confusedwolf yes, psychic combat does work even if mindblast does not, i assure you. Mindblast, apart from activating the kai's psychic powers, has a host of other abilities that complement psychic combat and a kai who uses the two in conjunction becomes devastating, at ANY level (even at high ips. Only tier 5 psi-surge trumps more). Do not let decieved by the name, look at the individual powers.
Also read the description of mindshield again. It protects the kai from mindblast, and gives + will saves, but does not otherwise protect from psychic combat.
I personally think this is fine imo. The creatures are tougher because first, this is d20, and there are limits to how clase it can get to the books
Secondly, the monsters were designed keeping a group of adventurers in mind, not just one, which is how dever wrote the orginal books. Just play again, and either pick healing tier 1 as a discipline, make sure you have mindblast 4 (so you can use stun), or have tier 5 of mind over matter, and/or some for of weaponmastery. Ofcourse, any combo's of all these can be helpful.