Ms. Alexandra Nobel, M.A., Chapter 13: The Health Psychologist’s Role

For Ms. Nobel’s guest lecture May 7th, you have been given TWO tasks.

First, briefly (in a sentence or two, max.) describe what it is that you think health psychologists do.  What is the role of a health psychologists? Where/how do they work? (This is the request of our guest!)

Then– after reading chapter 13– submit ONE question for our guest lecturer.  She will be in class, and will answer many of the questions in person, so I encourage you to use this opportunity to your benefit.


42 thoughts on “Ms. Alexandra Nobel, M.A., Chapter 13: The Health Psychologist’s Role

  1. IrinaF

    I think health psychologist focus on the lifestyles and choices of a person and how it affects their health, as well as how people deal with illness and disease. Health psychologist can work in non-profit organizations, health clinics, education centers.
    Question:What seems to be the biggest obstacle for clients in therapy?

  2. jeanmariee94

    I think health psychologists focus on the biopsychosocial aspects of what affects our health and research how we can lead healthy lifestyles. They also help individuals prevent illness and promote healthy behaviors.
    What area do you specialize in? Clinical work, public policy work, occupational health, or research related work?

  3. Chamirah Farley, RN

    I believe health psychologists explore the relationship between mental/emotional/cognitive status and social factors, etc and how its impacts well-being. I also believe they aid in the prevention of illness. Health psychologist work in a variety of settings which may include a hospital, community, research and policy. What is the most challenging aspect of being a health psychologist ?

  4. Ashley Golden

    I thought a health psychologist is a health professional who helps clients figure out health concerns that affect them mentally and physically. I don’t know where they work, I figured in an office or clinic.

    What do you enjoy most about being a Health Psychologist ?, and is there a demand for Health Psychologists?

  5. Taurey

    From what we have studied in class I feel a health psychologist is a doctor who helps a person cope with an emotional, social or mental hardship they are experiencing due to some form of disease that is effecting the individual physically.

  6. Isaac D. O

    I believe HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST objectives are focused on the bio-psycho-social activities of mankind
    Health Psychologist main role is to investigate on the relationship between DISEASE AND RACE.
    They do this by using scientific methods such as Experimental studies and non experimental studies.

    QUESTION, In most cases, health policies are developed and implemented to improve health or at least remove health hazards. there are times however when health policies appear to jeopardize, rather than enhance,the health outcomes of individuals . What SPECIFIC ROLE does health psychologist play in situations like this ? Thank you

  7. Chamirah

    What role does the health psychologist have in the interdisciplinary team ? Typically when I heard of the interdisciplinary team I think of Doctors, nurses, OT/PT, case managers/social workers, dieticians. Is there direct involvement in the plan of care ? What is the interface with other medical professions ?

  8. dorcas

    I think health psychologists are involved with psychosocial aspect of health care. They work with individuals and health care companies. They help companies with development of health behavior change related advertisements.
    My question is, how do they get reimbursed when they take care of individual patients, do they get payed by the insurance companies or out of pocket?

  9. Mdelie16

    Before taking this class, I had absolutely no idea what a health psychologist did. I didn’t even know it was a profession, I just thought it was a theoretical topic that they made into a class. After taking this class, I have a general idea but still not 100% sure. I think that a health psychologist studies the health behaviors of a client and all that would affect health behaviors such as environment, biology, socioeconomic status, social environment, individual determinants, etc. and try to alter unhealthy behaviors by gradually encouraging them to change it.

    Recently in class we learned about the different templates (medical template, threat template, response template, and psychological template) health psychologists might use to help a person. My question is are these templates effective? Do they really help acquire results? and how exactly would a health psychologist would use them? Also, in what setting would you find a health psychologist (i.e. hospital, counseling center) ? and how do you become a health psychologist? What education and degrees are needed to qualify as a health psychologist?

  10. Keila Gordon

    I think a health psychologist focuses on the social part of medical and mental diseases and disorders. They try to determine the causes of specific situations.

    What made you decide to become a healthy psychologist and what difficulties do you face while being a health psychologist?

  11. Henry M.

    I think health psychologists focuses on the social and mental wellness in people. Health psychologists helps people with different health behaviors. What are the difficulties you face when patients are having a hard time coping with diseases like STDs?

  12. Raz

    I think the role of health psychologists are to develop a one on one relationship with the patient. Give them psychological testing, interviews, behavior survey, and to inform the patient on how to live a better quality of life.
    Why is it that stereotypes were used to determine whether or not to give vaccinations and that the possibility of any exceptions within that stereotype were slim to none? Especially with all the diversity, shouldn’t the people in charge of the decision making behind categorizing who needs what treatment realize that everyone has a chance of becoming diagnosed?
    How do you determine which therapy is best for the patient?
    From experience, what determinants held patients back from bettering themselves? What determinants helped patients better themselves?

  13. Veronica

    I view a health psychologist as an individual who studies the behavioral, environmental, and genetic characteristics to try to predetermine an individual’s health outcome based on these factors if contracting a health related issue. Health psychologists also interact with clients to help them cope with an illness and determine an idea for what caused the illness to occur in that individual.

    Question: Besides hospitals, where else would health psychologists be accessible and what setting would they most likely work in?

  14. Nawang N. Sherpa

    Health Psychologists perform a lot of responsibilities on the basis of work environments. They are involved in clinical work as well as research in order to avoid health problems and distribute knowledge on healthy lifestyles. Health Psychologist’s role depends on their specialties and work environments. Their role is to provide mental and behavioral health services in social settings working with people of all ages experiencing mental health disorders. They usually work at universities, health clinics, government agencies and hospitals.

    How has work place saftety as a health policy benefitted the overall health policy. Do you think this policy is recognized globally at the moment as it is considered a relatively new policy?

  15. Keven Deng

    I think health psychologists help with health policy decisions and healthy practices in relation to motivation in addition to helping with research in relation to health behaviors. Also I believe they provide education on health behaviors in addition to education on management for people who live with illness that are extreme or acute. I think they work at nonprofit organizations, clinics as well as schools.

    As a health psychologist what do you do to help in lowering disparities in relation to health services and policies provided?

  16. Lizet

    I think the role of a health psychologist is to focus in various factors that can contribute to illness like environment, behavioral , physiological , and psychological. They belief may factor can have an effect on a persons life.

    Do health psychologist mostly do research studies or do they also have a patient to provider relationship?

  17. Chander Raj

    I believe that Health Psychologist look at a person’s mental and emotional states and determine what effects those states have on their physical health.

    Question: As a health psychologist, have you experienced any situations in which you felt threatened by your patients?

  18. alicia

    I think health psychologist is professionals that help patients cope with emotional and mental hardship that person are suffering from some hard disease that is affecting the individual. They can work in hospitals, private clinics, or schools.
    question: What are the competence areas for clinical health psychologists?

  19. daniel quiles

    i feel that a health psychologist is a doctor that see more then just a diseases or sickness , they must understand how to deal with everything that comes with a diseases such as all the emotions. their stance is different due to an emotional point of view. beyond emotion they make sure to assess factors when researching .

    im sure that you have had many patients , but how can you manage to deal with everyone differently considering every factor ? do you feel like you gain more than the patient does ?

  20. Chunn

    While psychology is known as the study of the mind, and health being the concept of mental, physical and social healthy. Being a health psychologist, I think is a professional that works along with the mind and thoughts about the patients health.

    Question: As a health psychologist, the mind plays a big part. In order to be “efficient” in the works. One must be able to understand the patients emotional problems, social problems and mental problems. When a health psychologist makes a that may involve in a patients life-death situation. How would a health psychologist handle his/her own thoughts as someone who could have prevented the cause. How will someone still trust someone who thinks he/she can help a patient if he/she cannot help him/herself. How may this cause others the think that health psychologist may be unethical?

  21. Emmauel Acheampong

    The basic role of a health psychologist is to identify and analyze health problems so as to adopt and execute comprehensive problem solving techniques and approaches to advocate and promote the health status and wellness of individuals and the general community as a whole.

    Question- Why is it that psychology as an important interdisciplinary field is still leading from behind as compared to other fields like medicine, science and technology?

  22. donna myriel

    I think the role of a health psychologists is to understand the underlying psychological aspects of patients with chronic illnesses and other illnesses and work with them to find ways to cope with having their illness. also, compiling data to understand what factors can be connected in causing someone to become ill.

    My question to MS. Nobel is as a health psychologists who works with patients with chronic illnesses and other health problems, do their personal experiences affect you personally in a way that it might push you to want to become an advocate for these individuals?

  23. matty65

    It is apparent that health psychologist wear several different hats. Some work directly with individuals to improve their health status by offering educational and interventional programs. In this capacity the health psychologist functions much as a therapist would by attempting to modify behavior to obtain a goal. Health psychologist also function on a grander scale to promote public health and wellbeing by creating and evaluating public health policy. I believe that the holy grail of the profession, and this is only my opinion, is the research that health psychologist perform. Health psychologist devise methods of research the reveal how social, cultural, economic and, organizational influences influence the health of individuals and groups. This aspect of a health psychologist’s function segues to my question for our guest speaker:
    Ms. Nobel, greetings and salutations, I am sure that you are aware of the current protest that are taking place in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. It would seem that the unbalanced equation that exist between the police and the minority community is both deeply rooted and wide spread. The persistence of police insensitivity has created a cesspool of depression and despair. Could you explain just how these emotions progress a community/group into violence, risky health behaviors and a generally diminished health status?

  24. anthonynedd

    Health psychologists explore factors that affect an individual’s well-being, including biological, psychological and social impacts. Health psychologists study the various reactions of individuals when diagnosed with a particular disease, as well as factors that affect their treatment choices.

    Was Health Psychology always you intention and passion, if not how did you discover Health Psychology and why did you decide to pursuit it as a career?

  25. Donna Liu

    I think health psychologists focuses on how mental, emotional, and social factors affect a person’s well-being.
    Question: In your entire career as a health psychologist, have you ever felt a time where you couldn’t help a patient of yours?

  26. Dherrera

    I think health psychologist hightlight behaviors that might be risky to a particular patient and guide them to engage in healthier ones.
    Would you be honest with a patient even if the news you had for them were detrimental?

  27. benny

    I think what a health psychologist does depends on the work setting or specialty area, many health psychologist work with individuals and groups to prevent diseases and promote healthy behaviors, others also conduct research on variety of heath related issues.
    Question: How do heath psychologist work in conjunction with psychiatrists and primary care physicians both in research and clinical setting

  28. kenlyn

    I think a health psychologist works with people or individuals with behavioral and health problems to help them live a normal and successful life.
    Question: how does the work of a health psychologist and a psychiatrist differ and how can they work together to help an individual a health and mental illiness?

  29. Sayma

    I think health psychologists are healthcare professionals who works with patients with chronic illnesses, to provide them psychological and emotional support during their illness or during their recovery time

    It must be very challenging to work with patients with starting from chronic diseases to even terminal diseases. My question for you is that how do you control your emotions when you’re around these patients and also how has working with such patients changed you as an individual?

  30. Altenor

    Based on biopsychosocial approach, health psychologist his duty is to work with people who have behavior problems such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, etc, and to focus on how mental, emotional and social factors affect their physical well-being. He offers education and health intervention programs to improve their health status.
    Considering the magnitude of millions of people of their health outcomes in USA most likely due to their low socioeconomic status, it is what it is in this country for long, with that being said, as a health advocate is there anything that you can do or implement on behalf of those who have health psychological problems despite their low socioeconomic status in order to improve their health conditions?

  31. Milka Ng

    In my opinion, health psychologists not only focus on patient’s physically health, but also focus on the patient’s mental health and look for clues that what risky behaviors/factors the patient is having and how does it affect to his health. Since there is various outcomes on different patients, it requires deeper relationship between doctor and patient to find out what works the best on patient.

    Question: Have you ever have a patient that refuses any changes? If so, what would you do to help them?

  32. Einstein$13

    First and for most, I want thank you for trying to make the world a better place. To my understand health psychology providers help us figure out how social, behavior, environment factors affect our health; and how illnesses affect the environment, behavior, and social condition.

    I am aware that you are doing a research. My question to you is:

    1.what makes your research more credible than other researchers?

    2. What would you do different as a policy advisor to eradicate health care disparity?

  33. Isilita Arman

    I personally believe that health psychologist focus on mental health, cognitive factors and society factors. Health psychologist work in many different settings including intervention which span into the fields of social work, clinical work, research, hospital settings and referrals. What coping strategies do health psychologist give to the terminally ill?

  34. iespinoza

    Health Psychologists study the relationship between individuals behavior, psychology and the effects of those factors in healthcare. Since I have never come in contact to a Health Psychologist during my visits to the hospital I think they’re not that accessible. Im deducing they mostly work on academic research units.

    with the diverse community you have to work in New York City, What is more challenging: incorporating the methods found to manage certain illnesses or to actually find effective methods that can be standardized?

  35. Jibriel

    I think health psychologist help patients with chronic illnesses in continuing a healthy life style. The major role for a health psychologist is to empower patients with a better quality of life by understanding and helping individuals manage their pain. Health psychologist work in universities, clinics, research related work.
    Where do you work and what type of diseases do you mostly deal with? What coping strategies do you propose to most of you clients? Also what is the hardest part of being a health psychologist in the real world?

  36. Shanquia L

    I think health psychologist focus on the mental and emotional state of a patient affected by illness and the process of recovery. They usually work at hospitals, clinics, schools, some work places, and they also do research. What is your view on autonomy and truth telling?

  37. Leonel

    People have different ways to perceive health psychology. How would you define health psychology? Why did you choose to be a health psychologist? What has motivated you?

  38. kareshma

    1. I think a health pyshologist is a person that helps people with longterm and shorterm illnesses cope with these diseases and adapt to new lifestyles where they can continue being active and mainitain a somewhat normal life. Sessions with a health pyschologists is like therapy sessions for these people where they tell the psychologist about how their lives have changed, how the disease is affecting them and other things that will help the health psychologist come up with ideas of how they can continue being active in their everyday lives for the future.

    2. Is working as a private health psychologist much different than working as one for a government facility? What is the difference ? And if you were working as a government appointed health psychologist, what restrictions would there be v.s if you were a private health psychologist?

  39. Kar Lee

    I think health psychologists focus on health and diseases which have relationship on physical, biological, psychological and sociological factors. Health Psychologist work in school, hospital field, research field and clinics.
    My Question: In what ways can therapists help people reach their goals and change health habits to improve health service?

  40. thierno

    i think that health psychologists study the correlation between our mental and psychological state with our health and well-being. Their role is to understand the relationship between those different factors in order to improve the health and well-being of the society.
    What are method used by health psychologists to treat their patients. Do they prescribe medicines or they just have talk session as other psychologists.

  41. rssp044

    Health Psychologists treat or prevent illness to promote healthy behaviors. Depending upon their expertise they can work in a wide variety of settings like teach in a college as Dr. Amanda does, work in a clinical setting, doing research. Health Psychologists also work in hospitals and community centers.
    Question: The people who go to clinics and hospitals to see a health psychologist about their condition, how should they confirm it that the health psychologist has rightly diagnosed them (since the people themselves are not health psychologists and they know nothing about their condition)?

  42. Alla P

    I believe that a health psychologist specializes in a person’s emotional and mental well-being as it is affected by their physical condition. As such, what role do you believe that a positive attitude and outlook on life has in a patient’s recovery or demise from a serious illness such as cancer? Do you think that a “mind -body connection” exists, making the body stronger and the immune system more vigilant if the mind is in a good place?


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