Melinda Down, Ph.D., BCN
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Restore Behavioral Health's Clinical Director is Dr. Melinda Down, a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years of experience in working with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Dr. Down received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from Duke University, graduating with the honors of Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Down earned her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1993. She has conducted extensive research in the area of Depression and has directed Clinical Programs across the state of Texas for over a decade.
Dr. Down's experience includes particular specialization in working with childhood disorders including ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Asperger's Disorder, and Learning Disabilities. She offers a cognitive-behavioral approach to psychotherapy and provides comprehensive Psychological and Neuropsychological Testing. Dr. Down provides assessments for ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Bariatric Surgery Readiness, Neurodegenerative Disorders (Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease; and Parkinson's Disease), Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Substance Abuse Disorders. Dr. Down also provides marital and family psychotherapy based on systematic theoretical approaches and works in a solution-focused manner to restore balance and well-being to each individual in the most expedient manner possible.
Dr. Down also offers specialization in the area of Behavioral Medicine, addressing the behavioral and neurophysiological components associated with chronic medical conditions. Patients dealing with Cancer, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Asthma, Migraines, and Coronary Heart Disease can benefit from her experience in addressing the stress of coping with illness and the factors impacting adaptive Disease Management. Likewise Dr. Down offers psychotherapy to assist with the self-esteem, identity, and socioemotional issues associated with Bariatric or Lap Band surgeries as well as recovery from injury, stroke, or heart attack. In addition, Dr. Down provides state-of-the-art QEEG Neurophysiological Assessments (Brain Maps) and Neurofeedback Brain Training to help normalize dysregulated areas of brain functioning that contribute to cognitive and emotional disorders. Dr. Down also works with many executives, athletes, musicians, and military personnel seeking to enhance their peak performance though coaching, stress management and neurotherapy.
Our Behavioral Health Team provides unparalleled on site support to all our patients. Your initial consultation will include time with the behavioral health team to help you identify your food triggers and to develop a plan to deal with them after surgery. Many of us are addicted to food or we use food as a stress reliever. We must have a plan in place to deal with these food issues to ensure our long term success. The behavioral team is a major asset to our patients after surgery too. Whether you are 6 weeks out or 6 years out from surgery, the team is actively involved in the weight loss journey of our patients. They frequently participate in support groups and offer continuing education opportunities to all of our patients. The behavioral health team at BMI of Texas will guide you and provide you with the support you need to ensure your long term success.
Our mission is to provide caring, supportive, and professional psychological services to patients seeking weight loss surgery through Bariatric Medical Institute (BMI). Our goal is to provide every patient with attention to their particular needs in a compassionate, empathetic, and encouraging way. This includes evaluating psychological readiness for surgery, providing ongoing professional services before and after surgery, and being available to support each patient and their family members in this life-changing endeavor.
The first contact with a member of the clinical team is usually for the required psychological evaluation prior to the surgery. This evaluation assesses the patient’s readiness, willingness, and determination to make the behavior changes after surgery that are essential for success. Positive outcomes require awareness and knowledge of the changes to be made, the resources to make behavior changes, and the willingness to work with the BMI team. The evaluation assesses possible risk factors which may interfere with successful behavior changes.
The Support Program:
Our clinical team provides a range of behavioral health services before and after the surgery. These services include psychological coaching and counseling, and consultation on behavioral change. Other services may focus on clarifying a variety of emotions one can experience before and after the surgery, and managing any possible depression or stress associated with this life-changing surgery. We also offer presentations and education at support groups, consultation on marital relationships and family influences as a result of the surgery; and such special topics like weight loss goals prior to surgery, smoking or caffeine cessation; managing emotional eating, binge eating and night eating habits; changing snacking habits, and emotional and behavioral issues that can arise after surgery. Our team works in collaboration with the BMI professional and administrative team to assist you in successfully achieving your weight loss goals.
Telephone: (210) 447-6363 (210) 447-6363 Toll free: (877) -772-5467
Seán G. Connolly, Ph.D. is a psychologist and clinical director at Algos Behavioral Health Services, Inc. He has been in private practice since 1980, and has been licensed as a psychologist and health care provider since 1975. His primary focus in this clinical practice is health psychology, and the complex relationship between various medical conditions and one’s emotional and psychological health. Most prominent involvement is with chronic pain, clinically severe obesity patients seeking weight loss surgery, and brain injuries. He completed undergraduate work at the National University of Ireland, graduate work at Our Lady of the Lake University and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and his doctorate from the University of Arizona. He spent over six years on the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas before returning to San Antonio. He is from Ireland and has lived in San Antonio, on and off for over 40 years. Dr. Connolly is married and has three grown children.
Mary Ann Spears- Howell, Ph.D, L.P.C. is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience assisting adults with a wide range of emotional and personal development issues. She has extensive experience in helping individuals with depression, anxiety, stress management and problems in living. She is also an experienced career development counselor. Dr. Spears-Howell earned her Ph.D. in Counseling from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. She currently specializes in therapy and pre-surgical psychological assessment for bariatric surgery and chronic pain patients as well as individuals applying for Social Security’s Department of Disability Services.
Bertha Rodarte- Luna, Ph.D, P.L.P., earned her degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, with a concentration in sexual, combat, and interpersonal trauma. During her internship and post-doctoral year she focused on PTSD, eating disorders, primary care issues, chronic pain, Bariatric surgery evaluations, and serious medical conditions among other things. Dr. Rodarte-Luna has received extensive training in cognitive theoretical models such as CBT, CPT, PE, relational therapy, and attachment theory principles. She also has an interest in multicultural and gender issues within therapy.
Erin Murphy, Ph.D Candidate, LMFT-A, LPC-i, earned her Master’s Degrees in Communication Studies and Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and is in her final year of doctoral work at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in Marriage and Family Therapy. She currently specializes in relational and couple therapy with focus on gender, sexual dysfunction, trauma, and relational communication patterns. She also has training and interest in addiction and trauma.