Health Psychology

Are you stressed from trying to manage a health condition like chronic pain, an autoimmune disorder or even cancer?
Do you know it’s time to change your eating habits but have trouble finding the motivation?
Have you had difficulty sleeping for months and feel like you’ve tried everything without any improvement?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you may benefit from working with a health psychologist!

Health psychology happens at the intersection between your physical and mental health. What do we mean by this? Basically, we’re saying that your physical health and mental health impact one another! Research has shown that when one suffers, so does the other. For instance, if a person feels really stressed and anxious they may eat poorly and notice all kinds of changes in weight and physical health. As another example if someone lives with chronic pain or another serious medical condition for years they may slowly become more depressed.

Basically, a health psychologist uses cognitive, behavioral, and psychophysiological therapies to help you cope better with the stress of a physical illness, change the way you think about your physical health and/or achieve positive behavior change.

Health Psychologists can work with your primary care physician as well. By taking this “team approach” (your psychologist and your physician), your health as a whole is better addressed. Many of our clients have spent a lot of time just trying to approach their symptoms from the physical health perspective or have attended therapy before without the communication between physician and therapist without much success. However, the mind and body are in constant two-way communication and neither can be considered in isolation from the other. Therefore, the best treatment often requires help from a specialized health psychologist in consultation with your physician.

Photo of a stethoscope representing the important role a psychologist and health psychology can play in helping you manage chronic pain and cope with other chronic health conditions.

Counseling for Chronic Medical Conditions

Coping with a chronic disease or medical condition is stressful. But if you’re reading this, you probably already now that. Maybe you’ve lived with chronic pain for years and have gradually noticed it impacting your mood. Or you’ve been through radiation or chemo for cancer and become stressed as your body is exhausted from fighting this illness. Maybe diabetes is the illness you’ve been living with. Regardless of the specific illness or physical limitation you’re living with-we understand it’s stressful! Perhaps you’ve become resentful, angry, frustrated or even hopeless when you’ve thought about your physical health.

Did you know that if a person experiences both depression and chronic pain that treating the depression can actually help improve the pain as well? Why is this? Because the stress response system is very, very complex. Our body and mind are connected in ways that are sometimes difficult for us to understand. You may already be hoping that counseling can help a person cope with the stress and strong emotional reactions to physical pain and illness. However, more and more research is coming out that through counseling you can learn to calm your body, self regulate your emotional responses and even motivate yourself to change your behaviors in a way that will help manage your illness!

Person standing in a yoga pose near water representing the how our psychologists can help you feel more at peace with your body & physical condition if you live in Florida.

Improve Your Health Through Behavior Change

Your doctor has encouraged you to change your behavior, but you can’t seem to follow through on the doctor’s suggestions. You want to be healthy but when it comes time to make healthy choices, exercise or do the other things the doctor’s asked you just seem to have difficulty following through.

The good news is that a health psychologist can work with you to increase your motivation, develop a plan to change your behavior and help you stay motivated to follow through! Behavior change is really, really hard. We get that. Really we do. And we want to help.

Some common health behaviors clients choose to work with our health psychologists on include:

  • Weight Management
  • Decrease emotional eating
  • Sleep Problems (see below)
  • Nutrition
  • Commit to and follow an exercise routine
  • ​Stress Management

Photo of a bed with two lights on either side to represent the relationship between sleep and mental health. Our psychologists help individuals in the Tampa area get better sleep.

Counseling for Insomnia and Sleep Problems: CBT-I

Are you tired of not sleeping? Perhaps you lay awake at night for hours after going to bed worrying, tossing and turning. Or you wake up several times a night. You may even suffer from nightmares. Regardless, you aren’t getting enough sleep to feel rested. You’ve tried medication (possibly over the counter & prescription both), essential oils, and every other suggestion a well meaning friend has suggested. Yet…you still suffer from insomnia.

The good news is that counseling can be a very effective treatment for insomnia and we have health psychologists right here in Tampa Bay who offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia! CBT-I is a little bit different than just “sleep hygiene” that you may have tried before. While sleep hygiene is great, when you participate in counseling as insomnia treatment, you’ll go deeper. You may keep a sleep log, explore your thoughts/beliefs about sleep or even try behavioral techniques.
Are you ready to work with a health psychologist?
Take a moment to ask yourself, “What will happen if I keep trying the things I’ve been trying?” In essence, what happens if you don’t call us? Only you can really answer that question. But you know how things have been going. You know what your current physical, mental and emotional health looks like. And I suspect if you’re looking at this page, at least part of you is ready to invest in making a change.

We want to help you make that change. Our skilled, doctorate level psychologists are experts in helping people find a balance between physical and mental health. When you’ve worked with us, you’ll experience an overall improved health. Through counseling, you’ll learn to better understand how your mental and physical health are interconnected and view your health through a more holistic wellness model. You’ll feel better both physically and mentally. You will be able to manage your chronic health conditions and make lasting behavioral changes.

Rainbow over the water representing how a health psychologist can help you find meaning and purpose through counseling with a psychologist.

Work with a Health Psychologist in Tampa

If you are struggling with chronic physical and medical issues, stress and psychological factors play a huge role. If you or someone you care about is experiencing these issues please give our office a call. As a Tampa Bay area Counseling Clinic, Wellness Psychological Services offers a variety of mental health services including in the area of healthy psychology. Whether you are looking for help coping with the stress of chronic pain, wanting to better manage your diabetes through healthy eating or needing to stick to a realistic exercise plan and lose weight-we can help. Our Health Psychologists are expert, doctorate level mental health providers.

You don’t have to stay stuck. It’s possible to overcome any hopelessness or depression you’ve fallen into. You CAN change your behavior and improve your health. If you want to get back to living life to the fullest and live in the Tampa Bay area, we can help. Contact Wellness Psychological Services today to get connected with one of our skilled health psychologists today!


Other Services at Wellness Psychological Services

As a South Tampa counseling clinic, we offer a variety of mental health services. Every member of our counseling team is a doctoral level clinical psychologist. Therefore, you can rest assured that your therapist is an expert in the field of mental health. Other common mental health concerns our psychologists treat include Trauma/PTSD, EMDR therapy, depression, health psychology, depression & bipolar disorder. We also offer psychological testing & evaluation services. We also offer PCIT therapy, and online therapy. For couples & families our psychologists provide support for couples/marriage counseling, divorce discernment, & collaborative divorce facilitation. If you don’t see the issue you are looking for listed, please reach out and contact Wellness Psychological Services to ask if one of our therapists can help you with your unique situation. We look forward to helping you live your best life possible!

Contact Today

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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