Health Psychology

Psychologists are trained to research, understand, and apply knowledge related to human behaviour. Based on their training and interest, psychologists may specialise in many different areas including Forensic, Clinical, Education, Developmental, and Organisational psychology. The methods psychologists utilised to alter human behaviour and cognitions vary widely as does the style of psychotherapy or other clinical interventions.

Health Psychologists are those psychologists who have undergone a program of training that has led to formal recognition of their experience in areas related to health behaviours. Although their skill set is similar to other psychologists the differential factor is the focus on the multiple interacting factors that influence health behaviours and health outcomes.

The biopsychosocial model is the traditional approach utilised by Health Psychologists it involves the recognition that biology, psychology, and social factors interact to impact health. This understanding will often lead to a broad approach with multiple interventions that may contribute to improving health outcomes.

Apart from the more traditional areas of health psychological

  • Support chronic disease management
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Pain management
  • Patient education
  • Lifestyle counselling

health psychologists also work in health planning and the implementation of prevention and health promotion programs.

A person’s health is closely linked to the conditions in which they live and work. Factors such as socioeconomic position, educational attainment, employment opportunities, disability status, access to health services, social supports, and the built and natural environments can strengthen or undermine the health of individuals and communities.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020