Areas of Expertise
Pain psychologists utilize evidence based practices to help people with benign chronic pain conditions better manage their pain symptoms and psychiatric conditions. Pain psychologists examine how biological, psychological, and social factors influence a person's pain experience.
Health psychologists utilize evidence based practices to help people who present with psychiatric disorders complicated by medical illness and severe psychosocial stressors. Health psychologists examine how biological, psychological, and social factors influence health and chronic illness.
I conduct presurgical psychological evaluations for patients under consideration for implantable therapies (i.e., spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pump, etc.) and bariatric surgery. These evaluations help to identify psychosocial and/or any behavioral barriers to potential treatments.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
CPT is a manualized protocol for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that has been endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, as well as the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, as a best treatment practice for PTSD.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment based on the notion that our emotional and behavioral reactions to a situation are strongly influenced by how we think about and perceive that situation. Treatment with CBT involves working with patients to understand how their problematic thinking patterns influence their mood symptoms and pain perception. Patients learn how to identify, challenge, and change their dysfunctional thoughts in order to alleviate the emotional distress and fear of movement that often accompanies chronic pain. Research suggests that the use of CBT for chronic pain management can result in improved functioning and decreased mood and pain symptoms.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological treatment approach that helps people learn how to accept aspects of their lives that they cannot change, and commit to living a life in accordance with their values. When used in the treatment of chronic pain, this approach helps show patients that they can still live meaningful and fulfilling lives, even when managing chronic pain conditions. Research suggests that the use of ACT for chronic management can result in higher levels of physical functioning, lower levels of depression and anxiety, greater acceptance of chronic pain and pain levels, and improved overall quality of life.