Practicing Psychology in the Primary Care Setting

This book equips mental health professionals, students, interns, and post-graduate trainees to work effectively in a primary care setting - which today is the principal site for psychiatric care, behavioral health risk reduction, and psychological treatment of physical or functional complaints such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, fibromyalgia, or irritable bowel syndrome. The primary care setting has a 'culture' that is very distinct from more traditional mental health settings, and so the first part of this book teaches professionals and students about the norms, communication styles, social rituals, and roles they need to be familiar with to be effective psychologists. Psychological therapies in primary care must be symptom-focused and brief. A broad-based epidemiological perspective is also necessary to address mood and anxiety disorders, medical nonadherence, and health risk behaviors such as alcohol abuse and smoking among a large number of patients. Core chapters in the book therefore describe counseling techniques developed specifically for primary care such as the Four A's and BATHE, the Transtheoretical Model (TM), adaptations of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Problem-Solving Therapy (PSA), as well as cross-cultural considerations and consultations as a mental health intervention. Equipped with these strategies and a deeper appreciation of primary care culture, readers will be well placed to adapt their clinical skills to this challenging and rewarding health care setting.