Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP is the President and Clinical Director of Women's Mental Health Associates, Philadelphia. Dr. Coons is a Clinical Psychologist and board certified Clinical Health Psychologist who specializes in women's health and mental health. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Drexel University College of Medicine, and is Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychiatry, Pennsylvania Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System.
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.In 2005, she represented the American Psychological Association at the DHHS Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship. Dr. Coons' prior positions were in the Department of Psychiatry at MCP Hahnemann University (1989-1994), and at The Health Federation of Philadelphia, the public health coordinating agency for the Federally Qualified Health Centers in the Philadelphia area (1994-2000).
Dr. Coons' practice rotates weekly to women's primary care, obstetrics, gynecology, reproductive endocrinology, oncology, and urogynecology settings. She specializes in the interdisciplinary care of women across the life span with health, mental health, relational, sexual, family and professional concerns. Dr. Coons' consultation and treatment promotes recovery and resilience in women and couples coping with: depression, anxiety, panic disorder and PTSD; pregnancy and post-partum related mood disorders; pregnancy loss and complications; fertility challenges; difficulties with PMS, PCOS and menopause; weight related issues; 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; 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 locally and nationally for her interactive presentations to community, corporate and professional audiences, and to psychologists, physicians and other health and mental health providers. Keynotes, workshops, grand rounds and continuing education programs focus on topics such as: depression and anxiety during pregnancy, post-partum, menopause and in older women; stress management and work-life integration strategies; sexual concerns among women; illness and relationships; coping with early and advanced breast, gynecological and other types of cancer; empowering women with chronic and life threatening medical conditions; fertility in women with medical conditions; reducing irritability and rumination; dating when you are single and have cancer; enhancing work place well being; and delivering bad medical news to patients and families.
Dr. Coons is a popular source expert on women's health and mental health, and has been cited in Newsweek.com, WallStreetJournal.com, WebMd.com, Health.com, ABCNews.Com, OncoLink.com as well as magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Real Simple and Redbook. She also enjoys working with media on TV, radio, internet and web casts.
A Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Dr. Coons has held several leadership roles in the American Psychological Association (APA). She was chair of the Division of Health Psychology (38) Committee on Women and Health from 1989-92 and 1998-99; Chair, Division 38 Continuing Education Committee from 2004-07; and served as the 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 Division 42 Task Force on Health Care for the Whole Person, the APA Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) from 2006-08 as well as the APA's Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice from 2009-5/2010. Dr. Coons is the founding chair of the APA CWP Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology Executive Committee; served on the 2010 APA President's Task Force on Advancing Practice; and represents the APA Division of Health Psychology on the Council of Representatives (2010-12).
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); invited member of the Health Care Committee, Pennsylvania Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence (1998-1999); invited presenter at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) National Cancer Policy Board 2002 meeting on Psychosocial Services for Women with Breast Cancer; appointed to SAMHSA's Advisory Committee for Women's Services from 2003-2007; and 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. Current policy activities focus on advocating for mental health services in primary care settings in national health care legislation.
Dr. Coons received the 2001 American Psychological Association (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 APA Presidential Citation.
Dr. Coons provides individual, couples and sex therapy as well as workshops in several Center City and suburban locations. To contact her, call 215-732-5590.