top of page
Medical Conditions

Most people, including health care providers, are not familiar with how a psychologist can help with the treatment from physical conditions like chronic pain or fibromyalgia. However, more and more health care providers (physicians, nurses, physician assistants, sports medicine staff) see the value in a psychologist helping a person with the emotional challenges involved in dealing with short-term or long-term physical conditions. The link between stress and physical conditions is profound based upon decades of research. Being on faculty in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Colorado Hospital allows me to be involved with people who have physical injuries that oftentimes require surgery. As you may know, adjustment after surgery can be quite emotionally demanding. I frequently receive referrals from health care providers for a range of injuries, illnesses and disease processes. My hope is that even though your doctor may not see the benefit that you will. And ideally, you inform your physician about my services.


Below are some examples of conditions a person may experience that I treat:

  • Managing chronic pain as a result of an injury or illness.

  • Adapting psychologically (i.e. loss of identity) to a chronic illness (i.e. head injury, lupus, arthritis, cancer, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis) because your level of functioning has changed.

  • Helping stick with the physical medicine treatment plan (i.e. certain dietary habits, exercise, meditation, taking medications).

  • Dealing with grief, loss, anger, irritability, impatience, resentment, regret, frustration, rage, jealousy, self-pity and the other emotions associated with injury or illness.

  • Developing the ability to identify strengths vs. limitations that will enhance the healing process.

  • Finding ways to identify a “healing consciousness” that will facilitate the recovery.

  • Losing and maintaining weight.

  • Assisting the family cope with the person struggling with injury, illness or a disease process.


Below are services I provide for physical/sports medicine:

  • Assisting medical professionals learn how to make a referral to a psychologist.

  • Providing guidance on how to prescribe pain medication in a therapeutic manner.

  • Teaching medical staff how to implement psychological services like relaxation training, biofeedback and healing imagery in their practice.

  • Instructing on how to assess for drug and/or alcohol addiction and how to make a referral.

  • Providing ways to evaluate the patient for depression and/or suicidal tendencies.

  • Explaining how to involve family members in the treatment process.

  • Teach sports medicine staff how to use goal setting and visualization training to facilitate the recovery process.

  • Empower sports medicine staff to keep the athletes best interest at the forefront in spite of coaches who maybe insisting the athlete train harder than is medically indicated.

Click Here for Resources on Medical Conditions

"I have learned never to underestimate the capacity of the human mind and body to regenerate – even when the prospects seem most wretched. This life-force may be the least understood force on earth... Protecting and cherishing that natural drive may well represent the finest exercise of human freedom."

Norman Cousins

Anatomy of an Illness, page 48

bottom of page