these youth often face.

The Texas Child Study Center provides core mental health services, including:

  • Psychiatric and psychological evaluations
  • Neuropsychological and emotional testing
  • Individual therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Parenting sessions, including behavioral parent training for conduct problems
  • Medication management
  • Workshop trainings for community professionals

Services at the Texas Child Study Center are provided by a team of clinicians trained to provide the highest quality of care in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment that includes psychiatry, psychology and social work. Because youth are embedded within many social contexts, our team achieves optimal results by working with individuals, families, schools and communities.

Therapy Services

If you are interested in therapy services for your child, please call (512) 324-3315. Our front desk staff will schedule a time for you and your child to participate in an initial intake interview. During the intake, you and your child will typically meet with a psychologist and a psychology trainee to help gather information. The purpose of the intake is to better understand your concerns and determine how we can help.

By the end of the intake, we plan to provide you with our diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations. If TCSC can offer your child the services he or she needs, we will work together to match you to the appropriate specialty clinic that fit the needs of your child and family.

We encourage parents to complete the intake packet prior to their intake appointment. This will reduce the amount of paperwork you will need to complete at the time of the intake appointment, as you will also complete questionnaires during the intake that will help us understand your concerns.

Disruptive Behavior Disorders Specialty Clinic

The Disruptive Behavior Disorders Clinic/Program provides assessments and evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with behavior management including:

  • Symptoms related to ADHD (inattention/distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity)
  • Difficulty with organization/completing tasks
  • Refusing to obey/arguing with adults
  • Dawdling
  • Yelling/screaming
  • Temper tantrums/anger outbursts
  • Sassing adults
  • Aggression (hitting, biting, kicking)
  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Teasing/provoking other children
  • Trouble following rules at home, school, community

Examples of evidence-based treatments provided in this program include parent-child interaction therapy for children ages three to seven and parent-skills training for youth ages eight to 17. School consultation is also offered to help improve behavioral functioning in academic settings. Although interventions are based in evidence-based practice, treatment plans are collaboratively formed to help meet the unique needs of each child and family.

Internalizing Disorders Specialty Clinic

The Internalizing Disorders Specialty Clinic at TCSC provides evaluation and therapy services for children and adolescents with a primary presenting concern of anxiety and/or depression. Children experiencing a variety of internalizing symptoms are seen within this clinic, including:

  • Feeling nervous, scared or worried
  • Avoidance or anxious anticipation of situations or specific objects
  • Feelings of intense fear
  • Physiological symptoms related to anxiety (e.g., sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort)
  • Performing certain behaviors or rituals to reduce or neutralize anxious thoughts and feelings
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness and/or worthlessness
  • Diminished interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns
  • Feeling tired or having little energy
  • Symptoms related to traumatic experiences (e.g., nightmares, remembering the trauma at undesired times, mood and behavior problems, negative thoughts about oneself, problems with concentration, avoiding things/people that are reminders of the trauma, feelings of being distant or unreal)

Typically, the therapy approach utilized is cognitive-behavioral therapy, but treatment may include other therapeutic approaches with research support. Collaboration with families, teachers, and other providers (i.e., pediatricians, psychiatrists) is strongly emphasized throughout treatment to provide optimal patient care. An evidenced-based family approach to treating trauma (trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy) is used to help children and families adjust to life after traumatic experiences.

Medical Coping Specialty Clinic

The Medical Coping Specialty Clinic of TCSC provides therapeutic support related to coping with a newly diagnosed illness, acute illness, or ongoing chronic illness. Primarily based in cognitive-behavioral approach, clinicians will focus on adjustment to possible stressors as well as provide different coping strategies to manage and adjust to ongoing illness medical regimens, complications, acute inflammations, or developmental stressors. A team approach with medical providers, families and children is strongly emphasized to ensure success.

Medical coping specialty clinic psychologists will provide service to children, adolescents and their families needing help with:

  • Evaluation and treatment of depression, anxiety or behavioral disorders in children and adolescents with acute and chronic medical conditions
  • Relaxation techniques for pain conditions and anxiety disorders related to medical conditions
  • Improving adherence to medical regimens, including medications, nutrition, exercise, etc.
  • Coping and adjustment to medical diagnosis (including difficulty with procedural anxiety, pill swallowing, and school avoidance/re-entry)
  • Motivation/barriers to behavior change
  • Learning and maintaining behaviors that lead to improved health/disease outcomes, including stress management
  • Developmentally appropriate transitions in managing illness and gaining independence
  • Self-management skills and preparation for the transition from pediatric to adult-centered medical care
  • School consultation (including 504 educational plans)
  • Family/sibling support

Eating Disorder Specialty Clinic

The Eating Disorder Specialty Clinic at TCSC is dedicated to promoting the emotional and physical wellbeing of adolescents and teens who are struggling with disordered eating problems in which the young person is overly preoccupied with weight and/or food to the extent that it is difficult to focus on other developmentally appropriate aspects of his or her life. The three main types of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia nervosa – The young person believes that he or she is overweight despite being normal weight or underweight and subsequently restricts their caloric intake to the point of starvation
  • Bulimia nervosa – The young person eats excessive amounts of food, then attempts to rid him or herself of the calories by purging through self-induced vomiting, laxative use and/or over exercise
  • Binge eating – The young person has eating habits/patterns that are out of his or her control but does not engage in compensatory purging behaviors

The Eating Disorders Specialty Clinic is currently the only outpatient community mental health treatment center in Texas providing manualized family-based Maudsley treatment (FBT) delivered by a licensed psychologist who is under direct supervision towards certification as an FBT-Maudsley provider.

The Maudsley approach stresses in the importance of the child remaining with his or her family (when medically appropriate) and collaborates with parents as the best allies for recovery. Parents are believed to be the best qualified to fight the illness, help their child return to a healthy weight and end unhealthy behaviors. The treatment team also includes the child’s pediatrician and/or other health professionals to monitor medical progress and communicate relevant concerns should they arise.

General Outpatient Specialty Clinic

The General Outpatient Specialty Clinic at TCSC provides evaluations and therapeutic treatment to children and their families for a range of behavioral, psychological, and adjustment difficulties. Children and families who are referred to the clinic are evaluated and subsequently provided with time-limited, evidence-based interventions delivered in developmentally appropriate ways to increase positive, effective coping and reduce the likelihood of escalation into more serious difficulties. Some of the concerns commonly addressed within the General Outpatient Clinic include:

  • Coping with divorce
  • School changes
  • Family re-location
  • Death of a loved one/pet
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Adolescent/teen relationship issues