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Mark P. Popenhagen, PsyD

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Phoenix Children's Hospital - Main
1919 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, Arizona 85016

About Mark P. Popenhagen, PsyD

As a pediatric psychologist, Mark P. Popenhagen, PsyD, ABPP, helps patients work toward returning to a full, quality life. Dr. Popenhagen focuses on the whole person and their life outside their pain. "I truly love helping my patients and their families live the valued and quality lives they want to live despite whatever painful condition they may have," Dr. Popenhagen says.

Dr. Popenhagen learned about pediatric pain psychology during fellowship training. After spending time with pain providers from other specialties, he saw he enjoyed the challenge of treating the acute and chronic pain that can occur with a variety of conditions. "When I was invited by Phoenix Children's to stay and develop a full pain psychology program, I jumped at the chance," Dr. Popenhagen says.

At Phoenix Children's, Dr. Popenhagen focuses on growing an integrative program that treats the entire person, not just their symptoms.

When he's not working, Dr. Popenhagen enjoys spending time with his family, woodworking and fishing.

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Education & Training

Medical School / Education

Minnesota School of Professional Psychology


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN


University Hospitals Health System, Laurelwood Hospital and Counseling Centers, Willoughby, Ohio

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association

Questions & Answers

What led you to your career as a psychologist?
I started in aerospace engineering but found that working with people was a lot more fun than working with equations. I started taking psychology classes and couldn't get enough!

What is the best thing about your job?
Getting to help add life to kids' years.

Have you received a special gift of thanks or piece of artwork from a child?
I have cherished every piece of artwork I've ever received from a patient.

What is your favorite children's book?
I have two: The Monster at the end of this Book, and Green Eggs and Ham

How do you go about calming a child's fears? Aside from the wonderful work of the Child Life team?
First and foremost I listen to what those fears are, and only then do we start working to battle the fears together.

How do you build trust with a parent?
First sit down and LISTEN and then keep listening.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Hanging out with my family, woodworking, fishing

What is your favorite local restaurant?
I haven't been here very long, but I do like the sushi at Stingray.

Where are you originally from, and how did you get here?
This is the 13th state that I've lived in! I came here just for Phoenix Children's Hospital and all the great opportunities here!

Research & Publications

Pediatric Psychology, Acute Pain, Chronic Pain, Epidermolysis bullosa, Palliative Care