The Louisiana Psychological Association has named Dr. John Simoneaux as it’s 2020 Distinguished Psych-ologist, announced at the 72nd Annual Meeting held May 29th online. The Distinguished Psychologist Award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to psychology research, practice, or both during the course of their career.
“He is a forensic psychologist who has consulted with lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals,” said Dr. Mike Chafetz, Chair of the Awards Committee. “Many of us have relied on his counsel numerous times. He has handled the most intense kinds of forensic cases, such as custody cases, with wisdom, grace, and due diligence for the facts. Many people in the legal profession–lawyers, judges–have a correct view of the power of psychology in the courtroom due to Dr. Simoneaux’s work.”
“He is the principal and wonderful teacher at Professional Training Resources, and likely everyone here has learned from him, as he has taught hundreds of courses.”
Dr. John Simoneaux said he was very “surprised and honored” to receive the award but, not sure that he was deserving.
Dr. Simoneaux is in private practice at his firm, Consulting Psychologists of Central Louisiana, in Pineville, Louisiana. He is fulltime private practice in Forensic Psychology and his work activities include consultation with various psychiatric hospitals, group homes, and state agencies. He conducts psychological assessments for custody, sanity, sex offenders, children’s and protective services. He also provides expert testimony for custody, sanity, sexual and physical abuse, and disability determinations.
Dr. Simoneaux is founder and President of Professional Training Resources, Inc., where he and his staff provide continuing education training for those in a variety of professions, primarily mental health and legal professionals.
He has served as a Consulting Psychologist to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Leesville Developmental Center, Huey P. Long Memorial Hospital and the Cane River Community Group Home in Natchitoches. He also has consulted with the Rapides Parish Office of Community Services, Vernon Parish, Catahoula Parish, Lasalle Parish, and Concordia Parish. He has been the Program Director at RiverNorth Treatment Center.
Principal among of his contributions, noted the Committee, has been his continued and ongoing efforts to bring scientific psychology to the awareness of judges, attorneys, peace officers, and others in the legal system.
Dr. Simoneaux regularly presents to an audience of Louisiana judges, attorneys, district court clerks, peace officers, legal assistants and court reporters. One example is the annual Nuts & Bolts Judicial Seminar, a three-day conference, hosted by Appellate Judge, Hon. Harmon Drew, Jr., and his research attorney wife, Jean Drew. Judge Drew is with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal. The Louisiana Nuts & Bolts Judicial Seminar has been in operation since 1992 and the Drews have focused on presenting important and practical training for the regularly attending 250 court Louisiana officials who travel to Destin, Florida, to attend the highly rated event.
Dr. Simoneaux presents such topics as “Medical Mimics – Medical Conditions that are often Misdiagnosed as Mental Illness,” and “Detecting Psychological Disorders in the Elderly: Is Aunt Mary a little off? Or is it Just Me?” Another example is he has presented “Registration Requirements for Louisiana Sex Offenders,” with Judge Drew facilitating.
Simoneaux noted that he has been part of the conference for over 15 years, and said, “We love coming here. I really feel like they’ve accepted me into this group.” Attendees include individuals from Louisiana’s District Courts, City Courts, Appeal Courts, Police Departments, Sheriff’s and Marshal’s Offices, the state Supreme Court, law firms and others. Dr. Simoneaux is the only psychologist who regularly helps train the court professionals, and he is a favorite of the group, said the Drews.
Another of Dr. Simoneaux’ contributions comes from his interdisciplinary training in the mental health service industry at Professional Training Resources. One examplel is his popular “Summer Symposium.”
“Several years ago we started ‘Summer Symposium,’” he explained previously. “We do three days in July and it’s designed so someone can come and have all the CEs they’d need for the year.” The program is approved for APA, but also for a number of professions, with multiple presenters, and different tracts. PRT is APA accredited for psychologists, but likewise is approved to offer CEs for Social Workers, LPCs, Rehabilitation Counselors, Substance Abuse Counselors, School Psychologists, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
Professional Training Resources is a business where teaching, learning, and having fun is near and dear to Dr. Simoneaux who has “always had a love of teaching.” In graduate school he minored in higher education. His services have reached all areas and disciplines that can benefit the larger community.
The Louisiana Psychological Association Awards Committee includes Kim VanGeffen, PhD; Beth Arredondo, PhD; Brian Mizuki, PhD; C. Laurel Franklin, PhD; and Michael Chafetz, PhD (Chair)