Support Doctoral Level Psychophysiology Students

Support Doctoral Level Psychophysiology Students

From Cynthia Kerson

Medical care is changing. People are interested in staying healthy. Humanistic psychophysiology is a new style of medicine/psychology that embraces this philosophy. Support this training with scholarships thru the BMRTF.

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We need your help to support graduate education in applied psychophysiology so true professionals can effectively provide well demonstrated techniques to many different physical problems and optimal functioning in sports, business, and education.


What the field is about:

Psychophysiology is the branch of psychology centering on the physiological bases of human behavior. Applied psychophysiology is the subspecialty of psychophysiology which uses knowledge of the biological bases of various behaviors in conjunction with numerous psychological techniques to help people optimize their behaviors.

Applied psychophysiologists are psychologists who develop and use psychophysiological assessments and interventions based on such areas as behavioral genetics, hormonal influence on behavior, individual differences in perception, and abnormal physiological patterns. They assist (coach) clients in recognizing and altering problems caused by these biological underpinnings. The amputee in the illustration below is participating in a psychophysiological assessment demonstrating the cause of his phantom pain so the correct treatment can be applied.

 Common psychophysiological intervention techniques include biofeedback, relaxation training, entrainment, hypnosis, and many others. They are used to help people having numerous clinical problems as well as to help healthy people optimize their performance in sports, school, and business environments.

The photo below shows a child being coached to recognize and control changes in blood flow problems which cause her headaches.

How powerful are applied psychophysiological interventions?

Many psychophysiological assessments produce unique information about what causes clients physical problems which can’t be gathered any other way. They are used to choose and then guide optimal interventions.

Interventions such as feedback of muscle tension and temperature have been proven to be as or more effective than any medications in preventing migraine and tension headaches. These interventions have none of the side effects associated with medications. They are accepted by many medical groups such as the American College of Pediatrics.

 Psychophysiological interventions for irritable bowel syndrome are far more effective than any medications. Feedback for muscle tension related jaw pain and for children’s ADHD have also been shown to be highly efficacious. Feedback for muscle related urinary and fecal incontinence as well as anxiety (especially when related to improper breathing problems) have also been proven to be effective.

 A crucial problem with providing applied psychophysiological interventions:

Few providers are adequately trained to perform the assessments and interventions correctly. True professionals in applied psychophysiology are few and far between because there is only one doctoral training program in the field.

That program is incredibly expensive and few people can actually afford it. So, we need to provide scholarships to outstanding scholars for the field to survive and prosper.

 How we will use the funds you contribute:

1. 92% or more: Students who have successfully completed their first full time year in the program with honors and demonstrate financial need to complete it, will be offered partial tuition remission assistantships. Students receiving assistantships will be assigned to assist faculty in performing research and other administrative tasks.

2. 4% or less (as needed): Purchase recording and other equipment for student labs.

3. 4% or less (as needed): Advertise the program so appropriate candidates are aware of it.


What you receive as part of our thanks for your donation:

(beyond the knowledge that you have helped a field grow and prosper)

          1. A letter from the Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation thanking you for your donation. As we are a 91c3 organization, you can use the letter to take your donation off your taxes.

            2. A nicely printed certificate of appreciation for your support.

            3. The ability to track exactly how your donation is used.

            4. An offer to provide you with reports on how our scholarship program is  progressing.


We can’t do this without you!

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