Katherine Applegate was born in Weirton, WV. She earned her BS degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, majoring in Biology. She completed requirements for a BA degree in Psychology from West Liberty State College. She then attended The Ohio State University where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology. Applegate specialized in health psychology during graduate school, which is the branch of psychology dedicated to research, assessment, and treatment of psychological conditions among medical patients. She completed her APA-Approved clinical psychology internship at Duke University Medical Center with an emphasis on cognitive and behavioral interventions among various medical populations.
Following her clinical internship, Applegate completed a two-year fellowship at Duke researching behavioral and personality factors among patients with diabetes and chronic pain. She also participated in a one-year fellowship with the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Duke, coordinating clinical research examining the effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy on glucose control among patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Applegate joined the faculty in the School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in 2003 as an Assistant Clinical Professor. She is currently the director of psychological and behavioral services for the Weight Loss Surgery Program at Duke.
Applegate’s clinical work has focused on the assessment and treatment of a variety of conditions including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic pain, sexual dysfunction, obesity, eating disorders, and pre-surgical psychological evaluation. She has significant clinical experience in smoking cessation, stress management, relaxation training, coping skills training, individual and group cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, motivational enhancement, biofeedback, consultation, and psychoeducation.
Applegate’s current research interests include how pre-operative personality, eating behavior, chronic pain level and emotional states affect long-term outcome and satisfaction associated with weight loss surgery. She has particular interest in how cultural and demographic diversity impacts treatment modality selection and long-term psychological outcome.