Ben Balderson, PhD


“I'm dedicated to meeting the health care needs of people who have complex, chronic conditions and to help them develop lifelong skills for managing their health.”

Ben Balderson, PhD

Senior Collaborative Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Psychologist, Washington Permanente Medical Group


Ben Balderson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with specialties in adult behavior medicine and health psychology. He has expertise in behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and treatment adherence for chronic diseases—especially chronic pain, insomnia, and HIV/PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is using medication to prevent HIV infection in individuals with high risk.

Dr. Balderson is interested in improving self-management for chronic health conditions and understanding how these conditions intersect with psychological health. His research has largely focused on developing and testing interventions to improve self-management for chronic pain, with a strong interest in marginalized or difficult-to-reach populations. He is also interested in telehealth and the use of technology—such as the internet and smartphones—to facilitate care.

A practicing psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Washington, Dr. Balderson provides care for adult patients and specializes in behavioral medicine, for example for chronic pain, insomnia, HIV, and gender care. He also specializes in treatment of anxiety disorders, for example, generalized anxiety disorder; PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder; phobias; and OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has a strong interest in translation work, bringing empirically supported treatments to the frontlines of clinical care. Dr. Balderson also has extensive experience in provider training—particularly in ways clinicians can interact with patients to increase behavior change.

Dr. Balderson serves as a peer reviewer for several journals in the areas of pain and HIV and is an avid participant in Kaiser Permanente Washington committees and initiatives related to improving behavioral health care.

Research interests and experience

  • Health Psychology


Recent publications

Balderson, BHK, Lin EHB, Von Korff M. The management of pain-related fear in primary care. In: Understanding and Treating Fear of Pain. Vlaeyen GWS, Asmundson G, Crombez G (Eds). Oxford Press, 2004.

Mullins LL, Hartman VL, Chaney JM, Balderson BH, Hoff AL. Training experiences and theoretical orientations of pediatric psychologists. J Pediatr Psychol. 2003;28(2):115-22. PubMed

Cote MP, Mullins LL, Hartman V, Hoff A, Balderson BHK, Chaney J, Domek D. Psychosocial correlates of health care utilization:children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Children's Health Care. 2003;32(1):1-16.

Balderson BHK, Von Korff M. The stepped care approach to chronic back pain. In: New Avenues for the Prevention of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain and Disability: Pain Research and Clinical Management, Vol 12. SJ Linton (Ed) Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2002, pp 237-243.

Mullins LL, Balderson BHK, Chaney JM. Implementing team approaches in primary and tertiary care settings: applications from the rehabilitation context. Families, Systems and Health. 1999;17:487-500.



Multiracial women enjoying working out together outside

Personalized coaching shows promise for delaying memory loss

Trial is the first to test an individualized approach to improve dementia risk factors.

Healthy Findings Blog


Meet KPWHRI’s collaborative scientists

The division contributes to research across the institute with methodological and subject matter expertise.

Prescription overload

Senior adult sitting with glass of water in one hand and  holding medication in other hand

Deprescribing: Less may be more

Dr. Sascha Dublin explains why sometimes not taking medications may be a safer and healthier choice. 

live healthy


How do you know when you’re depressed?

Evidence shows depression can have a direct effect on your body, taking away your energy and slowing you down.