RYAN R. COOPER | Ph.D., J.D.
Clinical Psychologist (Kentucky)
Fellow in Forensic & Neuropsychology (Texas)
Direct Office: (903) 634-7792
Neuro & Psychological Evaluations
Police & Public Safety Evaluations
Career and Vocational Assessments
Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy
Marriage & Family Therapy
Career and Academic Coaching
Court Appointed Mediations (certified)
Clinical Supervision & Training
MITCHELL HAMLINE SCHOOL OF LAW
- Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)
UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology
- Master of Liberal Arts (A.L.M.) in Extension, Psychology
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE
- Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (B.A.A.S.) in Technology & Law
DALLAS COLLEGE EL CENTRO
- Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) in Legal Sciences
- Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Liberal Arts
Dr. Cooper was born and raised in Northeast Texas. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and M.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Prior to Kentucky, he resided in Massachusetts where he earned a Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology from Harvard University. He also holds a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, which has ranked in the top five programs nationally for Dispute Resolution and Mediation by U.S. News and World Report for over two decades. He is also a diplomate of the law school’s Dispute Resolution Institute, from which he was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Technology and Law (summa cum laude) from the University of Texas Rio Grande’s Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Regarding behavioral healthcare, Dr. Cooper's practice areas range from neuropsychological evaluation to outpatient treatment. He treats patients for issues ranging from mild anxiety to pervasive personality disorders. He has evaluated and treated patients in a range of contexts: general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, outpatient clinics, secondary schools, college campuses, and telehealth. His residency was completed through The Psychology Professionals of Northeast Texas / Terrell State Psychiatric Hospital Consortium. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA).
Regarding the law and forensic psychology, Dr. Cooper has experience conducting several types of forensic evaluations (diagnostic, insanity, competency, risk/recidivism) across several contexts (both civil and criminal, both prosecution and defense, both adult and juvenile). His legal training uniquely qualifies him to provide additional trial-related consultation such as case theory development, legal strategy briefings, and opposing expert critiques. He also provides both expert- and fact-witness preparation. He is also available to consult on psycholegal issues such as 504/IEPs, mental health disability rights, will/testamentary capacity issues, etc. He is a non-attorney member of the American Bar Association (ABA), and of the International Association of Correctional and Forensic Psychology (IACFP).
Regarding professional dispute resolution services, Dr. Cooper has authority to practice as a qualified neutral in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Minnesota. His mediation practice generally centers around family law (divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, and parenting coordination/arbitration). However, he also takes a limited number of higher-level dispute cases, such as that at the organizational, communal, or departmental level. He studied complex, multilayered, high-level conflict by traveling to the Middle East where he was accepted as a visiting law-school scholar through the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. There, he met with other dispute resolution scholars in both Israel and the Palestinian territories (e.g., Bethlehem). Dr. Cooper is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
Regarding academia, Dr. Cooper is a Graduate Professor and the current Director of Graduate Psychology at Ferrum College where he also serves on the research and thesis committees. For a number of years, he has also been on the adjunct faculty of University Arizona Global's Department of Graduate Psychology. He has trained psychology interns, counseling interns, substance abuse interns, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. He is a member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
Dr. Cooper is on the clinical staff of Shelton Forensic Solutions, a national forensic consulting firm with locations in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Arkansas. He provides consultation to the departments of both neuropsychology and law. The firm is known nationally for its ability to provide courts with expertise spanning several domains: forensic medicine, forensic psychology, forensic nursing, forensic accounting, court-ordered mediation, and private investigation. Dr. Cooper has consulted on several high-profile cases.
Dr. Cooper has been partnered for over 16 years. When not with students or patients, he enjoys being out on the farm, fishing, writing, flying, working on his truck, or spending time at the piano.
HAVE A SEAT | What's my therapy style?
NOTE 05/01/21: Unfortunately, Dr. Cooper is not taking new patients for psychotherapy at this time
I generally work from an interpersonal perspective, and pull from two general theories: dynamic and existential/humanistic.
What does that even mean?
Existential: "What is the point..." ...of everything? Life? Death? What do I think about myself? What do I think about others? Do I need others? Do they need me? Can I survive 100% alone if need be? Who would miss me when I'm gone? Who really makes my decisions? Me? My spouse or partner? My parents? The law? Am I really accountable? If so, to whom? Myself? God? This may sound depressing at first, but it certainly isn't. Existential therapy is all about creating meaning in one's life... one's existence.
Dynamic: Are there deeply rooted patterns to the way I respond to life's issues? Where did they come from? Are they positive or negative? Are there patterns in the way my relationships develop? What is my own role in those patterns? Does my childhood have anything to do with the me that exists today? How aware am I of my thoughts? How aware am I that I do certain things, automatically? Are others aware? While psychodynamic therapy did stem from Freud's work, a lot of his work is no longer relevant to clinical practice. So don't worry: no couches or oedipus discussions. A psychodynamic approach can work very well with a cognitive approach.
Interpersonal: Interpersonal therapy is the way in which I choose to explore existential and dynamic issues... to extract the knowledge from those two types of discussions. Interpersonal therapy examines, as you might expect, the interpersonal relationships in your life. But a BIG key in doing so is to examine the interpersonal climate within the doctor/patient relationship... in the here-and-now. Most people have never, in their entire life, been able to have a 100% transparent conversation with another human being.
A FEW MYTHS TO CLEAR UP FOR MY FUTURE PATIENTS:
"Therapy is just paying for a friend."
Not hardly. The therapy relationship is unlike any other - most certainly unlike a friendship (at least most people's definition of a friendship). However, therapists can become friends, of a different sort, with their patients. I reject the idea that caring for, befriending, or even loving a patient is a boundary violation. With that said, boundaries are highly important and should be a topic that doesn't feel odd or uncomfortable to discuss. I do not believe that therapists should avoid hugging a patient (with some exceptions, of course). I do not believe that therapists should avoid weeping with a patient (I've done so many, many times).
"The therapist will tell me what to talk about in session."
No, I won't.
"Therapists should be able to give great advice."
Therapists should almost never give any direct advice. Emphasis on "almost." I catch myself being tempted toward advice-giving all the time. And sometimes it may be appropriate. But it usually is not. Just because I'm a supposed expert on psychological "stuff" doesn't mean I'm an expert on you. You are the expert of you. Think of it like this: I'm an awesome map reader, but you are the expert on the terrain we shall be exploring. Use me as a tool, not as a savior.
"You should always leave therapy feeling better!"
Well. Maybe. But, not exactly. I would say you should leave therapy feeling progress. Therapy should feel progressive, much like working out feels progressive. It may hurt at times. It may be harder on some days. Therapy may be scary and confusing. But that indicates growth. Dr. C. Logue, a cherished mentor of mine, once said to me that psychotherapy is more like physical therapy and less like massage therapy. If your sessions always feel like massage therapy, I would question whether you are truly growing, or are just venting (not that venting doesn't have its place, it does). But, coming into the gym and screaming at the equipment won't help you develop psychological muscles.
"Therapists aren't allowed to tell you anything about themselves."
I do not believe that therapists should avoid self-disclosure. I do not believe that therapists should be stoic, emotionless, or vacant (as in a more traditional psychoanalytic approach). However, I do believe that the focus of the hour is the patient's journey, not mine. To some extent, that journey will overlap with the life experiences of the therapist. But if you find yourself wondering when your therapist is going to shut the hell up so you can get a word in... then there's a problem.
"Therapy is a professional service, and therapists are usually stuffy."
Some of the most successful silicon valley conglomerates have proven over and over again that people can get more work done when they are relaxed and comfortable. Therefore, if you want to bring a mug and a K-cup, that's fine by me (no you can't have my K-cup pods; sorry-not-sorry). I'm pretty chill. I've had therapy sessions in band practice rooms, psychiatric units, outside on park benches, in cars, on the phone... but I admit I prefer a cozy office. To prove that I am un-stuffy, I implemented a rule that has been in practice since my very first experience providing therapy 6 years ago at U-Cumberlands: on rainy days I prefer to wear socks... something about rainy days makes me not want to wear shoes.
I will listen, but I will not listen only.
I will ask questions, but I will not "lead" the session.
I will offer feedback, but I will not generally give advice.
Therapy is kind of like two explorers embarking on a journey, hoping to cover as much unchartered territory as we can before either (a) death comes for one of us, (b) we have reached my ceiling for help I can offer, or (c) your insurance runs out (kidding, I don't take insurance).
I generally prefer weekly sessions.
I generally prefer at least a year's commitment.
I generally prefer that we work, not chit-chat.
The first session or two is a time for us to determine if I'm the right therapist for you.
And if not, that's totally OK. We will make sure you find someone that feels right for you.
American Bar Association
American Psychological Association
American Board of Medical Psychology
Texas Psychological Association
Texas RxP Legislative Advisory Board
Northeast Texas Counseling Association
Kentucky Psychological Association