Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP

Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP

Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP

Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP is President and Clinical Director of Women’s Mental Health Associates, Denver, Colorado. She is a board certified Clinical Health Psychologist and a national leader in women’s health and mental health and psychosocial oncology. Dr. Coons has over 25 years of professional experience with women, men and families coping with a broad range of medical and psychosocial issues, co-located and integrated practices with health care providers and advocacy communities. She is an experienced administrator with strong clinical, organizational, program development, professional speaking, health provider education and grant writing skills.

Dr. Coons received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University in 1990 after interning in Medical Psychology at the Duke University Medical Center. She also completed the DHHS Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship in 2005. Prior positions were in academic medicine at MCP Hahnemann University (1989-1994), at the Health Federation of Philadelphia – the public health coordinating agency for the Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in the Philadelphia area (1994-2000), and as primary care psychologist at Denver Health and Hospital Authority (2014-2015).

Since 1999, Dr. Coons’ independent practice has rotated to different women’s multispecialty, primary care, obstetrics gynecology, reproductive endocrinology, urogynecology and oncology settings.  She specializes in the collaborative care of women and men across the life span with health, mental health, relational, sexual, family and professional concerns. Dr. Coons’ consultation and treatment promotes recovery and resilience among diverse women and couples coping with: depression, anxiety, panic disorder and PTSD; pregnancy and post-partum mood disorders; pregnancy loss and complications; fertility challenges; difficulties with PMS, PCOS and menopause; obesity; poor self esteem and body image; past and recent trauma; professional concerns and transitions; sexual difficulties such as low desire and pain; chronic and life-threatening medical conditions; chronic pain conditions; early and advanced cancer as well as post-treatment effects; high cancer risk; caregiver and bereavement/loss issues; voice difficulties and tinnitus; and anxiety about invasive medical procedures.

Dr. Coons is a dynamic speaker known at the national level for her interactive presentations to psychologists, physicians and other health and mental health providers as well as community, professional and corporate audiences. Keynotes, workshops, grand rounds and continuing education programs focus on a host of issues affecting women and families across the life span; psychosocial issues in primary care, ob/gyn, oncology and specialty health settings; and strategies to improve patient care and satisfaction. In addition, she has extensive experience presenting to diverse local, national and international audiences of women and men with cancer. Dr. Coons has given over 70 interactive keynotes, workshops or teleconferences for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Young Survivors Coalition, Gilda’s Club, Sharsheret, the Wellness Community of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Health System and other organizations.

Dr. Coons is also a highly experienced content expert on women’s heath, chronic physical conditions and psychosocial oncology for TV, radio, magazine, and web writers; enjoys being interviewed by TV and radio stations; and writing patient focused articles for Coping with Cancer Magazine, Your Mind Your Body blog and other publications. She has been interviewed by NBC10 TV and WHYY Radio, and enjoys working with media writing for magazines, TV, radio, internet and web casts. Dr. Coons is cited in Newsweek.com, WallStreetJournal.com, ABCNews.com, WebMD.com, Health.com, iVillage.com, OncoLink.com, LearnVest.com as well as magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Real Simple, Fit Pregnancy and Redbook.

A Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Dr. Coons has held several leadership roles in the APA. She chaired the Division of Health Psychology (38) Committee on Women and Health (1989-92, 1998-99) as well as the Division 38 Continuing Education Committee (2004-07); and was Course Director for the 2005 Clinical Health Psychology Institute on Women’s Health. In addition, she was on the planning committee for three major APA interdisciplinary conferences (1994, 1996, 2002) on women’s health as well as the 2000 summit on women and depression. Dr. Coons also served on the APA Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) (2006-08); the APA Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (2009-5/2010); and the 2010 APA President’s Task Force on Advancing Practice. She currently represents the APA Division of Health Psychology on the Council of Representatives (2010-2015); chaired the COR Health Care/Health Science Caucus; and serves on the APA Board of Professional Affairs (2013-2015). Dr. Coons was the founding chair of the APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology Executive Committee (2007-2014), and has been elected to serve on the APA Board of Directors from 2016-2018.

Policy activities at the national, state and local level allow Dr. Coons to support collaborations across psychology, medicine, nursing and public health. She was on the Philadelphia EMA HIV Planning Commission and Care Committee (1996-2000); an invited member of the Health Care Committee for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence (1998-1999); appointed to SAMHSA’s Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (2003-2007); an invited participant in the November, 2004 Office of Research on Women’s Health, NIH, discussion on Five Year Goals as well as the December, 2005 Surgeon General’s Working Meeting on Women’s Mental Health; provided consultation to the 2014 National Governor’s Association for a briefing paper on psychologists and health care reform, and presented at the 2015 NIDDK workshop on behavioral and psychosocial factors in women with urinary incontinence. Current policy activities focus on advocating for behavioral health services and reimbursement in primary care settings in national and state health care legislation.

Dr. Coons routinely consults at a national level on women’s health, mental health and psychosocial oncology care and patient resources. She presented at the  2002 Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Board meeting on Psychosocial Service Needs among Women with Breast Cancer; served on four of the Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) professional advisory committees to develop patient resources; and currently sits on both the LBBC Medical Advisory Board as well as the advisory committee for an advanced breast cancer survey for the oncology division of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Coons also served on the Board of Directors of the First Hospital Foundation in Philadelphia (2011-2014).

A fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Coons received the 2001 APA Committee on Women in Psychology Emerging Leader Award; the 2005 American Psychological Foundation and APA Division of Health Psychology Timothy B. Jeffrey Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology; the 2010 Pennsylvania Psychological Association Psychology and the Media Award; and a 2011 and 2012 APA Presidential Citation. The LIWP Executive Committee also received the 2013 APA Committee on Women in Psychology Distinguished Contributions for Women in Psychology Award. Dr. Coons also received the 2014 APA Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice Psychologist of the Year Award.

To schedule a patient consultation, a speaking engagement or media interview with Dr. Coons, please call 215-370-2342.