Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re shining a spotlight on our Psychology staff who are dedicated to providing quality clinical care and promoting healthy child development, despite the stress and demands associated with a health-related condition.
Learn more about our Psychologist, Teresa Collins-Jones, Ph.D. She has more than 20 years of experience providing psychological services to children and adolescents. She specializes in working with children with complex medical needs and those who are coping with chronic illness, pain, and adhering to medication and treatment regimens.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about being a pediatric psychologist at Scottish Rite Hospital is being able to work with the children, adolescents and their families to promote health and well-being.
What’s your favorite thing about the hospital?
Scottish Rite Hospital is a place like no other! I am still amazed at how former patients and their families hold such fond memories of their treatment—it makes me realize how this hospital affects lives.
Describe a typical day:
Boy, it would be difficult to describe a typical day because I really never have the same day twice! You can usually find me in a clinic, on the inpatient unit, or in my office working with children and their families. At other times, I may be attending meetings with other staff members to discuss ways to improve what we are doing or at work on one of our research projects to improve the quality of life of our patients.
How did you find out about the hospital?
I first learned about the hospital when I was a child living in the Dallas area (many years ago). My father was a Scottish Rite Mason who had volunteered at several events. He was very proud of all of the work that the hospital did to help children.
What made you want to work here?
I initially chose to become a pediatric psychologist due to my interest in working with children in a medical setting. My interest in working specifically at Scottish Rite Hospital is because of the reputation of the staff and hospital. It is a great feeling to know that our patients like coming to the hospital!
What skills do you need for your job?
A doctoral degree in psychology with training in developmental psychology, health psychology, and behavioral medicine. As a pediatric psychologist, I provide psychological services to children with complicated health conditions. Not only do I need to know how to provide psychological treatment for mental health problems, but I also need to understand how these may impact medical conditions or treatment. I also need to understand prevention, health promotion, and how to support families. A strong background in research is also needed to be able to promote evidence-based science and practice. It is also important that a pediatric psychologist is outgoing, a team player, enjoys collaborating with others, has a good sense of humor, and likes working with children.
What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?
My first “real” job was working as a psychiatric technician on the pre-adolescent and adolescent units at an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
I knew that I wanted to become a pediatric psychologist after I took my first child psychology class as an undergraduate. From that point on, I began taking classes in health psychology and child psychology, working in various clinical settings, and working on research projects. My graduate coursework prepared me to pursue a pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology.
What is your favorite…
- Food in the SRH Cafeteria: Anything made by Stephan—his pasta bowls are amazing!
- Place to travel: Europe…I love Italy, France, Ireland, and the UK!
- Type of food: Italian or French
- TV show: It used to be “Downton Abbey” but now, I love “The Crown” and “Victoria.”
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To transport myself from place to place with a blink of the eye (avoiding all traffic).
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist and travel the world.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
The most adventurous thing that I’ve ever done is studying abroad for a semester when I was in college. My time in Spain definitely contributed to my love of travel!
What’s the last book you read?
I just finished reading Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s book “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.”
What kind of animal would you be?
A dog. We adopted our dog, Fergus, from a rescue group. We are so happy he “chose” us!
What is something people don’t know about you?
That I love history and when traveling abroad, I like to visit castles, churches, museums, and libraries!
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
American Pie by Don McLean. It is one of those songs that you cannot listen to without singing along—it is US history!