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Foundations of Health Psychology

3 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $29.00

Developed by Cheryl MacDonald, Psy.D., RN

This course's materials are presented in three formats::

The 5 parts of this course are available as audios, videos, and text/pdfs for the student's choice.

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General Course Description

In the field of physical health and psychological well-being, health psychology specializes in exploring biological, psychological, cultural, societal, and environmental factors of life, and how each of these effects physical and emotional health. Health Psychology explores the underlying factors that have a direct and indirect impact on ones' quality of life. Successful outcomes require a civilization who can investigate and employ treatment approaches that cultivate health.

The research is beginning to discover that negative feeling states such as sadness, anger, rage, anxiety, jealousy, and envy, have a direct association to a person’s physical condition. Complete health depends on a healthy mind and body, and this course will be explaining the basic understanding of this relationship along with providing suggestions for health providers to assist others in preventing disease and maintaining health. Health Psychology principles integrate psychological perspectives with cutting-edge work in preventive medicine, epidemiology, public health, genetics, nursing, and the social sciences.

The American Psychological Divisions 38 is Health Psychology, which concentrates on interpreting the relationship between health, illness, emotions and lifestyle. Investigations present the biological justifications for the health psychology position in that human emotions are biological, psychological and sociological in quality. There is a need for implementing a different standard for providing health care, the emergence of a unique type of treatment that is positive in nature, integrating individual fitness and community well-being by implementing health psychology principles.

This introductory course consists of 5 parts, available as audios, videos and texts/pdfs, as well as complete references and resources, which covers the following sub-areas within health psychology. The first recording covers how biological, sociological, environmental and cultural circumstances link to physical and mental health; the second covers life with chronic pain; the third explains the relationship between the physical well-being of the heart and psychology; the fourth helps the practitioner understand the communications between the immune system, the central nervous system, and psychological/sociological conditions; the fifth and final recording will provide a basic foundation of the role the emotional system has in learning, memory, adjusting and coping.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Identify the Health Psychology principles related to applying biological, psychological and sociological theory to treat clients.

2.    Describe chronic pain, heart disease, the immune and central nervous systems functions, and the biological regulators of emotions that affect treatment.

3.    Explain specific techniques that may be utilized in treatment.

Course Syllabus

Foundations of Health Psychology

  • Defining health psychology
  • Genetics and physical health
  • The bio-psycho-social model as it applies to health psychology
  • How health psychology strives to produce answers
  • Tactile stimulation and touch
  • Health psychology and mindfulness

Life with Chronic Pain

  • A brief history of the study of pain
  • Conditions that cause chronic pain
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Cognitive and psychological symptoms
  • Learning to live with pain

Health Psychology and the Burdens of the Heart

  • The historical roots of heart disease
  • The functions of the heart
  • The physical illnesses of the heart
  • The psychological and social factors related to heart disease
  • Psychological and behavioral tips on prevention of heart disease

Health Psychology relates to the Immune and Central Nervous systems

  • The study of the immune system
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • The central nervous systems role
  • Neurons, the wiring of the brain, and psychology
  • How acute and chronic stress effects the body
  • How to achieve health and prevent illness

Health Psychology and the Chemistry of Emotions

  • The three theories of emotions
  • The biological regulators of emotions
  • How emotions assist in living a meaningful, healthy life
  • Prevention, physical health, and health psychology

References & Resources

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