Professional Background / Training

Steve Heymen, PhD, PLLC - Private Practice in Cary NC, 2011 - present

Dr. Heymen has a Ph.D in Biological Psychology from UNC as well as a M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology from Barry University in Miami, Florida. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of North Florida in 1979 he returned to earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate of Special Studies in Biofeedback in 1981.

Dialectal Behavior Therapy        
Dr. Heymen has completed his Intensive Training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and he meets bi-monthly with a DBT Consultation Team with whom he received the Intensive Training from the Behavioral Tech Institute founded by the developer of DBT, Marsha Linehan, PhD.

Professional Experience
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina 1999 – present.
Cleveland Clinic Florida, Director of Biofeedback and Stress Management program, 1989 – 1999.

Dr. Heymen is a Senior Fellow of the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance and has provided biofeedback and cognitive behavior therapy to adults for more than 25 years. He established the Biofeedback Clinic in the Psychiatry Department at Cleveland Clinic Florida in 1989 and was the Director of Biofeedback Services at CCF in Ft. Lauderdale Florida for 10 years. In 1999 he was recruited to UNC at Chapel Hill to manage a 5-year NIH Biofeedback trial and has been the Director of the Biofeedback Services in the Department of Gastroenterology at UNC Hospital since that time. At UNC he has conducted research and created a clinical Biofeedback program in the GI department. He has published 22 peer-reviewed articles and six book chapters on Biofeedback based on his research. References for these investigations can be found by accessing the Publication tab at the top of the page.

Pain Research
In addition to Dr. Heymen’s extensive research background in Biofeedback, he  published one of the first investigations showing an abnormality in the way the central nervous system processes painful stimuli in patients with chronic pain conditions. The results of his investigation can be found in the Clinical Journal of Pain In this study, Dr. Heymen was able to demonstrate significant deficits in the endogenous pain inhibitory process known as Diffuse Noxious Inhibitory Controls (DNIC) in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This reflects an inability in patients with chronic pain to down-regulate pain in the brain and spinal cord compared to healthy controls. Dr. Heymen has just completed a follow-up study investigating dysregulation in afferent and efferent central pain mechanisms in IBS patients confirming these results, and looks forward to advancing his research into new treatment applications for patients with chronic pain.

Professional Volunteer Service
Dr. Heymen has been an invited editor for the Journal of Women’s Health, Clinical Journal of Pain,  American Journal of Gastroenterology, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, and  Gastroenterology.
He has also served on the Grant Review Board for the Veterans Administration and served as a consultant for the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.