Profile: James Coyne
Clinical Health Psychologist
James C. Coyne, PhD is Professor of Health Psychology at University Medical Center, Groningen, the Netherlands where he teaches scientific writing and critical thinking. He is also Visiting Professor, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy & Aging Research, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Coyne is Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, where he was also Director of Behavioral Oncology, Abramson Cancer Center and Senior Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He has served as External Scientific Advisor to a decade of European Commission funded community based programs to improve care for depression in the community. He has written over 350 articles and chapters, including systematic reviews of screening for distress and depression in medical settings and classic articles about stress and coping, couples research, and interpersonal aspects of depression. He has been designated by ISI Web of Science as one of the most impactful psychologists and psychiatrists in the world. His books include Screening for Depression in Clinical Settings: An Evidence-Based Review edited with Alex Mitchell (Oxford University Press; 2009). He also blogs and is a regular contributor to the blog Science Based Medicine and to the PLOS One Blog, Mind the Brain. He is known for giving lively, controversial lectures using scientific evidence to challenge assumptions about the optimal way of providing psychosocial care and care for depression to medical patients. All views that Professor Coyne expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of PLOS or other institutional affiliations.
NoteStreams By James Coyne
In this edition of Mind the Brain, I suggest how patients, individually and collectively, can take responsibility for advancing this important initiative themselves.
William Schofield’s provocative book, Psychotherapy: The Purchase of Friendship was written while I was in high school, but it was still being debated in bars and smoke-filled rooms when I was in graduate school. It continued to be discussed in my seminars when I was an Assistant Professor at University of California Berkeley. Fifty years after its publication, Schofield’s book is a bit dated and probably not discussed much in the training of mental health professionals just entering the field. But the book has unrecognized relevance to understanding inequalities or social disparities in the psychosocial care for cancer patients. And the ideas of the book might be used to generate some caution about what to expect in efforts to reduce the considerable gap between the proportion of cancer patients who report heightened psychological distress and the minority who actually get psychosocial services.