Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral Medicine

west complex 

The Behavioral Medicine Center provides psychological evaluation and treatment services for a wide variety of patient populations and presenting problems. Referral sources include UVA medical clinics, physicians in private practice, UVA Student Health, community psychiatrists, UVA Faculty and Employee Assistance Program, and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Medical populations include those presenting with problems that are caused or exacerbated by psychobehavioral processes, including insomnia and other sleep disorders, diabetes, GI disorders, obesity, and headaches. Services are also provided for patients who are having difficulty adjusting to and coping with the emotional and behavioral demands of acute, chronic, and life-threatening medical problems, as well as their caretakers. In addition to these presenting problems, services are provided for patients with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, including GAD, OCD, phobias, and habit control problems (e.g., trichotillomania), adjustment disorders, grief, trauma, ADHD, and eating disorders.

 The Behavioral Medicine Center serves patients ranging in age from early childhood to the geriatric years. Presenting problems are typically treated with empirically-documented treatment protocols that are individually-tailored to a patient’s needs and personality. A cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment is typically utilized, but other approaches are integrated when appropriate. While many interventions are brief in duration, there are some patients who require longer-term psychotherapy.

The fellow will also have the opportunity to work within the Virginia Driving Safety Laboratory, located in the Behavioral Medicine Center, that conducts both clinical and research activities. Clinically, this service provides evaluations concerning the extent to which a progressive or acute disease affects driving ability. Additional clinical services involve treatment of driving phobias, as well as rehabilitation of driving skills following a physical insult, e.g., traumatic brain injury. Research involves developing virtual reality driving simulation and working with a variety of patient groups (e.g., military personnel, ADHD/Asperger’s, seniors, and type 1 diabetes). Applicants interested in receiving more intensive training in the VA Diving Safety Laboratory should review the Health Psychology and Technology Fellowship. These fellows spend 20% of their effort in the driving laboratory.

The Center for Behavioral Medicine Research, a renovated 2,000 square foot facility, is adjacent to the Behavioral Medicine Clinic, allowing for efficient integration of clinical and research projects. Our research team has a long, successful track record in securing NIH-, non-profit, and industry-funded grants. Fellows may spend up to 20% of their time on clinical research in one or more of the focus areas listed below. They may also have the opportunity to pursue their own small original research projects if desired. More specific information about clinical, research, and educational opportunities is provided below.

 Clinical Focus (70%)

The fellow will participate in a broad range of clinical training experiences with children and adults with psychiatric and medical comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, obesity, GI conditions, insomnia and other sleep disorders, headache). Common presenting problems include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, grief, and trauma. Clinical experiences will take place in an outpatient setting and include conducting specialized psychological evaluations for bariatric surgery candidates and children with GI conditions.  Fellows will also provide short- and long-term psychotherapy services using a primarily cognitive-behavioral orientation with both adult and pediatric populations. Fellows may also have the opportunity to conduct driving evaluations for patients with dementia and other disorders that affect driving ability, using neuropsychological tests and driving simulator assessment. The fellowship adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training; therefore, fellows are encouraged to use empirically-supported interventions in their work with patients.  Fellows typically receive training and experience in clinical supervision with more junior trainees, such as graduate students, as well as psychiatry residents.

 Educational & Professional Development (10%)

The Program Director schedules meetings for the postdoctoral fellows across sub-specialty areas during the academic year to discuss administrative issues and professional development.

There are numerous opportunities for educational and professional development, including:

  • Grand Rounds in Psychiatric Medicine
  • Clinical Case Conferences
  • Behavioral Medicine Clinic Didactic and Guest Speaker Program
  • Individual and Group Supervision
  • Sleep Lab Seminar/Case Conference
  • Neuropsychology Seminar and Journal Club
  • Monthly Psychology Fellows Meeting
  • Introduction to Clinical Investigation, a six-month course offered for fellows and new faculty through the UVA School of Medicine
  • Participating in the Clinical Training and Supervision of Graduate Practicum Students


Research Focus (20%)

Fellows may spend up to 20% of their time participating in research during the fellowship. Areas of research being conducted in the Center for Behavioral Medicine Research include:


  • The psychobehavioral effects of diabetes on individuals and their families
  • Continuous glucose monitoring, artificial pancreas, and psychobehavioral factors related to use of diabetes technology
  • Fear of Hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes and their families
  • Driving safety as it relates to aging, diabetic hypoglycemia, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), medications, etc.
  • Assessment of basic perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills relevant to driving with a virtual-reality driving simulator


Fellows will also have the opportunity to develop small, original research projects in one of the current areas of research, or a closely related area in which the fellow has a strong interest. 


Core Faculty

  • Linda Gonder-Frederick, Ph.D. (Behavioral Medicine Director of Training & Clinic Director)
  • Daniel J. Cox, Ph.D., ABPP-Clinical Psychology (Director, Center for Behavioral Medicine Research)
  • Elaine Bailey, Ph.D.
  • Doug DeGood, Ph.D.
  • Jaclyn Shepard, Psy.D.

Current Fellows

  • Joseph Poler, Psy.D.



Behavioral Medicine - not currently accepting applications

Driving Lab – not currently accepting  applications



Linda Gonder-Frederick, Ph.D.
Behavioral Medicine Center
Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
University of Virginia Health System
P. O. Box 800223
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0223