Phillips Medstone: We Understand Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer, well after the initial injury. Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.

At Phillips Medstone we understand not only the causes of Chronic Pain, but also the evidence based treatments that assist in Chronic Pain Management and help reduce your pain over time. We understand that the road to wellness begins by working together with the patient to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved. We custom tailor a self-management program for each individual that empowers the patient to take control of their own healing. Phillips Medstone offers the most advanced treatment options currently available, all  in a supportive, compassionate environment.

Who Is Phillips Medstone?

Our Company Mission
The Phillips Medstone Philosophy
The Phillips Medstone Promise
The Phillips Medstone Methodology

Our Core Skills

Behavioral Medicine 100
Cognitive Therapy(CBT) 100
Bio-Feedback Therapy 100
Psychological Therapy 100

Meet Our Directors

Dr. Autumn Phillips, Psy.D.
Dr. Autumn Phillips, Psy.D.Founder & Clinical Psychologist PSY22939

As Founder and Clinical Director of Phillips Medstone, Dr. Phillips is dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain, or a health related condition find relief. She has years of experience working with patients in a multitude of healthcare settings including her work as the Clinical Director for the former Scripps Hospital Functional Restoration Program for over 7 years. With two office locations serving the San Diego area, Dr. Phillips is making quality care accessible for everyone.

For those with a complex medical condition navigating the healthcare system can be exhausting, and patients’ are often told they need to “learn to live with their pain.” Dr. Phillips will coordinate care with your doctors to improve your quality of life. She is proud to offer affordable services and accepts most insurances.

Dr. Pooja Amatya, Psy.D.
Dr. Pooja Amatya, Psy.D.Clinical Psychologist PSY30268

Dr. Amatya’s background includes working with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. She has worked with young adults, adults, and older adults in varied settings including university counseling, community mental health, and medical settings. She draws from a variety of interventions including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy and is passionate about mindfulness. She strives to understand individuals with regards to diversity factors and phase of life. Dr. Amatya aims to provide an empathetic environment that facilitates healing.

Dr. Sequoia Kermott, Psy.D. English and Spanish
Dr. Sequoia Kermott, Psy.D. English and SpanishRegistered Psychological Assistant PSB94023983

Sequoia has extensive experience in diverse clinical settings with diverse populations especially persons with chronic pain.  She is well versed and competent in applying interventions aimed at relieving chronic pain in persons with diverse psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and relationship problems.  Sequoia completed her doctorate in psychology after working for many years in the San Diego area as a master’s-level therapist. She worked in a full-service health care program dedicated to the medical and psychological treatment of chronic pain. She has applied biofeedback, diaphragmatic breathing, and other strategies that use physical and psychological dynamics to calm down the nervous system and allow individuals more mastery over their thoughts and feelings related to pain. Sequoia dedicates herself to helping her clients learn how to facilitate their own personal growth by tapping into their natural resiliency skills and strengths. She uses a variety of research based therapeutic approaches such as CBT, Mindfulness-based stress reduction, ACT, and other methods to provide a customized psychological approach that empowers the client to manage their pain in a healthy manner. She also believes in treating pain using a comprehensive mind-body approach.

Dr. Sandy Cullins, Ph.D.
Dr. Sandy Cullins, Ph.D.Registered Psychological Assistant PSB94025328

Dr. Cullins earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Health Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She has a strong background in providing research supported treatments to adults in hospitals settings. Her clinical expertise is focused on helping individuals challenged by chronic pain, trauma, anxiety, and depression.

Before joining Phillips Medstone, Dr. Cullins served at Sharp Memorial Hospital in the Pain Rehabilitation Program and at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns. At Sharp Memorial Hospital, she treated patients with a variety of conditions, including headaches, back pain, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain. As part of their pain management program, Dr. Cullins offered her patients Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Biofeedback, and Relaxation Techniques. Furthermore, she consulted with a multi-disciplinary clinical team in order to coordinate patient care and customized treatment plans that met the individual needs of each patient. At Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, she utilized Biofeedback to treat women diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Dr. Cullins is a registered psychological assistant with the California Board of Psychology. She is dedicated to supporting our military community and serving as an advocate for wounded warriors and their families. At Phillips Medstone, Dr. Cullins offers Cognitive Processing Therapy to assist patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She is passionate about helping individuals living with chronic pain mitigate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.


Dr. Michelle Bales, Ph.D.
Dr. Michelle Bales, Ph.D.Registered Psychological Assistant PSB94023335

Michelle specializes in Behavioral Health and Health Psychology. Her background includes working with diverse populations from hospitals to community mental health, and has worked with individuals with chronic illness, chronic pain, PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and relationships problems. As a licensed master’s level clinician in private practice, she decided to increase her skill set by getting her doctorate in psychology. There she advanced her therapeutic skills to include areas in neuropsychology such as biofeedback, diaphragmatic breathing, and other strategies that use physical and psychological dynamics to calm down the nervous system and allow an individual more mastery over their thoughts and feelings. Michelle is dedicated to helping her clients learn to facilitate their own personal growth by tapping into their natural resiliency skills and strengths. She uses a variety of research based therapeutic approaches such as CBT, ACT, Gestalt, and other methods to provide a custom psychological approach that is as diverse as each client to help them reach their personal goals and live a life they value.