Health psychology can be categorised into two main areas: those with diagnosed health conditions and those with physical symptoms but no clear medical diagnosis. At HMP, we focus on the newer scientific literature highlighting the role of the neurophysiology of the stress response in physical health conditions. This means we believe in the fundamental link between our thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and our physical/medical functioning. We want to change the old medical narrative focused on reactive medicine with pills and surgeries as primary tools. Instead, we aim to focus on holistic mind/body health, the impact of the stress response linking the mind/body duality, emotional well-being as preventative medicine, and the common frustration of the patient journey through an outdated medical system.
Those with a diagnosis:
When undergoing medical intervention, being newly diagnosed with an illness (especially if it’s a long-term condition), or suffering from medically related symptoms such as pain, mobility alterations, or changes to normal functioning, stress can be high. Those undergoing these unwanted situations have to cope with emotional strain, future uncertainty, and alterations to their home, work schedules, or leisure activities. Many times, previously depended-upon coping strategies are no longer available. Some may feel that their previous support network no longer understands them. Changes to eating, sleeping, fatigue, mood, and interests are all common. These secondary implications of the primary medical condition may need support too, with new strategies for managing your emotional health when dealing with medical concerns. Using similar techniques as above but adapted to the specifics of the medical condition, HMP clinicians have many years of work in inpatient hospital settings and can help you feel more psychologically in control to cope better with what lies ahead.
Those without a medical diagnosis:
We also recognise the significance of providing support to individuals who experience distress and anxiety regarding physical symptoms, even in the absence of a clear medical diagnosis. We understand the frustration that arises when individuals have heightened awareness of bodily sensations but are unable to find a definitive explanation despite their efforts in the medical field. Often, they are given the diagnosis of medically unexplained symptoms or health anxiety. It is within this context that HMP specialises in working with these individuals, offering a compassionate and empathetic approach to help them navigate the stress associated with their physical symptoms. Through thorough assessments, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s symptoms, medical history, patient journey, and the psychological factors contributing to their distress. We strive to empower individuals through psychoeducation, providing them with knowledge and understanding of their conditions. Drawing on evidence-based techniques, including cognitive-behavioural therapy among a host of others, we assist individuals in addressing anxious thoughts and behaviours, developing effective coping strategies, and reducing distress.
At HMP, we believe in a collaborative approach, working in partnership with individuals to provide holistic care and support as they navigate their health journey without a clear path of diagnosis or treatment. We work to link you with other professionals or resources, as appropriate, to tailor an individualised treatment path with a holistic understanding.
If you find yourself on either of these challenging journeys and believe that support from HMP could be beneficial to you, please reach out to us on the enquiry form below.