Major Medical Illness can significantly impact work, family, mood, & adjustment. These complications can result in increased family stress, anxiety, depression, & interpersonal withdrawal. Adjustment problems may impact on the individual, a spouse, co-worker, a parent, or a child.
As in chronic pain, changes in life roles & acceptance of limitations can be problematic. Anticipation of surgery or medical procedures may become threatening & may influence treatment compliance & outcome.
Psychological complications such as depression or anxiety may need to be treated to improve surgical outcome or improve compicance. Denial may lead to not following through on life style & management strategies that can significantly impact the disease & outcome.
Clinical and health psychologists specialize in using psychological assessment and treatment methods to help assess factors which might complicate medical or injury adjustment and treat issues which can occur with injury, illness or loss. Clinical and health psychologists often work with cardiac patients, adults and children with diabetes, chronic pain, and individuals with neurological conditions. Psycho-oncology is a specialized field which involves working with patients suffering cancer or their family and caregivers.
Methods of treatment include support, psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral strategies, grief resolution, insight-oriented approaches, and behavioral approaches which migth include relaxation training, imagery, and goal-setting.
Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida, has psychological staff that has trained in a variety of medical centers such as Shands at the University of Florida, Veteran's Administration Medical Centers, and others.
Type-A personalities are often intelligent, aggressive, hard driving individuals who can be quite successful. Unfortunately, the very traits that may lead to success have been associated with risk of heart attack, burn out, & stress related disorders. These traits may increase risks for surgery & recovery. These individuals often benefit from stress management, relaxation training, & assistance in developing more flexible methods of coping & improving quality of life.
Depression and anxiety are common and usually treatable complications of medical illness and traumatic injury. In other cases there may be complex interactions between personality, stressors, supports systems and medical illness or injury. Psychological methods involving assessment and treatment can assist in evaluating and treating somatoform disorders.
Families & individuals may need assistance in dealing with terminal illness. Psychological support for individuals & families can assist with mending the family & in providing techniques to increase the individual’s sense of dignity & self-control.
FAQ: Why have I been referred to a Clinical and Health Psychologist?
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