Ben Brewer, PsyD
Associate Professor, Medicine-Hematology

Graduate School :
  • PsyD, University of Denver (2008)
Undergraduate School:
  • BA, Connecticut College (CT) (2001)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Hematology

Research Interests

Dr. Brewer is currently Co-Investigator on a multi-site trial examining the effects of a psychotherapy intervention provided to the caregivers of allogeneic transplant patients. This trial looks at the impact on caregivers but also on patient medical variables that may be impacted by the intervention on caregivers. Dr. Brewer is also leading a project to collect pilot data about how patients sleep during hospitalization for autologous stem cell transplant. We know that it is often difficult to sleep well in the hospital and by collecting information about how patients sleep during hospitalization we hope to create future interventions to improve sleep. Dr. Brewer is also a member of a research group that is providing education and training to nursing staff related to how to recognize and help patients who may be demoralized related to their illness. Finally, Dr. Brewer is interested in studying the impact of psychosocial variables on transplant survival and outcomes, specifically the impact of sleep, caregiving support and emotional concerns.


  • Assistant Professor (2018)
    School of Medicine, Psychiatry
    Dr. Brewer teaches second year medical students about psychiatric interviewing, documentation and communication skills around patient interactions. Dr. Brewer also provides presentations to patients and their families, hospital staff and to the community about psychosocial issues related to cancer and medical illness. Dr. Brewer also directs a minor rotation in psycho-oncology that takes two pre-doctoral psychology students per year on a six-month rotation. These students are highly trained, advanced doctoral students in their last year of doctoral training and see patients under the supervision of Dr. Brewer. He also provides informal teaching and consultation to the medical and nursing teams related to a variety of topics such as understanding psychological aspects of patient care, effective communication and how staff members can care for themselves while caring for our patient and families.


  • Sannes, T. S., Ranby, K. W., Yusufov, M., Brewer, B. W., Jacobs, J. M., Callan, S., Ulrich, G.R., Pensak, N.A., Natvig, C. & Laudenslager, M. L. (2022). More often than not, we're in sync: patient and caregiver well-being over time in stem cell transplantation. Health and quality of life outcomes, 20(1), 6.
  • Donovan, K. A., Handzo, G., Corbett, C., Vanderlan, J., Brewer, B. W., & Ahmed, K. (2022). NCCN Distress Thermometer Problem List Update. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 20(1), 96-98.
  • Donovan KA, Handzo G, Corbett C, Vanderlan J, Brewer BW, Ahmed K. NCCN Distress Thermometer Problem List Update. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2022 Jan;20(1):96-98. PubMed PMID: 34991072
  • Sannes TS, Ranby KW, Yusufov M, Brewer BW, Jacobs JM, Callan S, Ulrich GR, Pensak NA, Natvig C, Laudenslager ML. More often than not, we're in sync: patient and caregiver well-being over time in stem cell transplantation. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2022 Jan 10;20(1):6. PubMed PMID: 35012566
  • Brewer B, Sharma P, Gakhar N, Sannes TS, Joshi TK, Hunter R, Abbott D, Gutman JA. Quality of life following cord blood versus matched sibling donor transplantation: pre-transplantation psychiatric and socioeconomic factors significantly impact outcomes. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2022 Aug;57(8):1344-1346. PubMed PMID: 35618765
  • Pensak, N. A., Carr, A. L., Jones, J., Mikulich-Gilbertson, S. K., Kutner, J. S., Kilbourn, K., Sannes, T.S. Brewer, B.W., Kolva, E., Joshi, T. & Laudenslager, M. L. (2021). A pilot study of mobilized intervention to help caregivers of oncology patients manage distress. Psycho-oncology, 30(4), 520-528.
  • Ravyts, S. G., Sannes, T. S., Dzierzewski, J. M., Zhou, E. S., Brewer, B. W., Natvig, C., & Laudenslager, M. L. (2021). Check your sleep before you start: A secondary analysis of a stress management intervention for caregivers of stem cell transplant patients. Psycho-Oncology.
  • Pensak NA, Carr AL, Jones J, Mikulich-Gilbertson SK, Kutner JS, Kilbourn K, Sannes TS, Brewer BB, Kolva E, Joshi T, Laudenslager ML. A pilot study of mobilized intervention to help caregivers of oncology patients manage distress. Psychooncology. 2020 Nov 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 33217070
  • Sannes TS, Mikulich-Gilbertson SK, Natvig CL, Brewer BW, Simoneau TL, Laudenslager ML. Caregiver Sleep and Patient Neutrophil Engraftment in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: A Secondary Analysis. Cancer Nurs. 2018 Jan Feb;41(1):77-85. PubMed PMID: 27922914
  • Brewer BW, Caspari JM, Youngwerth J, Nathan L, Ripoll I, Heru A. Demoralization in medical illness: Feasibility and acceptability of a pilot educational intervention for inpatient oncology nurses. Palliat Support Care. 2017 Aug 9;:1-8. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28789725
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Practice Locations

UCHealth Blood Disorders and Cell Therapies Center - Anschutz Medical Campus
1665 Aurora Court
3rd floor, Anschutz Cancer Pavilion
Aurora, CO 80045

UCHealth Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion - Anschutz Medical Campus
12605 E. 16th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Hospital Affiliation
  • University of Colorado Hospital
Center Affiliations

Specialty Information

  • Certified Clinical Psychologist, Board Certification (0001)
Conditions & Treatments
  • Cancers
  • Mental Health and Behavior
Care Philosophy
Our team values your psychological, emotional, and spiritual health. We are focused not only on survival, but on restoration of a meaningful and engaged life after cancer. We have experience guiding many patients and their families through treatment and recovery and want to provide the best comprehensive care to you and your family. Dr. Brewer’s clinical role involves providing evidence-based psychological intervention and assessment to patients with hematological disorders including allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplant recipients and their caregivers. Dr. Brewer’s area of focus includes reducing cancer related distress and improving quality of life for patients and caregivers through patient-centered psychological intervention. The psychosocial team can assist you with a variety of concerns such as symptoms of anxiety and depression, enhancing your coping skills as you adjust to the challenges of treatment, managing expectations, communication issues, family issues, coping with uncertainty, practical concerns such as how to sleep better at night, and ways to help you maintain motivation during the treatment process. If you are preparing to have a stem cell transplant, you and your caregiver will meet with one of the transplant psychologists prior to transplant for a standard pre-transplant appointment to discuss the psychosocial aspects of transplant (e.g., mood, coping, social support, family). Your psychologist, or psychosocial team member, will also “check in” during your transplant regarding any psychosocial concerns you or your family may have.

Personal Interests
Dr. Benjamin Brewer is the Director of Clinical Psychology and Counseling for the department of hematology and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. Prior to joining the University of Colorado in December of 2010, Dr. Brewer completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute in Denver and a pre-doctoral internship at the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver. Dr. Brewer studied philosophy and psychology in college and received his bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Dr. Brewer specializes in the field of health psychology and specifically in psycho-oncology, which focuses on the psychological and social aspects of cancer and its impact on patients and their families as well as the psychological, social and behavioral factors that impact cancer risk and survival. Dr. Brewer is interested in social justice, philosophy and bioethics, culture, travel, skiing, paragliding, mountaineering and drumming.

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PsyD, University of Denver (2008)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BA, Connecticut College (CT) (2001)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Hematology
Contact Us
CU Anschutz
Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place
Campus Box C290
Aurora, CO 80045

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