David S. Wachtel, Ph. D.

David S. Wachtel View Specialties

Welcome and thank you for your interest in how I might be of assistance to you.

About Me

I am a Licensed Psychologist (Clinical) and have been in private practice in Houston for 30 years.  I received my Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology in 1978, and completed a NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Child Psychology at The Indianapolis School of Medicine in 1980.  I have conducted presentations and workshops on a wide range of clinical (psychological difficulties and addictions), ethical, and forensic issues on local, state, and national levels

About My Practice

Unlike most therapists in the Houston area, I have several areas of specialization in my work. 

The major part of my practice involves providing psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy to adults, couples, children/teenagers and families who are experiencing emotional, relationship, spiritual, trauma, school/job-related difficulties, and medically-related problems.  I believe people know when something is not right but have been unable or afraid to articulate it clearly to themselves.  So, I am very active in helping you to identify the issues and patterns more clearly beginning in the first sessions so that you can feel "someone finally understands me", and hopeful and empowered to make the changes you want.  I also conduct clinical and formal psychological assessments that also help you understand yourself better/more clearly and to move forward.

I founded and direct The Center for Compulsive and Addictive Behavior in 1989.  The Center provides comprehensive, specialized evaluation and treatment for issues such as Alcohol and other Drug Abuse and Dependence; Eating Disorders;  Sexual/Pornography Addiction; Gambling Problems; Sexual and Physical Trauma; Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Phobias; and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders).

I also am the Director of Psychological Services for Premier Psychological Services that specializes in evaluation and treatment of ADHD and Learning Disabilities, and Eating Disorders.

The second major area of my work involves Forensic Psychology, which applies psychological principles, evaluation and treatment in legal matters.  This includes Child Custody Evaluations, Evaluation and Treatment of Parental Alienation, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination cases, case consultation with attorneys, and other Expert Witness services.

My Treatment Approach

I recognize that there are multiple factors that contribute to your and/or your family's struggles.  We first identify the emotional, relationship, and possible medical issues (such as hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalances, ADHD, Learning Disabilities).  I work with you within a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic framework that also includes use of systems theory, trauma, and cognitive-behavioral components.  We first identify what I refer to as Developmental Factors and Maintenance Factors.  Developmental Factors consist of the original experiences and conditions (often established in childhood) that you reacted to in the best way you could to cope and take care of yourself; at the same time, your reliance on these strategies affected your image of yourself and limited your opportunities to be shown and learn other, more-constructive coping strategies.  Maintenance Factors consist of current-day conditions (both internal and external) that make you continue to use the old strategies, even though you are aware that, while they provide temporary relief, they do not provide long-term resolution or solutions.  The process of identifying these factors can often result in some improvement within a relatively-short period of time, and leads to observing and trying new more-effective ways of living--with yourself, in your relationships, and at work or school.

My Office Policies

I see people Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., by appointment only.

My therapy appointments are $ 210 for a 45-minute session.  Payment is due at the first appointment in cash or check; you are subsequently billed at the end of each month and payment is due by the 15th.

While I am not on any managed care networks, most policies provide benefits for out-of-network services.  You should be aware that out-of-network benefits often have a deductible or higher deductible than in-network, and will usually pay only a portion of my fee.  I obtain your insurance information, check your benefits, have you assign benefit payments, and handle the billing.

My forensic services are billed at $ 300 an hour and, depending on the nature of the service, a retainer is required in advance.

24-hour notice must be given to avoid being charged for your appointment.

I check messages regularly throughout the day, and return them as quickly as possible.  Routine messages left after 4 p.m. are returned the next business day.  If you are a current patient, I can be reached after hours and on weekends on my cell phone.

Please visit my website--www.drdavidwachtel.net--for more detailed information about how I may be of assistance to you.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions or would like additional information.


Dr. David S. Wachtel Reaches

Houston TX