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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

Short Bio

Updated: Mar 23, 2020


I was born in 1957 to the life of a small- town rural farm kid on the southern plains of west Texas. My mom also grew up as a rural Texas farm girl in the 1920’s-30’s. She had been an elementary school teacher until she married my dad when she was 33 in 1953 (dad was 38). My dad likewise was a farm kid growing up in Texas and Oklahoma. He farmed and studied radios prior to joining the army in WWII where he saw continuous combat in Europe from D-Day, June 6, 1944 until the end of the war May 8, 1945. All these factors influenced my life. I have one brother about 2.5 years older, who grew up with me and lived to tell about it!

Family is the center of my life. This was true as a child and became true of me in adulthood. I married my wife, Elaine in 1979 and we have been married over 40 years now. We have two daughters, born in 1990 and 1993.

I enjoy family and friends, nature and pets, gardening and the outdoors. I love reading and writing and listening to music. I am an introvert though I can be outgoing when called upon. I have enjoyed public speaking at times over the years and I love teaching and person to person counseling and advising.


I graduated from my home-town high school, Levelland High School in Levelland, Texas in 1976.

I attended my home-town junior college, South Plains College from 1976-1978, graduating with my Associates Degree.

I attend Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas for the 1978-79 academic year.

Then attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas from 1979-1980, graduating with a BA in Philosophy and Psychology in 1980.

After working in the psychology field several years I went to graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1983, earning a MA in Counseling in 1985 and my PhD in Counseling Psychology in 1989.


I am a counseling psychologist and have served as a faculty member for the University of Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center from 1989–2010. Then part-time 2010-2013 and 2017-2020. I am currently professor emeritus but continue to teach and advise students on a limited basis.

From 2010 – 2017 I worked as the lead psychologist for Oklahoma Heart Hospital South Campus, where I developed a comprehensive cardiac psychology practice; I retired in July 2017 but continued to serve on the on-call staff for crisis cases until the end of 2019.

Throughout my career, I maintained my license to practice as a health services psychologist in Oklahoma and almost always had a 1-2 day per week private outpatient practice seeing a general caseload across the life-span for assessment and psychotherapy.

Folks often ask me to explain my theoretical approach to my work as a psychologist and psychotherapist. To be brief, I am a scientifically oriented, person centered, integrationist. Drawing from the research and professional literature in psychology, medicine and other fields at large to understand and support human well- being. Using the bio-psycho-social model of health, with expansion to include spiritual, cultural, economic, social justice and practical considerations in a case specific manner is how I have approached my work.

One of my enduring special interests has been in health psychology and I began my career at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center working in family medicine and pediatrics; and before that I was an intern for Minneapolis VAMC and a trainee for Lincoln Family Medical Foundation, in Lincoln, NE, where I completed my PhD in 1989 from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I was able to further specialize in cardiac psychology during the latter stages of my clinical career. I specialized in family and pediatric health psychology earlier in my career. In all of this work, my focus was on helping folks to cope and function as well as possible given the profound and complex burdens of diverse medical and disabling conditions.

Another of my interests has been the integration of science and practice in psychology and some of my research, and most of my teaching and clinical practice has focused on such integration within interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary health care systems. At OU this interest was fulfilled for 15 years when I served as Director of the University of Oklahoma Counseling Psychology Clinic where I found great reward in training students to use science as one of the core foundations for effective psychological practice. Beyond the work with students, this position also allowed me to oversee a large public mental health clinic where we were able to turn no one away due to affordability issues. These were the happiest times of my career when I was so busy with up to 40 counselors in training working with several hundred clients each week.

At OU I also had the support to develop and teach an advanced doctoral level course in Bio-psycho-social Bases of Health Psychology where the research in both psychology and medicine were integrated to illuminate stress, disease, dysfunction, resilience and coping as applied to clinical practice. On the other end of the spectrum, I greatly enjoyed teaching Introduction to Counseling as a general elective for undergraduate students from across campus. It has been fun to follow many students and so many have ended up doing great work as counselors and psychologists in clinical work of all types, as teachers and scientists and as program administrators. Many also have become excellent advocates for social justice and better health care services.

One final area of focus during my career was in the nature, assessment and treatment of depression. My dissertation was on cognitive and emotional changes as a result of brief cognitive psychotherapy for depression. Of course depression affects general health and general health affects depression, so this crossroads always interested me.

I published 30-40 peer reviewed articles in psychology and served as the primary advisor and dissertation chair for 30-40 PhD students over my career.

From 2001-2004 I served as Chairperson for the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Oklahoma.

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1 commentaire

Kim Stewart
Kim Stewart
18 mars 2020


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