Health Psychology Program
Health Psychology Program
Western has several programs aimed at improving the overall health of the community. We believe in holistic care: the mind is part of the body!
That means that your psychology (emotions, behaviors, thoughts) can affect your physical health and your physical health can affect your psychology.
A focus of Health Psychology is to target the juncture between physical and emotional illness. The goal is to improve health and well-being by applying what we know about psychology and the human brain.
Services within the Health Psychology program include
Persistent (Chronic) Pain. Sometimes people experience pain that persists past the "acute" phase and becomes "chronic". Sometimes there does not appear to be a medical solution to get rid of the pain. This pain can have a major effect on someone's mood, relationships, thoughts, and productivity.
Western has many clinicians who have expertise in dealing with chronic or persistent pain. We offer groups that provide information, support, and therapy. We also have many other services that address pain. For more information about our Pain Program click here.
Bariatric Evaluations. Western has partnered with PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center's Weight Loss Surgery Program in Vancouver, Washington to provide psychological evaluations for potential candidates for gastric bypass surgery. Jennifer Cotton, PsyD and Dawn Whitman, PsyD at the Western's Vancouver office provide these evaluations.
Transgender Evaluations. In addition to the many Western clinicians who are skilled in working with people who are transgendered, Western has practitioners who are competent in providing a Readiness Assessment for medical transitioning.
Chronic disease. Many chronic diseases can be helped by targeted, evidence-based mental health interventions. Irritable bowel syndrome, psychogenic seizures, congestive heart failure, asthma, and migraines are examples of medical conditions that can improve with the right psychological intervention.
Biofeedback. Western is on the forefront of the use of biofeedback for addressing mental and physical health conditions. Biofeedback uses instruments that provide biological information that the person can use to gain more control of the body's responses. Western has focused on "heart rate variability" through the HeartMath system.
For each of these areas, check our Advanced Practitioner Search to identify a practitioner near you who has that specialty.
Integration into Primary Care
Western is pleased to have developed several partnerships with healthcare providers to promote positive health outcomes in our community.
Our integrated services are based on the Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultation model. This means services are provided within the primary care clinic by Behavioral Health Consultants, licensed providers who have special expertise in health psychology. These services focus on the social and psychological affects on physical health or other life problems. Interventions are practical, wellness-focused, and evidence-based.
Western has Behavioral Health Consultants at Evergreen Pediatrics, Willamette Falls Pediatrics, Northwest Primary Care, Family Medical Group NE and South Tabor Family Physicians.
In addition, Western has developed strong relationships with several healthcare providers to ensure coordination around referrals and collaboration of care. Our partnerships include The Portland Clinic and Metropolitan Pediatrics.