Behavioral Medicine

At MGH, the Behavioral Medicine Service primarily delivers short-term, skills-based, structured cognitive behavioral interventions for the following types of patients:

brnedBehavioral Medicine Service: Our Approach

At MGH, the behavioral medicine service primarily delivers short-term, skills-based, structured cognitive behavioral interventions for the following types of patients:

-- Patients with chronic illness and a mental health disorder who would benefit from a cognitive-behavioral structured intervention.

-- Patients who are experiencing distress that may be affecting their health (for example, a person with cardiac problems or family history who requires stress management).

-- Patients with no psychiatric diagnosis but who may need help with coping with a chronic or acute medical illness. Issues may include increasing self care or treatment/medication adherence.

About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the primary treatments used within the BMED Service. This specific behavior therapy has proved to be highly effective in a short period of time across multiple medical conditions.

The BMED Service has extensive experience in applying cognitive behavioral therapy to with numerous medical conditions such as HIV, Diabetes (Type I and II), Cancer, Epilepsy, Pain, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADD/ADHD), and others.

What to Expect

Our treatment programs begin with an evaluation, which typically takes one to two visits. At the end of the evaluation the patient and the treatment provider will discuss the goals of the intervention and a plan for achieving these goals. After that, the treatment program itself typically lasts 8 to 16 weekly sessions.

We specifically treat patients whose difficulties include a medical or health related problem. Individuals with a psychiatric disorder or psychological problem that does not involve a medical/health related problem but would require a similar short-term skills-based treatment, can be referred to the cognitive behavioral therapy program.

Scheduling an Appointment

If you are interested in an initial evaluation with one of our staff or fellows, please request a referral from your MGH primary care provider.

Dr. Christina PsarosYou may also call the MGH Psychiatry Outpatient Triage Line at 617-724-7792, and specifically state that you are interested in a referral to Behavioral Medicine. You will then be matched to a provider by insurance panel and provider availability. Due to the numerous referrals that we get, priority is given to individuals with an MGH primary care provider.

The psychiatry department at MGH does not accept all insurances and the individual providers vary from not accepting any insurance to being able to accept the full spectrum that this department participates in. If you do not have an insurance accepted by the program, you may elect to self-pay if your insurance allows it.