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MIRECC Role(s): Investigator, MH-PC Integrated Care Psychologist, Fellowship Associated Mentor
Bio: Dr. Helstrom is a clinical psychologist and researcher who came to the VISN 4 MIRECC in January 2009. She completed her predoctoral and postdoctoral clinical and research training at the Boston VAMC. Following her training, she continued with research at the Boston VA as a staff psychologist and as assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Helstrom has been the principal investigator on NIH and VA-funded research and has been involved in providing training to clinical externs and postdoctoral fellows as well as research mentoring for graduate students. Dr. Helstrom is part of the Philadelphia VAMC’s Behavioral Health Lab and she currently serves on the BHL’s Post Deployment Clinic and Women’s Health Clinic clinical teams.
Research Interests: Dr. Helstrom’s research interests are in health behavior change and in behavioral interventions for chronic disease. Her earlier research focused on behavioral interventions for smoking cessation among young adults and adolescents. At the VA, she extended this research to Veterans with affective problems and addiction and with female Veterans with trauma histories. Most recently, Dr. Helstrom completed a study of the psychosocial predictors of health behavior change among cardiac patients. She plans to focus on the next step in this program of research, which is to develop a behavioral intervention to assist cardiac patients in making health behavior changes.