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Diabetes Behavioral Health

Diabetes Health Psychology

UMass Memorial Medical Center provides patients living with diabetes access to health psychologists who specialize in diabetes management. Our psychologists work directly with the diabetes care team to improve physical health and overall quality of life, including emotional and behavioral health.

We will help you conquer:

  • Fear of needles
  • Hypoglycemia concerns
  • Weight loss
  • Motivation to change
  • Emotional eating
  • Feelings of burn out
  • Stress management
  • Pain reduction

Emotional Health

Living with diabetes can be overwhelming. It can cause frustration, anxiety, and/or depression, all of which can get in the way of diabetes management. Our diabetes psychologists will support the improvement of your emotional wellbeing.

Behavioral Health

Lifestyle and behavioral factors such as a stressful job and family life may sometimes get in the way of successful diabetes management. People often know what they must do, but have difficulty putting a plan into action. Our diabetes psychologists will help you begin and sustain necessary health behavior changes.

What to Expect

During your first visit, the health psychologist will perform an evaluation and together you'll develop a success plan that suits your needs. Structured therapy and support around your diabetes and emotional wellbeing will be provided to help you integrate diabetes into your life. 

Importance of Langauge in Diabetes Care

Words used to describe something shapes the way others perceive and value that thing. The culture in diabetes tends to be the disease defines the person, such as, “he/she is a diabetic.”  Changing that language to “he is living with diabetes” or “she is thriving with her diabetes care” makes a big difference. 

ADA Recommendations

The American Diabetes Association recommends including behavioral health professionals on the care team for people living with diabetes. Our diabetes clinic is on of the few clinics in the U.S. which currently has behavioral psychologists on staff. Dr. MacGregor was published in Diabetes Care, examining exactly how close diabetes healthcare really is to meeting those recommendations.