R. Brian Denton, PsyD, Joins UH Urology Institute, Enhancing Integrated, Patient-Centered Care
May 29, 2023
Innovations in Urololgy | Summer 2023
R. Brian Denton, PsyD, recently joined University Hospitals Urology Institute, working alongside the team of urology and gynecology providers to offer integrative, patient-centered care. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is one of a select few health systems to onboard a mental health professional full-time within a specialty institute.
“Dr. Denton has a rich history and expertise in all aspects of psychology, particularly sexual health, which we know is a critical component of our patients’ wellbeing,” says Lee Ponsky, MD, Chairman of University Hospitals Urology Institute, Leo & Charlotte Goldberg Chair in Advanced Surgical Therapies and Master Clinician in Urologic Oncology at University Hospitals. “We are thrilled to have him embedded within the UH Urologic Institute to augment the clinical components of care, offering mental health services that we know are too often overlooked and difficult to find.”
After earning a bachelor’s at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Denton completed a master’s in clinical counseling at Cleveland State University. He earned his doctoral degree at the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship there. With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Denton has worked in private practice, clinical and residential settings. While serving as director of psychology for what is now Ohio Guidestone, Dr. Denton led an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited post-doctoral intern program. Later, while working in private practice, he collaborated with a partner to create a training program for professionals interested in specializing in the mental health aspects of human sexuality.
“With CWRU in its backyard, joining University Hospitals felt like coming home,” says Dr. Denton. Within the UH Urology Institute, he is working with patients experiencing sexual functioning difficulties that have a psychological component — “which, of course, they often do,” he explains. “This may be sexual dysfunction as a secondary result of depression, anxiety or trauma, or resultant psychological difficulties caused by ongoing sexual health difficulties.”
Dr. Denton works with all gender orientations/presentations and sees patients individually or as partnered couples. He offers virtual and in-person appointments and receives referrals from UH male and female urology providers, UH Cutler Center for Men and UH LGBTQ+ & Gender Care. Providers outside of urology have also referred patients who would benefit from Dr. Denton’s areas of expertise. “When we address sexuality and sexual functioning, it is not a mind and a body but mind-body together. We need to consider patients’ overall health and wellbeing,” he explains. “Lately, I have heard from many patients who express their appreciation that University Hospitals cares about this part of their lives.”
Incorporating mindfulness techniques, Dr. Denton draws on evidence-based sex therapy practices. “Recent innovations in psychotherapy models include acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavior therapy,” he says. “My particular integration looks at how people relate to their thoughts and emotions to allow individuals to come to some kind of acceptance and create behavioral shifts that align with what gives life meaning.”
Building a Symbiotic Relationship
Recently, Dr. Denton gave a grand rounds presentation to urology residents integrating psychosexual perspectives within urologic care. That is just one example of how he serves as an educational resource within the UH Urology Institute. But he quickly points out the multidirectional relationship he is building with providers.
“In private practice, I had to rely on patients to follow up with their physicians,” Dr. Denton says. “Here, I can say, ‘This is what I am seeing. What is your take on the physical health side?’ It is more of a symbiotic relationship.” Understanding underlying diagnoses or limitations helps him create realistic expectations and therapy goals.
Continued Institute Growth
“As the Urology Institute has grown over the past several years, we have expanded our divisions of male sexual and reproductive health, launched a new division of female sexual health, and established and expanded LGBTQ+ and gender services,” says Dr. Ponsky. “There is so much complexity to sexuality and gender expression that we felt it was essential to bring in someone of Dr. Denton's skillset and reputation within the community to benefit our patients.”
For more information or to refer a patient, contact Dr. Denton at Robert.Denton2@UHhospitals.org.
Lee Ponsky, MD
University Hospitals Urology Institute
Leo & Charlotte Goldberg Chair in Advanced Surgical Therapies
Master Clinician in Urologic Oncology
Director, Urologic Oncology Center
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine