UTHCPC page heaader graphic
language selection graphic
UT links on graphic


Inpatient Services

Outpatient Services

What is mental illness?

Research Opportunities

Employment Opportunities

News & Information


Volunteer Services


Helpful Links

Contact Us

Site Map


Speaker Requests

Areas of Expertise

The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center treats more than 6,000 people annually for various forms of mental illness. UTHCPC, along with The University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute,is also a leading research institution and acts as a teaching facility for psychiatrists, social workers, pharmacists, nurses, and other health professionals. UTHCPC's teaching staff includes graduates and former employees of leading medical schools such as Johns Hopkins, Yale Medical School and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The staff and students participate in research studies ranging from schizophrenia to the effects of drugs on mental illness. Additionally, UTHCPC is committed to educating the community on the value of good mental health. The end result is one of the finest psychiatric centers in the country.

UTHCPC is considered one of the nation's leading resources for information on the following topics:

Schizophrenia . UTHCPC is one of the premier psychiatric centers focusing on the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia. Doctors at UTHCPC are currently conducting several research projects focusing on schizophrenia and treatment including the stability of diagnosis, relationship between the diagnosis and treatment outcome and early prediction of treatment response.

Bipolar Disorder . Within the past few years, UTHCPC has conducted extensive research focusing on the treatment of bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. Doctors at UTHCPC have developed studies and research projects examining the stability of the diagnosis, the relationship between the diagnosis and treatment outcome, early response and the relationship between length of time from discharge until next hospitalization.

UTHCPC continually conducts pharmacological research on both manic and depressive episodes in conjunction with behavioral treatment.

Depression . With an 80 percent success rate, UTHCPC's staff specializes in treating people with depression including bipolar disorder and clinical depression. UTHCPC has developed innovative community programs to reach out to people who may need help. UTHCPC is actively studying the biology of depression and antidepressant drugs, a collaborative project involving UT-Health Science Center at San Antonio, UT-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and George Washington Medical School, involving early prediction of response to treatment.

Children's Mental Illnesses . More than 20,000 children in Harris County have some form of mental illness. Last year doctors at UTHCPC helped more than 500 children overcome problems with mental illnesses including depression, anxiety disorders and conduct disorders.

UTHCPC conducts "Current Perspectives for Children and Adolescents with Mental Illness," a symposium primarily for helping school-based professionals.

Stress Disorders . At UTHCPC, doctors and students are experts in stress disorders and are committed to educating the public on how to manage stress in their daily lives in order to prevent depression or other serious forms of mental illness.

Elderly Mental Illnesses . Many people think mental illness is part of getting old, but it doesn't need to be. UTHCPC experts are available to explain how the proper treatment and care can reduce or eliminate symptoms, allowing people to live happier lives. UTHCPC's doctors work side-by-side with elderly people in the community and within UTHCPC to relieve the stigma of late life mental illness. Some areas of expertise in dealing with elderly mental illnesses within UTHCPC include clinical depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Bipolar Disorder . Within the past few years, UTHCPC has conducted extensive research focusing on the treatment of bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. Doctors at UTHCPC have developed studies and research projects examining the stability of the diagnosis, the relationship between the diagnosis and treatment outcome, early response and the relationship between length of time from discharge until next hospitalization.

UTHCPC continually conducts pharmacological research on both manic and depressive episodes in conjunction with behavioral treatment.

 Anxiety Issues

When you just need a break . Minor stress enables you to face difficult tasks; however, too much stress can leave you paralyzed and unable to function. That's why people need to learn how to minimize stress in their daily routines. The doctors from UTHCPC will present a hands-on program that teaches people how to manage the stresses of everyday life through various techniques including deep breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga and musical activities.

Frightening flashbacks . Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most frightening mental illnesses a person can experience. UTHCPC specialists in PTSD explain the symptoms and help patients identify ways to diminish or alleviate their PTSD symptoms. Doctors suggest methods of treatment such as psychotherapy and offer guidance to families as to where they can receive professional help.

 Family Mental Health Issues

When the honeymoon is over . Now that the whirlwind of the wedding is over, the reality of "'til death do us part" sets in, and living with another person can be a very stressful experience. Doctors will approach the new problems partners face, ranging from monetary issues to taking out the garbage. UTHCPC experts offer newlyweds advice on how to fight fairly, settle differences calmly and without blame and how to ease into a happy marriage.

Uprooting your family without ruining your lives . You've just landed the job that will make your career, but it involves moving your family across the country. Psychiatrists from UTHCPC offer families guidance on how to make a long-distance move less traumatic for everyone involved. Speakers from UTHCPC discuss topics including how to manage the stress of the move, living separately, establishing new friendships and making children comfortable in the new environment.

Family violence and abuse . Living a life trapped in violence and abuse is a terrible way to live, but many people in Harris County live this way every day. Specialists from UTHCPC work with families to break the cycle of violence. Doctors illustrate the problems and dangers involved in family violence and offer family members strategies to get professional help.

Child abuse . The sadness and anger in a child's eyes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to child abuse. Experts from UTHCPC instruct parents, teachers, family members and school officials how to spot behaviors indicating possible child abuse and deal with related issues. Doctors can offer suggestions about ways parents and other caregivers may help a child overcome fears, phobias, self-destructiveness and overly aggressive behaviors that result from child abuse. They also can illustrate how to handle the situation with the child, abuser and authorities.


The cure for the summertime blues . A bad day is a normal occurrence, but when someone demonstrates feelings of sadness, apathy, hopelessness, indecisiveness or thoughts of death or suicide over a prolonged period of time, he or she may be clinically depressed. Doctors from UTHCPC will explain the causes of depression including chemical imbalances in the human brain. With 80 percent of all depression being treatable, specialists offer advice about different ways, such as behavioral therapy or medication, to treat depression.

 Child/Adolescent Mental Health Issues

Mommy, there's a monster under my bed! . Certain fears, such as monsters under the bed, are common in children, however when they do not go away with time, and are constantly disrupting family life, the fears may actually be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Doctors from UTHCPC teach parents about the symptoms including panic attacks, clinging to a parent and even physical ailments, such as headaches and nausea. Specialists in this field will give parents guidance so they recognize when their children need professional help.

The grip of childhood depression . Like adults, children can become depressed. Often the symptoms are hard to recognize. Physicians from UTHCPC explore the clinical depression symptoms children may experience including mood changes, sleep apnea, problems with appetite and self-esteem and changes in physical health. Doctors also offer guidance to parents on when to seek professional help and where to look.

Addressing teen suicide . Parents, teachers and counselors must recognize the signs of a troubled teen before it's too late. UTHCPC teen suicide specialists help parents recognize the signs of a depressed teen such as reckless behavior, drug or alcohol abuse, depression or hygiene neglect. Doctors also teach parents how to take the situation seriously, become involved through words of encouragement, support and hope, and show parents where to get further help.

My child is out of control . Child conduct disorders are the single largest group of psychiatric illnesses among young people. Often beginning before puberty, the disorders and their symptoms are frequently mistaken for juvenile delinquency or the turmoil of growing up. UTHCPC physicians help parents identify the common symptoms of conduct disorders including stealing, consistent lying, cruelty or fighting. Doctors offer guidance on combating the problem with a combination of medication and supportive psychological therapies.

You just don't understand me! . At some point, every parent has heard this phrase from his or her teen, and too often, the teen is right. Doctors from UTHCPC examine the pressures teens face in this computer age from drugs to premarital sex and suicide. Additionally, doctors give parents tips on how to empathize with their children's concerns and problems, while facing the situation in a constructive manner.

You're punished! Now go to your room! . Many parents punish their children for doing something wrong, but are they punishing the child correctly? Experts at UTHCPC take parents, step by step, through the motions of how to positively punish a child or teen. Doctors teach parents how to punish through every day consequences and without criticizing the child or endangering his/her self-esteem.

Attention-deficit disorder . Doctors explain the difficulties in diagnosing ADD and discuss the symptoms children display including excessive activity, impatience and inability to concentrate. Specialists from UTHCPC illustrate how children are diagnosed and share the treatments available.

When the dating game turns brutal . Your teenager comes home from a date with a bruise. What do you do? Abusive teen relationships are more common than most parents realize. Adolescents who are abused are at increased risk for emotional disorders, suicide attempts, drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders. Specialists show parents how to teach their child, through love and understanding, to function in a healthy dating relationship.

 General Mental Health Issues

Schizophrenia: The rest of the story . Schizophrenia is a disease masked behind many myths and misunderstandings. Doctors at UTHCPC discard the myths and teach families to help loved ones with schizophrenia. Doctors explain how medication works, what symptoms to look for in family members, and ways to handle the family stress related to the disease by offering emotional support, reassurance and planning for possible crises.

Ethnic differences in mental health . Throughout history, various ethnic cultures have individually approached mental health from a variety of perspectives. Doctors from UTHCPC delve into the stigmas different cultures attach to mental health issues. Doctors offer solutions to help break the cultural barriers and get the mentally ill the help they need.



To schedule a speaker, please email geralyn.g.konigsberg@uth.tmc.edu

Robert W. Guynn, M.D.
Professor and Chairman
Topics: Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia

Patricia Averill, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Topics: Behavior Therapy, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Grief-Related Issues, Serious Diagnoses (HIV-Related Issues), Loss, Anxiety Disorders, Substance Abuse

Katherine Cowan, M.D.
Associate Professor-Clinical
Topics: Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Nelson P. Gruber, M.D.
Associate Professor
Topics: Geriatric Psychiatry, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Adult Psychiatry

Andrew Harper, M.D.
Associate Professor
Topics: Teen Suicide, Attention-Deficit Disorder, Adolescent Conduct Disorders, Child and Adolescent Depression, Child Phobias

Sharon T. Morgan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Topics: Children's Mental Health, Adolescent Mental Health, Ethnic Issues in Mental Health, Behavior Therapy

Edward L. Reilly, M.D.
Topics: Alcoholism Diagnosis and Treatment, Neuropsychiatry, Substance Abuse, Psychopharmacology

Cynthia Williams Santos, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Topics: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention-Deficit Disorder, Teen Suicide, Adolescent Conduct Disorder, Child and Adolescent Depression, Children's Phobias

Nurun N. Shah, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Topics: Psychopharmacology, Cross Cultural Psychiatry, Personality Disorders, Schizophrenia, Anxiety Disorders

Joel L. Steinberg, M.D.
Associate Professor
Topics: Neurological Disorders, Neuroimaging

Alan C. Swann, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chairman
Topics: Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Suicide, Psychopharmacology

Adel A. Wassef, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Topics: Depression, Depressive Disorders, Schizophrenia



2800 South MacGregor Way Houston, Texas 77021 phone: 713-741-5000 fax: 713-741-5939

HomeAbout HCPCInpatient ServicesOutpatient ServicesWhat is mental illness?Research Opportunities
Employment OpportunitiesNews & Information UTHCPC DepartmentsVolunteer Services

Giving to UTHCPC Helpful Links Contact Information Site Map

Email Us University Privacy Policy

If you have questions regarding the content of this site please contact the office of Public Information and Education. This site is maintained by the Management Information Services department of The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center at Houston.
Updated: 09/06

Copyright © 1997 - Present The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center at Houston