Primary Care Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

Learn more about our Emphasis in  
Primary Care Psychology &  
Behavioral Medicine.

Learn more about our Emphasis in
Primary Care Psychology &
Behavioral Medicine.

Emphasis in Primary Care Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

More than four out of five physician visits are for problems with a significant psychological and/or behavioral component, such as obesity or diabetes. Our emphasis in primary care psychology & behavioral medicine—another fast-growing area of modern psychology—integrates clinical psychology, behavioral medicine, and healthcare.

Students learn evidence-based approaches and techniques related to key principles of primary care psychology, including mind/body interaction; pain definition and management; stress related illnesses and treatments; the role of behavioral factors in physical and psychological well-being; and the application of psychological assessment and intervention techniques to acute and chronic illness.

Understanding the impact of broader structural and systemic factors on well-being, and the role of the psychologist in healthcare delivery are emphasized. This emphasis is well suited for those interested in practice in primary healthcare settings, such as hospitals, group medical practices, community clinics, HMOs, and family practice centers. It is also a good fit for students who wish to intervene with medical patients in order to reduce physical symptoms, such as reduction in pain symptoms using mindfulness, reduction in blood pressure using biofeedback, or regulation of blood sugar in diabetics using behavioral management techniques in collaboration with a dietician.

Required courses provide students with knowledge and skills pertinent to several of the key principles of primary care psychology, including mind/body interaction; pain definition and management; stress-related illnesses and treatments; the role of behavioral factors in physical and psychological well-being; the application of psychological assessment and intervention techniques to acute and chronic illness; and an understanding of the impact of broader structural and systemic factors on well-being and the role of the psychologist in healthcare delivery.