Health psychologists help individuals manage chronic disease, avoid preventable diseases, and provide rehabilitative services to people with acute injuries and chronic diseases. For example, a health psychologist may help a person cope with a new diagnosis of diabetes and related dietary and behavioral changes, or help a person with chronic migraines engage in more regular exercise and stress management to improve health and reduce pain.
In general, health or medical psychology focuses on how emotional, and social factors affect a person’s physical well-being, and on how illness or recovery from illness affects a person’s emotional health. Whether you’re experiencing more frequent headaches following a period of severe job related stress, or you’re feeling depressed after a new medical diagnosis, psychological treatment focused on your health and overall wellbeing can help you find a better quality of life.
Pediatric psychologists are clinical psychologist with specialized training in working with children and families to help them adjust to new medical conditions, cope with chronic health issues, and improve health behaviors such as sleep, diet, and physical activity. Pediatric psychologists are also trained in treating general childhood mental health concerns, such as behavioral problems or anxiety, which may or may not be related to the medical condition. For many families, it can be overwhelming dealing with their child’s health issues. Pediatric psychologists are trained to help with other problems that often come with medical conditions, such as stress, anxiety, and pain.