Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology

Patricia Robinson, PhD
Patricia Robinson, PhD

Patricia Robinson, PhD – Mountainview Consulting Group, Portland, OR

It is with great honor that I am introducing Dr. Patricia Robinson for the 2017 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology. I do so on behalf of the seven psychologists who came together to nominate her, as well as the countless others who I know will support this award.

Dr. Robinson has made so many significant contributions to the advancement of health psychology that I’m going to have difficulty covering them all here in the time I have. Dr. Robinson has been a longtime member of APA and Division 38. She received her PhD in 1978, and only several years later began contributing to health psychology with work that would prove crucial in the movement to integrate behavioral health into primary care. To this day, she remains passionate about primary care behavioral health integration (as she writes in one of her books, she “eats, drinks and breathes primary care”) and has become one of its best-known advocates. Yet she has also become known for her work in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), applying it, in particular, to chronic pain, and the teaching of primary care physicians. Indeed, one of the most noteworthy aspects of Dr. Robinson’s career is how varied her activities have been. She is that rare professional who has managed to make significant contributions in almost every arena possible. In her research, clinical practice, consultation and training (to organizations and individuals), and her many technical and self-help publications, Dr. Robinson has altered the course of health psychology and changed the lives of many.

She has published in such vaunted outlets as JAMA, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Journal of Family Practice, and the Archives of General Psychiatry, with 54 publications to her name, including 10 books, 19 book chapters, and 20 peer-reviewed publications. She has also delivered over 100 workshops and 80 presentations, papers, and posters at diverse conferences around the world (14 countries and counting!). The consulting group she co-founded in 1988, Mountainview Consulting Group, Inc., along with her partner, Dr. Kirk Strosahl, has become a leading force in primary care integration. They have helped a wide array of organizations – 46 total – and in 2009, APA President James Bray selected Mountainview for an Innovative Practice Award, calling them a “leader in the advancement of behavioral health and primary care psychology,” and calling their work a “model for all to emulate.”

Worth noting is that Dr. Robinson’s work has also extended well beyond health psychology. She is widely considered one of the most prominent experts in the world in the practice and dissemination of ACT, and frequently consults, speaks, and writes about ACT.

Also worth noting, beyond the academic facts, is that while she was busy achieving all of these success markers, Dr. Robinson was also busy making friends of pretty much everyone she comes across. Yes, she is accomplished; but she is also kind, fun, humble, thoughtful and giving. She cares deeply about not only her work but also the people she works with, the people she serves, and whoever else she comes across along the way. For all of these reasons, I want to say thank you to Dr. Robinson on behalf of our profession and the countless friends and colleagues you’ve made throughout your career. I am very happy to present you with the 2017 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology.

– Jeffrey T. Reiter, PhD, ABPP
– Anne C. Dobmeyer, PhD, ABPP