Health Psychology

What is Health Psychology?

Health Psychology is a specialty branch of Clinical Psychology that examines the interaction and effects of biological, social and psychological factors on physical health and illness. Health Psychologists work with individuals to explore how these factors influences the choices we make about our health. They help individuals living with chronic medical issues explore the impact of their diagnosis and symptoms on daily functioning, mood, and relationships. Health Psychologists provide a space for individuals to find support, learn effective coping strategies, process emotions, and engage in behavior change to decrease the negative impact of medical issues in their day-to-day lives and increase resilience.

Why Should I See a Health Psychologist?

If you are living with or have recently been diagnosed with a chronic and/or terminal medical issue, you may be feeling shocked, overwhelmed, uncertain about the future, worried, sad, or hopeless. You may be experiencing increased levels of stress due to having to balance multiple doctors and medical appointments. You may be experiencing physical changes, discomfort, or pain due to your diagnosis and/or treatments. You may be having difficulty coping with the changes in your lifestyle, energy, physical health, ability to work or other areas brought about by your illness. You may feel like your relationships are changing due to increased isolation or decreased ability to engage in your typical activities. You might feel as if no one really understands what you are going through or as if you are alone in these experiences. You may be interested in making health-focused changes in your life however are uncertain how to move forward.

Types of Services

  • Helping individuals with behavioral, mood, or anxiety disorders affecting their adjustment or coping to illness
  • Helping individuals process end-of-life grief/loss issues due to a terminal diagnosis
  • Helping families and caregivers cope with their loved ones’ diagnosis and lifestyle changes
  • Helping individuals adhere to necessary medical regimens
  • Facilitating individuals’ relationships with their medical teams
  • Helping individuals cope with body image changes
  • Helping individuals cope with trauma symptoms due to medical issues and experiences (eg, Post-Intensive Care Syndrome)
  • Helping individuals manage health-related anxiety or hypochondriasis that may be contributing to physical symptoms
  • Helping individuals manage medical phobias or other fears that may be interfering with medical adherence (needles, small spaces, blood)
  • Evaluation of mood, cognitive, behavioral and personality factors that may be impacting coping
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle changes and disease prevention
  • Stress management coping strategies
  • Assessing individuals’ psychological readiness for surgical procedures (eg, transplant, pain stimulators, bariatric surgery)
  • Helping individuals coping with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, or amputation
  • Assessing and providing strategies for managing insomnia (primary or due to medical issues)
  • Evaluating and providing behavioral, cognitive, and emotional strategies for coping with chronic pain
  • Facilitating behavioral and motivational strategies for healthy lifestyle changes (eg, diet, weight loss, smoking cessation)
  • Helping individuals explore the existential/meaning-related issues that may arise from living with chronic medical or end-of-life issues

Medical Conditions that can benefit from Health Psychology

  • Chronic Pain
  • Sleep Issues
  • Stress management
  • Oncology
  • Pre-surgical evaluation (Transplant, bariatric surgery, LVAD or pain device implantation)
  • Smoking cessation
  • Burn
  • Sports injury/concussion
  • Chronic medical illnesses
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Palliative care/end of life
  • Fertility issues
  • Medical phobias
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Diabetes management
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Migraine
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Aging
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Cardiac
  • Pulmonary/COPD
  • High blood pressure
  • Medication management/medical adherence

Schedule a Health Psychology Appointment

If you are interested in learning more about Health Psychology or are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our Health Psychology providers, Dr. Stacey J. Feuer, PsyD, MLD, Dr. Annette Wilson, PhD or Dr. Olivia Domczewski, please call us at 815-942-6323 or text us at 815-707-3030.