Professional clinical services include psychological evaluations prior to procedures such as bariatric surgery, transplant surgery, epilepsy surgery and the implantation of spinal column stimulators. We also provide follow-up and psychological counseling to patients following surgery or to those adjusting to illness or chronic pain.

Other reasons for which individuals may be referred for our services include weight loss and eating issues, stress management, worry and concern about health, coping with traumatic injuries, managing the illness of a family member or loved one, or learning behavioral strategies designed to reduce the frequency and intensity of recurrent physical symptoms and pain.

What happens during a psychological evaluation with a health psychologist?

Before your visit: You will be referred for a psychological evaluation by your physician or medical team, either prior to a surgical procedure or because of a physical condition. You will be asked to contact our office to schedule an appointment. At that time, you will need to provide insurance information and will be given an appointment with one of our licensed psychologists.

At your visit: When you arrive for your appointment, please being a photo id, your insurance card and co-pay. You will be asked to complete paperwork, so bring your glasses if you wear them. A list of current medications and/or medical providers would also be helpful. After greeting the psychologist, you will be asked to complete several questionnaires that assess current symptoms and/or difficulties, and ways that your condition has affected your life. This may take up to 30 minutes. Following the completion of questionnaires, the psychologist will meet with you for approximately one hour, during which you will discuss your history, your understanding of your medical condition and the procedure you are pursuing, and potential risk factors as they relate to your success with surgery. At the end of the meeting, the psychologist will provide some feedback about areas of risk or recommendations that may help to improve your success and/or adjustment.

Following your visit: The psychologist will prepare a written report with recommendations (if appropriate), which is forwarded to your referring physician. You may also request a copy of this report. You may also be re-referred to our office for follow-up, counseling or a second appointment. Your insurance will be billed for the visit.

What happens during psychological counseling?

Counseling approaches may include education, cognitive behavioral treatment, learning techniques to aid in relaxation, and exploring the meaning of physical illness and its impact on family roles and self-esteem. Psychologists can also help develop strategies to improve quality of life and can treat depression and anxiety that often co-occur with medical illness. Psychologists work to communicate with other members of the patient’s medical team to promote an integrated approach to health care. They can also assist in developing an occupational or vocational rehabilitation plan and/or counseling patients around returning to work. Psychologists can provide support and encouragement to those making behavior changes, following a new health regimen, or adjusting to a new role.

What other services are available?

You may also be interested in group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy allows you to meet with similar others as well as a trained clinician to discuss relevant issues such as adjusting to weight loss surgery or coping with chronic pain. Not only does group psychotherapy provide education and treatment, but you also benefit from sharing experiences and obtaining the support of others who may be experiencing similar problems. Please call us to learn more about available groups.