Medical Psychology at UnityPoint Health - Meriter

Medical Psychology

Medical psychology is a specialized field that is dedicated to helping individuals with illness, disease or traumatic injury. The focus is on the interactions between the mind and the body and the powerful ways in which biological, psychological and social factors affect physical health and well-being. Medical psychologists can help patients stick to their treatment plans, manage their symptoms, promote healthy behaviors and generally, adjust to their physical illness.

Our medical psychologists offer the following services:

  • Health-related behavior change
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Cognitive-behavioral health therapy
  • Pain management
  • HeartMath biofeedback 
  • Relaxation methods and meditation
  • Brief cognitive screening
  • Group Treatment

Both individual and group treatment is offered at UnityPoint Health - Meriter. Individual outpatient treatment is typically brief and involves no more than eight to ten sessions. The goal is to teach skills and coping strategies that can be incorporate into daily life to improve health and optimize well being.

Our medical psychologists have advanced training and expertise in the psychological issues associated with various medical problems. They treat patients with a variety of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes and other endocrine disorders
  • Cancer
  • Infertility 
  • Neurological disorders 
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Chronic pain and fibromyalgia
  • Medically unexplained symptoms

Medical Psychology Providers at Meriter 

Relaxation Exercises

Meditation, guided imagery and deep breathing can all have important, healing effects on your health. In order to promote the use of these simple exercises, Dr. Gretchen Diem recorded tracks that will walk you through these relaxation techniques. We encourage you take advantage of the following exercises each day.


Guided Imagery

Deep Breathing

Body Scan

Making an Appointment

To be referred to a Health Psychologist, a patient should:

  • Have a referral from a physician (required)
  • Be seeking therapy focused on behavioral management of, or adjustment to, a medical condition
  • Be at least 18 years old

Referrals can be faxed to Health Psychology at (608) 417-2094. Upon receipt of referral our office staff will review the referral and obtain any additional information our physicians require.  Health Psychology staff will call the patient to schedule an appointment with a Health Psychologist. For more information, call (608) 417-2090.


Most insurance policies cover all or a portion of the services offered. Meriter is happy to assist you in verifying your benefit coverage with your insurance company. Please contact our offices for assistance.