Commonly Asked Questions on Behavioral Medicine

The following questions are the ones that we hear most often. If you have a question that is not addressed, please contact us and we will be happy to respond.

Who practices Behavioral Medicine?

Psychologists and social workers generally work with physicians, physical therapists, and other health-care providers in a team approach.

What is Behavioral Medicine?

Behavioral medicine focuses on the development of various skills, attitudes, and behaviors that reduce pain and improve quality of life. Surgery, injections, and medication are not the only resources for treating chronic pain.

What is Biofeedback?

There are many types of Biofeedback. Each type measures some biological process and feeds back the information in a way that can be used by a person to change. For example, sEMG biofeedback measures the level of muscle tension, EEG or Neurofeedback measures brainwave activity, Temperature feedback helps to determine blood circulation, and Heart-Rate Variability provides information on pulse and breathing patterns.

Biofeedback is a specific treatment that addresses some of the physical problems of pain and can help individuals relax muscles, improve blood-flow or control brainwave activity. This is often combined with progressive relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, mental imagery and other forms of self-control.

Biofeedback does not do anything to you. Instead, it provides information that allows you to see when change is occurring and to practice techniques to make positive changes more easily. Like many of the techniques used in behavioral medicine, biofeedback encourages self-efficacy. We want you to develop skills and use the body's own ability to restore health.

What other treatments are used?

A wide variety of therapy and treatment techniques are available.

  • Hypnosis may be used with those patients that have sufficient hypnotic ability. Hypnosis can be especially useful for pain management, habit disorders such as over-eating or smoking, and treatment of anxiety or depression.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy helps individuals understand the impact of how we think and what we do in everyday life.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Muscle Relaxation, Mental Imagery, and Breathing Techniques help individuals gain self-control of symptoms and medical problems.

How do you determine what course of treatment is needed?

MBC conducts a full range of Psychological Testing and Neuropsychological Assessment to determine what course of treatment is needed.

What types of therapy are available?

Individual therapy addresses issues such as depression or anxiety and also can address skills for coping with pain and the emotional and social consequences of pain.
Group therapy is available and allows individuals to share and discuss coping strategies with others who are dealing with similar problems.

Our therapists are also trained in substance abuse, vocational and disability counseling, issues that commonly co-exist with chronic medical conditions. Whether dealing with stress management, grief counseling or other quality of life concerns, behavioral medicine can assist in minimizing the impact of pain.

Will my insurance pay for Behavioral Medicine therapy?

Yes in most cases. However, insurance coverage varies a great deal and will depend on your policy, the type of service requested, and which therapist is providing the service. For example, some insurance policies cover biofeedback while others do not. We will assist you in finding out what your insurance will cover and what your out-of-pocket costs may be. Payment options are available upon request.

What type of conditions will respond well to Behavioral Medicine?

The therapists at Michigan Behavioral Consultants provide psychological assessment and treatment for a wide variety of problems. Please review our specialties listed on the Specialties page on this website.

Where are you located?

We have Michigan offices in Grand Rapids, Holland, Big Rapids, Greenville, Muskegon, Portage, and St. Joseph. For addresses please go to our Contact page on this website.

If you want to know more about behavioral medicine, ask your Pain Specialist or medical professional if behavioral medicine will benefit you with your pain treatment program.