Arón Bautista opened the Austin Center for Therapy and Assessment (ACTA) doors for the first time in the summer of 2007. It is his aim to provide the most comfortable and serene environment possible so that ACTA patients can confidently work through their concerns. He addresses patient concerns using a variety of approaches including cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, solution focused, and rational emotive techniques. In counseling work, he tailors his approach for each client based on their concerns, personality style, developmental level, and the nature of their treatment goals. Mr. Bautista also provides psychological assessment services in conjunction with Dr. Byrne and neuropsychological assessment services under the supervision of Dr. Jim Harrison.He specializes in the assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, but is also quite competent in assessing and treating other mental health concerns.
Mr. Bautista developed ACTA after years of planning and preparation. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Austin College, a small liberal arts school north of Dallas. He continued his education at the University of North Texas where he completed the Master of Counseling Psychology program. His graduate school external practicum in Dallas, Texas focused primarily on neuropsychological and psychological assessment of adults with various concerns ranging from depression, to learning disabilities, to attention deficit disorder, to brain injuries.
After completing graduate school, Mr. Bautista worked at two private practices in the North Texas area completing internships in adult and child neuropsychological and psychological assessment. During that time, he strengthened his counseling skills, working with diverse populations and age ranges. He also supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate interns, as well as post-graduate interns in assessment work.
Mr. Bautista returned to Austin in 2005 and began working at a private practice in Westlake. During that time, he developed skills in neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback and completed several training programs in the field. Neurotherapy fits in well with Mr. Bautista’s skill set and adds another component of the patient’s life which can be addressed and improved. Currently, he is using neurotherapy services to address attentional problems with children and adults.
Mr. Bautista is a third generation native Austinite with a strong personal connection to the diverse culture, natural beauty, and rich history of the town. When he is not at the practice, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs, scuba diving, traveling in Central America, and teaching karate to children and adults.
Mr. Bautista is licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Austin Neuropsychological Society.
Dr. Claudia D. Byrne graduated with her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota and undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has completed traineeships at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in both St. Cloud and Minneapolis, Minnesota in Substance Abuse Treatment, inpatient psychiatry, and behavioral medicine. Other rotations in behavioral medicine were completed at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital within the intensive-care and burn units.
Dr. Byrne’s predoctoral residency was conducted at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida and her postdoctoral residency was at IMPOWR Chronic Pain Program in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Byrne’s clinical experiences include serving clients in a Chronic Pain Management Clinic, Medical Practice, Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, University Counseling Center, Community Mental Health Agency, nursing home, and in Private Practice.
Dr. Byrne has conducted workshops on treating sexual abuse for the Veterans Administration and on coping with Alzheimer’s Disease for the Alzheimer’s Association.
She is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, American Academy of Pain Management, International Association of Pain and Chemical Dependency, and Capital Area Psychological Association. She is listed with the National Register for Health Service Providers in Psychology. She is also a member of the Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology Divisions of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Jim Harrison graduated with his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas, after an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas. He completed an internship in Child Psychology at the Child Study Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. A fellowship focusing on adult and child neuropsychology was completed at a consortium associated with the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas.
Dr. Harrison was the founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Psychological Development, a regional treatment and assessment center providing services to children and adults across North Texas and Southern Oklahoma. He has over 20 years of experience providing psychological and neuropsychological assessments for children and adults, with expertise in evaluating autism, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as other neurological diseases affecting brain functioning. In addition, he has expertise is evaluation and treatment of psychological trauma, as well as the forensic evaluation of children’s outcries in child abuse cases.
He has provided inpatient consultations at various acute care, rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, as well as providing services under contracts with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the Veteran’s Administration, Mental Health Mental Retardation programs, Juvenile Probation departments, and Juvenile Detention Centers. He has served as a court appointed expert in hundreds of cases in both civil and criminal trials.
Dr. Harrison has provided seminars and workshops on such topics as the neuropsychological evaluation of autism and dementia, forensically sensitive child psychotherapy, cognitive rehabilitation with ADHD and traumatic brain injury patients, developmental evaluation of preschool children, and the neuropsychological underpinnings of psychiatric disorders. He has provided supervision to psychology students, interns, and post-doctoral psychologists, including serving as the Training Director of an APPIC approved internship program.
He has been a member of the American Psychological Association, Texas Psychological Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and International Neuropsychology Society. He served as the President of the Texoma Area Psychological Association.
Katie Dahm is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and earned her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Austin College, a small liberal arts college north of Dallas. Ms. Dahm is currently a second year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas.
Ms. Dahm has experience working with diverse populations, particularly dealing with issues of trauma and abuse. She was previously a refugee and immigrant counselor at Mosaic Family Services in Dallas, working with women and children victims of family violence. In addition, she was a volunteer counselor at Center for Survivors of Torture in Dallas. Her clients ranged from all over the world, including Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Ms. Dahm also provided individual and group counseling to children victims of physical and sexual abuse at the Grayson County Children's Advocacy Center.
In addition to therapeutic services, Ms. Dahm has much experience conducting assessment at a private practice in Sherman. She completed psychological and neuropsychological assessments on children, adolescents, and adults addressing issues related to learning disabilities, developmental disorders, traumatic brain injuries, psychological disorders, neurological disorders, and age-related cognitive disorders. In addition, Ms. Dahm trained graduate interns on conducting assessments and report writing. Her graduate practicum included working with adolescents at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center conducting psychological assessments as well as group and individual therapy. Her group experiences have focused on anger management, social skills, girls' empowerment, grief, and trauma.
Currently, Ms. Dahm is only providing psychological assessment services in conjunction with Dr. Claudia Byrne and neuropsychological assessment services in conjunction with Dr. Jim Harrison at ACTA.
Ms. Dahm enjoys spending her free time running, doing yoga, and taking her dog to the many dog-friendly Austin sites. She is a graduate student member of Texas Psychological Association and American Psychological Association.
Ms. Snow, originally from New Mexico, earned a liberal arts degree with a major in Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2003. She completed her Masters Degree in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in 2010. Ms. Snow has experience working with geriatric, adult, and adolescent populations in a variety of settings.
Ms. Snow uses a warm, interactive, and supportive approach in working with clients. She believes that the most important part of the counseling process is the therapeutic relationship between the counselor and client. Ms. Snow tailors her approach to best suit the needs of each client as a unique individual, incorporating techniques from therapy models including cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic theories. She specializes in working with concerns including life transitions, stress management, anxiety, social phobia, personality disorders, depression, self-esteem, body image issues, eating disorders, coping with grief and loss, and women’s issues. She offers sliding scale counseling services.
In addition to therapeutic services, Ms. Snow has much experience conducting assessment at the Austin Center for Therapy and Assessment. She has completed neuropsychological and psychological assessments on children, adolescents, and adults addressing issues related to learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and psychological disorders under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Byrne and Dr. James Harrison. She has experience providing therapy services for Hope Hospice and led an experiential therapy group with dementia residents at Querencia of Barton Creek Retirement Community. In addition, her graduate practicum included working with adolescents for Communities in Schools at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.
Tara L. Hooks is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and holds a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. She earned her Bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the field of psychology and pursued a minor in business. While at the University of Texas, Ms. Hooks participated in an organization called 'Women in Psychology' in order to help educate students on campus about mental illness.
Ms. Hooks has experience working with diverse populations, including two years working with Collin County Mental Health Mental Retardation providing counseling, skills training, and crisis management to low-income individuals of all ages with diagnoses of Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. She has also spent time working in the private practice setting in Austin. As a graduate student, Ms. Hooks greatly enjoyed counseling and using various psychological assessment tools to provide students at the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University with the opportunity to develop career aspirations and learn coping skills to manage issues surrounding adjustment to college life. She also helped develop and provide lectures for students, staff, and faculty at Southern Methodist University on topics such as the Psychology of Creativity and Conflict Resolution.
Ms. Hooks provides individual, couples, and family counseling services. Additionally, she has extensive knowledge of and experience with intellectual, psychological, and academic assessment. She works primarily with adolescents and adults of all ages. Her diagnostic specialties include depression, anxiety disorders, Bipolar Disorder, women's issues, ADHD, adjustment disorders, co-dependency, ACOA, self-esteem and social confidence, and grief/loss. Ms. Hooks uses an integrative approach that borrows from relational, cognitive-behavioral, and humanistic approaches when working with clients. She strongly believes that developing a trusting and respectful relationship with each of her clients is necessary for personal growth.
Recently, Ms. Hooks works part-time at the University of Texas at Austin providing individual and group counseling services to students currently enrolled in the university. She is delighted to be working at ACTA two days per week to provide counseling and assessment services to the South Austin community. In her free time, Ms. Hooks enjoys spending time with family and friends, kayaking, running, and yoga.
Thad Cox is a Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and earned his Master’s Degree from the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Austin College, a small liberal arts school north of Dallas. At this time Mr. Cox is working to complete his PhD with a specialization in Health Psychology through Northcentral University while engaging in full time clinical practice.
Coming from a rich background in the therapeutic arts, which incorporates cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, and family-systems approaches, Mr. Cox seeks to provide clients with a strong and trusted ally with whom clients may join to facilitate the understanding, resolution, and healing of emotional wounds and relational turmoil. In this pursuit, it is his simultaneous goal to provide a foundation of trusting support and expertise while assisting clients achieve maximal progress toward their therapeutic goals.
In his clinical experience, Mr. Cox has conducted groups and provided individual treatment in the tradition of Dr. Marsha Linehan, known as Dialectical Behavioral therapy, which provides an in-depth format from which to develop some of life’s most important skills in emotional-regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. Mr. Cox has worked extensively with couples, adolescents and individuals, including those seeking liberation from traumatic histories, substance abuse, and co-dependent relationships.
Mr. Cox is also a Level 2 practitioner of EMDR—a therapeutic modality which has been endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Defense as one of the most effective approaches to resolving acute and complex trauma in the treatment of PTSD and trauma-based anxiety and depression. Mr. Cox also has a special interest in working with children, adolescents, and families undergoing periods of transition and conflict. It is during these times, or immediately following, that new and sometimes difficult realities can be better integrated, thus reducing the duration and complexity of suffering they might otherwise entail. Often past wounds must be addressed later in life, and this experience can ultimately be profoundly liberating.
Mr. Cox is currently providing counseling services for adults and children who are six years old and older.
In his free time, Mr. Cox enjoys getting regular exercise, keeping up with world events, refining his culinary skills, maintaining quality relationships, and practicing cello, yoga, and the healing arts.
Brittany Neece is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in the state of Texas. She holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Edwards University and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the field of psychology and pursued a minor in music. During her internship at St. Edwards, Ms. Neece worked with a diverse population of clientele at Capital Area Counseling (formerly known as Capital Area Mental Health Center). She is experienced in working with couples and families, as well as children and adolescents.
Ms. Neece has extensive experience working with couples regarding varied relationship issues including high conflict, infidelity, divorce, and loss of intimacy. She has completed the Gottman Method Couples Therapy level 1 and 2 Training to enrich techniques used to restore relationships. She has also received training as a facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich Marriage and Premarital Counseling program. Her clinical experience also includes serving clients with severe mental illness diagnoses at Paladin Community Mental Health Center. She is skilled in providing group therapy services, illness management, and functional skills development trainings within this population.
Additionally, Ms. Neece has completed training and advanced-technique workshops in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She currently utilizes EMDR treatments to help clients work through trauma, PTSD, and generalized anxiety. She also has training as a bereavement facilitator for Hospice Austin, and enjoys working with individuals and their families who are experiencing end of life issues or grief related to chronic or terminal illness.
Areas of specialization include grief and loss, anxiety, depression, family system difficulties, chronic pain/illness, and self-esteem. Ms. Neece tailors therapy treatment to meet the needs and characteristics of each client in an attempt to provide the best therapy experience possible for each person. She aims at creating a warm, empathic, and safe environment based on a judgment-free relationship built on trust and compassion.
Ms. Neece also volunteers and does fundraising for the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Austin organization to help decrease negative stigmas related to mental illness. Ms. Neece is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Texas and Austin Associations of Marriage and Family Therapists, the American Counseling Association, and the Texas Counseling Association. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing guitar, singing, traveling, and attending music and comedy shows.