David R. Patterson Ph.D.

David R. Patterson Ph.D.

Specialties and Expertise

Pain Medicine, Psychology, Rehabilitation Medicine




Primary Location

Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic at Harborview

410 9th Ave., 4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.520.5000|Map It 


David R. Patterson is a professor of psychology in the Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Surgery and Psychology. David has diplomate degrees in rehabilitation psychology and clinical hypnosis.

David graduated from Emory University with highest honors, received his Ph.D. from Florida State University in clinical psychology, did his internship at the University of California Medical Center, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Emory University and Oregon Health Sciences University.

Dr. Patterson has been practicing psychology at Harborview Medical Center for 30 years. He founded the rehabilitation psychology consult service at HMC and developed expertise in pain control and recovery from physical trauma, burn injuries and other forms of disabilities. Recently, he has joined the Rehabilitation Medicine Outpatient Clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Dr. Patterson has 200 publications in such areas as pain control and recovery from trauma. He has been the principal investigator on federal research grants (NIH) on research and training since 1989. He has lectured and taught courses in over 15 different countries and is the author of the book Clinical Hypnosis for Pain Control.

Patient Care Philosophy

I believe that every interaction with a patient can be a gift to me and I constantly strive to learn more with every interaction. I also recognize that I am a human that makes mistakes every day and can never be perfect in any situation.

One of my main philosophies in patient care is that I wish to create an environment in which the patient feels safe, protected and able to grow emotionally and physically. That involves keeping information highly confidential and learning to accept what another person brings into the treatment setting.

Personal Interests

I played soccer on scholarship and tried out for the US Olympic team. I have coached all three of my sons in soccer and still have a son that is playing premier in the NW region. I am a drummer and had a 7 piece band called the Shrinking Heads. However, they were all better musicians than I was. I like hiking, kayaking and walking my chocolate lab.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Patterson has been conducting clinical research in rehabilitation psychology, adjustment to trauma and pain control. He is internationally known for his work in clinical hypnosis. He has a particular interest in integrating mindfulness and Eastern philosophy into his clinical work.

Research Interests

Dr. Patterson has been conducting NIH funded studies on pain control after burn injuries and trauma since the 1980s. He has worked closely with Hunter Hoffman, Ph.D., on the use of immersive virtual reality for pain control. Dr. Hoffman and Patterson's work received international media attention, including major USA news networks. However, Dr. Patterson's work on virtual reality is only in the research area and is not used in his clinical practice.


Florida State Univ., Psychology DepartmentMedical education1982
Emory University Program SOM Faculty Office BuildingFellowshipMedical Psychology
Oregon Health & Science UniversityResidencyMedical Psychology
Univ. of Southern CaliforniaInternship
Univ. of Southern California(BEFORE 1971 ONLY)Internship

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