Health Psychological Services

Health psychology involves the application of psychological knowledge and strategies to first, the prevention of illness and the promotion of health, and second, to helping people to cope with and manage illness, especially serious or chronic illness. Dr Morris is a Fellow of the APS College of Health Psychologists and endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia to practise Health Psychology.

The key elements of illness-prevention and health-promotion include:

  • Setting useful and usable goals, especially to change behaviour in pro-health ways.
  • Establishing, maintaining, and regaining motivation to stick to your health-related goals.
  • Preventing and managing relapses.
  • Identifying the functions of your health-damaging behaviours so they can be replaced by health-promoting behaviours that serve the same functions.

Some common applications are:

  • Developing eating and drinking habits that meet your nutritional and energy needs and are practical, affordable and enjoyable.
  • Establishing regular physical activity that meets your fitness needs and is practical, affordable and enjoyable, as much as possible.
  • Combining the two applications above to develop and maintain life-long, healthy body weight management.
  • If necessary, learning how to stop smoking, unhealthy drinking or use of other unhealthy substances.
  • If necessary, learning how to manage life stress without using health-damaging behaviours.

The key elements of managing a chronic or serious illness include:

  • With the help of your professional health-care team, designing your personal health-care plan.
  • Learning strategies for sticking to your personal health-care plan, while maintaining as good a quality of life as possible.
  • Learning strategies for coping with any psychological distress caused by your illness.
  • If necessary, learning strategies for managing pain.

Some common applications are:

  • Managing a life-threatening illness, such as cardiovascular illness or cancer.
  • Managing a chronic illness, such as asthma, arthritis, or diabetes.