RYAN R. COOPER, Ph.D., J.D.
Neuropsychologist & Attorney at Law
J.D., Law | Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology | University of the Cumberlands
M.A., Clinical Psychology | University of the Cumberlands
A.L.M., Psychology | Harvard University
Cert., Public Health Policy | University of South Carolina
B.A., Business & Law | University of Texas Rio Grande
Adult & Adolescent Psychotherapy
Marriage & Family Therapy
Career and Academic Coaching
Neuro & Psychological Evaluations
Forensic Neuro Evaluations
Police & Public Safety Evaluations
Career and Vocational Assessments
Mental Health Malpractice Cases
Legal Representation for Psychologists
Clinical Supervision & Training
ABOUT DR. COOPER
Dr. Cooper was born and raised in Paris, Texas. He grew up in a farming household, and tells his patients that he learned to drive a tractor at age nine ...well before he learned to drive a car (we have not verified the authenticity of this statement, but have seen pictures of the tractor). He attended Paris Junior College for music, before moving to Dallas to spend 8 years in corporate sales and marketing. He returned to college in his mid-20's and graduated with two associate's degrees from El Centro College in downtown Dallas (one in law and one in liberal arts). He set his sights on law school, and completed a bachelor's degree in business & law from the Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (only minutes from South Padre Island, which he swears he only visited once). He graduated both Summa cum Laude and Alpha Chi (top 10% of 1,707 students). Instead of applying to law school, he moved to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University, where he studied for a masters degree in psychology. (What about law school, you say? Well, he's flighty like that.) After Harvard, he moved to the Cincinnati metro area to complete his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. During the summer prior to his pre-doc residency, he began studying for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Tests) and applied to only three law schools (UNT, Taft, and Mitchell-Hamline). He was accepted to each. During his entire pre-doc internship, and post-doc residency, he studied the law at night, specializing in mediation and dispute resolution at Mitchell Hamline School of Law - consistently ranked one of the top five law schools in the county for dispute resolution, for the last two decades.
Dr. Cooper currently practices neuropsychology and forensic psychology at our clinic. He also spends about one day each week offering psychotherapy to a select number of patients (mostly adults). He supervises interns in Texas, Kentucky, and Illinois. He currently provides both legal and neuropsychological services for Shelton Forensic Solutions, a multi-state forensics firm. He also offers neuropsych consultation for a national telemedicine program. In the local community of Paris, he works closely with school districts, Child Protective Services, the local judges, and the office of juvenile probation. He has provided evaluations and second opinions for veterans disability, social security disability, offered services to the 9-11 World Trade Center Mental Health Program.
Although free time is limited, Dr. Cooper enjoys fishing Texas' beautiful lakes and keeping up with the latest technology, even when doing so is totally absurd and gratuitous (we're looking at you Ember coffee mug and AirPods). He remains a lover of gospel music, and plays the piano almost daily (southern gospel convention style, and Black spiritual style). His inspiration includes Anthony Burger, Dr. Ethel Caffie, Floyd Cramer, and Tracey Phillips. He also enjoys winemaking, loud trucks, chess, private flying, farming, and cooking. Dr. Cooper has been partnered for over thirteen years. He and his family live on a 100-acre farm property, about a half-hour south of Paris.
THERAPEUTIC APPROACH: IN DR. COOPER'S OWN WORDS
I generally work from an interpersonal perspective, and pull from two specific theories: dynamic and existential/humanistic.
What does all 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.
Dynamic: How aware am I of my thoughts? How aware am I that I do certain things, automatically? Are others aware? Does my childhood have anything to do with the me that exists today? Are there deeply rooted patterns to the way I respond to life's issue? 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? 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, no oedipus discussions, and no creepily silent therapist who won't self-disclose.
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 discussion. 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 between patient and therapist. Most people have never, in their entire life, been able to have a 100% transparent conversation with another human being.
Myths: Therapy is not paying for a friend. The therapy relationship is unlike any other. I do not believe that therapists should avoid self disclosure. I do not believe that therapists should be stoic, emotionless, or vacant (as in the original traditional psychoanalytic approach). 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). I do not believe that therapists should avoid loving their patient. I do not believe that on rainy days, wearing slippers in a therapy session is inappropriate.
Therapy should feel good, much like working out feels good. It may hurt at times. It may be hard and scary and confusing. But that indicates growth. A mentor once said to me that therapy should be more physical therapy than massage therapy.
As you might sit and enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea) with a friend, I invite you to enjoy one with me. I will not be silent. I will ask questions. I will offer feedback. I will be curious. I will explore... but I will do so with you, and for your benefit. My goal is incite in you, that same sense of curiosity and exploration. Therapy is like two explorers, embarking on a journey, hoping to cover as much unchartered territory as they can before either (a) death comes for one of us, or (b) your insurance runs out.
I generally prefer weekly sessions.
I generally prefer at least a 6 month commitment if not more.
I generally prefer that you come to therapy loaded with questions, ready to work.
The first session or two is a time for each patient to determine if I'm the right therapist for them. 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
Texas Psychological Association
Texas Psychology Legislative Advisory Board
Kentucky Psychological Association
American Board of Medical Psychology