I’m a pediatric psychologist who specializes in caring for children, adolescents and teens with gastrointestinal conditions and related symptoms. I care for patients and families through individual outpatient therapy, as well as being part of the multidisciplinary team in the Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders clinic.
My approach to psychological care includes meeting the patient and family where they are, validating their illness journey, and working together to identify their strengths as well as areas where they want to grow and build new skills. I use a variety of evidence-based approaches, two of the most common being cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
Throughout my career, I have enjoyed working with patients of all ages who have chronic conditions. What drew me to working with youth was the astonishing resilience I witnessed working with patients and families with chronic illnesses. I am inspired by their determination to achieve their goals and live their best lives despite the challenges that can arise.
In addition to my clinical practice, I enjoy furthering the understanding of what factors can impact the experience of chronic pain through research. My emerging program of research seeks to understand better: 1) what psychological and social factors (for example, pain-related injustice, pain coping strategies and resilience) influence pain and functioning in youth with pain, and 2) what sociocultural factors (for example, healthcare provider biases and empathy, parental reaction to pain) facilitate and impede the delivery of guideline-concordant care for youth with pain.
Through support from a 2021 American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grant, I am currently investigating how institutional and provider racism contribute to disparities in pain treatment for patients with sickle cell disease.
In my spare time, I dabble in photography and confectionary creations. My joys in life include spending time with my husband and dog, learning new things, seeing new places, listening to good music and eating great food.
BA: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2010.
MS: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, 2015.
PhD: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, 2019.
Internship: Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, 2019.
Fellowship: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis/Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN, 2021.
Gastrointestinal conditions and difficulties; chronic pain
Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD
Pain-related injustice; pain (in)validation; factors impacting healthcare providers assessment and treatment of pain
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Anger as a Mechanism of Injustice Appraisals in Pediatric Chronic Pain. Journal of Pain. 2022; 23:212-222.
Pain-Related Injustice Appraisals in Youth with Sickle Cell Disease: A Preliminary Investigation. Pain Medicine. 2021; 22:2207-2217.
Catastrophizing, pain, and functional outcomes for children with chronic pain: a meta-analytic review. PAIN. 2018; 159:2442-2460.
Injustice perceptions about pain: parent-child discordance is associated with worse functional outcomes. PAIN. 2018; 159:1083-1089.
Perceived Injustice Is Associated With Pain and Functional Outcomes in Children and Adolescents With Chronic Pain: A Preliminary Examination. Journal of Pain. 2016; 17:1217-1226.
Impact of experimentally manipulated sleep on adolescent simulated driving. Sleep Medicine. 2015; 16:796-799.
Changes in executive functioning and self-management in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: a growth curve analysis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2013; 38:18-29.
The Pain and PRAYER Scale (PPRAYERS): development and validation of a scale to measure pain-related prayer. Pain Medicine. 2023; 24:862-871.