David Spiegel, M.D.
Jack, Lulu & Sam Willson Professor in the School of Medicine
Associate Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
A leader in the field of psychosomatic research treatment and development, Dr. Spiegel's particular interest is the field of psychoneuroendocrinology/oncology, examining the relationship of stress and support to cancer survival time. He has also had a long-time interest in the use of hypnosis and treatment for medical symptoms and treatment effects. In 1978, he and his father, Herbert Spiegel, M.D., coauthored Trance and Treatment, which has since become a standard textbook on the clinical uses of hypnosis. Dr. Spiegel's book with Dr. Catherine Classen, Group Therapy for Cancer Patients, chronicles his experience helping patients with advanced cancers cope with their illness.
Since beginning research on the effects of support groups for women with metastatic breast cancer in 1976, Dr. Spiegel has published numerous studies that demonstrate that group psychotherapeutic interventions have positive effects on mood disturbances, coping, and pain. He is the author of a landmark study, “Effect of Psychosocial Treatment of Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer,” published in the Lancet in 1989. This study demonstrated that the application of supportive-expressive group therapy in women with terminal disease not only improved quality of life, but significantly enhanced survival time. Dr. Spiegel's work was featured on the Bill Moyers' Emmy Award-winning special Healing and the Mind.
A member of the editorial boards of 11 leading medical journals, Dr. Spiegel's research is supported by a number of distinguished research and charitable foundations. His current research involves collaborative efforts with investigators in Canada, Norway, Israel, and Australia, as well as a variety of medical/surgical specialists, psychiatrists, and psychologists in the U.S.