ABOUT DR. BIRA
I am a clinical health psychologist functioning as a therapist, coach, consultant and speaker. I serve as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at UT Health Science Center San Antonio and have a private practice by The Pearl. I received my Ph.D. from University of Miami and completed residency at the Boston Consortium (Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine, VA Hospital).
Through my work and presence in all contexts, I am dedicated to reducing stigma related to mental health while helping others lead more fulfilling lives. I value transparency, integrity, and compassion in all that I do and have established my practice with these values in mind. I've been featured by Women's Health Magazine, TEDx, local NBC, FOX, Texas Public Radio and more for my work (see Media).
In therapy, I primarily use a cognitive-behavioral (CBT) orientation, which is the gold standard of therapy and is highly effective for many issues. CBT trains the brain and body to interact better and respond more appropriately to the environment. I work in collaboration with my clients to reduce symptoms as quickly as possible while teaching skills that will maintain good functioning over time. By using research-driven treatments flexibly and incorporating other approaches, I provide care that is tailored to the unique needs of each client.
In coaching, I help generally healthy individuals make healthier adjustments by teaching skills & providing guidance to help them tackle problems quickly. For both therapy and coaching, I deliver services in-office or via video to reach clients near and far. MINDFULNESS: Check out my community interest group focused on using mindfulness to identify values and shift perspectives for a healthier, happier life (mindfulness audios available here).
In my faculty role as a psychologist at UTHSCSA, I work for STRONG STAR, the world's largest research consortium for the detection, prevention and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military combat trauma. I have worked with military and civilian PTSD for 9 years and completed a 2-year fellowship in Trauma Psychology, where I worked (and continue to work) with Drs. Patricia Resick (CPT) and Edna Foa (PE).
I actively use social media as a platform to motivate others, disseminate important information, and align with other professionals. I believe that the field of mental health can and should evolve along with advances in social technology; in doing so, we can maximize the impact of our research and clinical work and allow for more accessibility in our initiatives.
Texas Public Radio Feature:
Listen here and view the slides, below. Texas Public Radio's "Think Science"