Health Psychology

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Throughout the history of healthcare and mental health practice, conflicting thoughts have caused confusion about how physical and emotional illnesses develop, how they appear, and how they should be evaluated and treated. It is estimated that only about 17% of U.S. adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health.

Our introductory course on Health Psychology, can assist psychotherapists and counselors in understanding the fundamental elements of employing a bio-psycho-social framework to their practice.

  • What emotional and environmental powers have influence on well-being?
  • How does a behavior contribute to wellness or disease?
  • How does culture relate to physical and emotional health?

Most Common Facts About Emotional and Physical Health in the United States

  • It has been estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world.
  • The percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes increased 167% from 1980 to 2011.
  • Among men with coronary heart disease, more veterans than civilians smoked and more were daily smokers, yet veterans were no more likely to attempt to quit.
  • More than one-third (78 million) of U.S. adults are obese.
  • Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. These conditions are known as social determinants of health.
  • Multiple social, psychological, and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person at any point of time.
  • There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health outcomes.
  • By utilizing health psychology and the bio-psycho-social principles in the health care system, health professionals can begin to focus on treating the whole person which in turn benefits physical, emotional and societal health.

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