Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC provides an array of empirically validated services to address individual patient needs. The most common reasons for seeking treatment include mood and anxiety disorders (such as depression, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder), life transitions (such as divorce, job loss, retirement, new parenthood, empty nest, bereavement), recent health events, and interpersonal conflict, to name a few. (More information about common mental health conditions and how psychotherapy works can be found on our FAQ's page.) General services include: assessment, psychotherapy, couples counseling, family therapy, coaching, consultations with businesses and organizations, & workshops. Treatment approaches include evidence based: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), positive psychotherapy, insight oriented, problem-solving, and mindfulness/relaxation methods.
We also consult with physician practices to assist with the specific mental health needs of their patients. With this collaborative process, we are able to develop the best intervention strategies to fit the unique aspects of the practice population. Below are some examples of specific clinical populations that we treat, both individually and in group format, if requested.
Cardiac Risk Reduction:
Research shows that cardiac patients who are taught to manage their stress enjoy better health at less cost to the health system and to themselves than patients who receive standard cardiac care (American Journal of Cardiology, 89, 164-168). Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, teaches cardiac patients how to positively change their negative lifestyle habits to enhance overall cardiac health. Patients and their families learn how psychosocial factors, such as stress, anger, and social support (or lack of it), can affect a person’s risk for initial or recurrent cardiac events. The concepts of stress reduction and anger management are promoted through individual and/or group sessions via psycho-educational and interactive methods.
Diabetes presents unique issues for individuals living with the chronic disease, especially children. "For young people, simple things, such as going to a birthday party, playing sports, or staying overnight with friends, need careful planning. Checking blood glucose, making correct food choices, and taking insulin or oral medication can make children feel ‘different’ from their classmates. For any child or teen with diabetes, learning to cope with the disease is a big task and may cause emotional and behavioral challenges.”
[National Diabetes Education Program]
Our patients are taught behavioral self-management strategies to help them develop and maintain healthy lifestyle habits using mindfulness training and stress management techniques in a goal-oriented, success driven framework.
This approach helps fill the gap between basic diabetes education and personal mastery of diabetes self-care practices for individuals of all ages who still struggle with adopting a successful healthy lifestyle.
The most common eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating and the most effective treatment is psychological counseling (such as CBT) in coordination with medical and nutritional care. Eating disorders often have a biological basis, and co-occur with other conditions such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive- compulsive disorder. The prevalence of anorexia may be as high as 15% among females in their teens and 20's. Up to 7% of women in the U.S. have had bulimia at some point in their lives, while binge-eating disorder affects up to 4% of the general population. Eating disorders, though more common in women, affect males too, especially athletes. The providers of Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, have many years of experience treating eating disorders using a CBT based treatment approach in coordination with patients' medical and nutritional team, as needed.
The providers of Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC provide gifted testing using the RIAS (Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales) to measure intellectual functioning in children whose parents and/or teachers request it. The RIAS is a time-effective and state of the art instrument that contains several individual tests of intellectual problem solving and reasoning ability which are combined to form an overall Composite Intelligence Index (CIX). Individuals earning CIX (general intelligence scores) above 130 are considered to be in the gifted range and will benefit from being adequately challenged in school so as not to become bored. It is recommended that such individuals participate in gifted classes or programs, when available in school, in order to interact with similarly-minded children, to learn at an accelerated or flexible pace when appropriate, and to receive enrichment opportunities such as independent projects, creative curriculums, and leadership experiences.
It is a myth that significant memory loss comes with age. Forgetting the name of someone you just met or the reason you walked into a room are normal age-related changes. On the other hand, dementia is a progressive condition that makes it hard for a person to remember, learn, and communicate. Among all primary care patients older than 65 who have dementia, approximately one-half are undiagnosed (Archives of Internal Medicine, 160, 2964-68). Screening for early dementia offers patients the opportunity to discuss future planning with regard to health care, safety, and finances, as well as sensitive issues such as driving safety, self-neglect, and living arrangements. Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, offers neuropsychological evaluations that specifically screen for dementia and other cognitive decline.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction:
Some say stress is the most common cause of illness in our society likely underlying as many as 70% of all visits to family doctors. Fortunately, research has shown that stress reduction training can produce significant improvements in individuals' sense of well-being and in physical symptoms, such as high blood pressure. For example, a 10-week mindfulness program for hypertensive employees in a large corporation led to improved health and a sharp cut in health care claims (Psychosomatic Medicine, 46 (5), 387-397). Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, offers stress reduction through individualized or group programs that teach well established techniques such as breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, cognitive restructuring/reframing, and assertiveness training.
Ninety-seven million Americans suffer from chronic pain (including from migraines, fybromyalgia, back and neck pain, arthritis or joint pain), the leading cause of disability. More than half of the patients suffering from chronic pain also suffer from depression or anxiety. When a person with chronic pain is suffering from high levels of stress, anxiety or depression, their pain is felt more acutely. Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, offers evidence based mindfulness based cognitive-behavioral interventions, which address the psychosocial distress and related factors facing pain patients (e.g., increased stress, use of ineffective coping strategies, and hopelessness). Treatment sessions cover traditional cognitive restructuring training, adaptive coping techniques, effective (assertive) communication strategies, and relaxation/meditation training, all tailored for individuals with chronic pain. It is standard for patients considering spinal cord stimulator placement (a type of implantable neuromodulation device used to send electrical signals to select areas of the spinal cord) to be required to undergo an evaluation to assess psychological status, understanding of the process, and appropriateness for the procedure. The providers of Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, provide pre-treatment psychological evaluations which satisfy such requirements.
Pre-IVF Treatment Evaluations:
Undergoing fertility assistance treatment such as an In vitro Fertilization (IVF) - can be an emotional and physical burden, for both the woman and her partner. Research suggests that couples going through IVF-treatment are, in general, psychologically well adjusted. It is routine, however, for many fertility specialty practices to require patients to undergo an evaluation to assess psychological status and appropriateness for certain procedures such as artificial insemination (AI) using donor sperm and/or donor egg. The providers of Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, provide pre-treatment psychological evaluations which satisfy such requirements.
Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery:
“There is strong evidence that combined interventions of a low calorie diet, increased physical activity, and behavior therapy provide the most successful therapy for weight loss and weight maintenance (National Institutes of Health Clinical Guidelines for the Treatment of Overweight and Obesity).” Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, helps individuals develop and maintain healthy lifestyle changes by using behavioral methods (e.g., hunger/fullness rating scale, goal setting, etc.) as well as confronting obstacles such as emotional and binge eating that often undermine weight loss and maintenance. Patients have achieved and maintained their weight loss goals through participating in our 8 -week cognitive behavioral Weight Loss Success Group, and by working individually with any of our providers. Our providers also offer psychological services including pre-surgical bariatric evaluations to patients at BayCare's St. Joseph's Hospital and South Florida Baptist Hospital.
Wellness and Prevention:
“Nearly half of the nation’s premature deaths from the 10 leading causes of mortality are attributable to controllable behavioral factors such as unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, and risky sexual practices.” (Center for the Advancement of Health, 2000 status report on Selected Evidence for Behavioral Approaches to Chronic Disease Management in Clinical Settings) Florida Medical Psychology Associates, LLC, works with individuals to promote optimal physical and emotional health and prevent the development of illness. This approach is based on a positive psychology coaching model designed to inspire increased positive emotion, a deeper sense of purpose, achievement of personal goals and overall life satisfaction.