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How to Find a Multiple Sclerosis Psychologist or Therapist:
The Ultimate Guide

If you are one of the estimated One Million Americans living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may be looking for a psychologist or therapist who specializes in MS. The good news is that there are many such professionals out there! The bad news is that finding the right one can be tricky. This guide will help make the process a little bit easier.

There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for an MS psychologist or therapist. First, it is important to find someone who has experience treating people with MS. Second, you will want to find someone who is familiar with the unique challenges that come with living with MS. Finally, it is important to find someone who you feel comfortable talking to and who you feel understands your situation.

Here are a few tips for finding an MS psychologist or therapist:

Talk to your doctor: Your doctor may be able to recommend a specialist who they have worked with in the past and who they trust.

Ask other people with MS: There is no better source of information than other people who are living with MS. They may have suggestions for therapists or psychologists in your area who they have found helpful. This is what Tyler Campbell did and he found a great therapist! Check out his story in Episode 3 of the Find Empathy podcast.

Search the internet: A simple Google search may turn up a list of potential therapists and psychologists who specialize in MS.

Check with your insurance: Many insurance companies have lists of providers who they cover. This can be a good place to start your search.

Check the Find Empathy DirectoryOur directory lists psychologists, therapists, and coaches that specialize in specific medical diagnoses or conditions. If there is not someone that is a fit, check back later, our provider list is growing daily!

Check out the National MS Society: There are three ways to find a provider through the NMSS.

        1. Call the National MS Society Navigator Program. The navigators can provide you with a list of mental health providers that have been vetted by the NMSS team.
        2. Search for a mental health NMSS Partners in Care. These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in MS and have a solidified relationship with NMSS. 
        3. Finally, use the NMSS database. Navigate to “Resources & Support” then click on “Find Doctors & Resources.” For Category, click on Healthcare Providers or Emotional Support. Depending on your choice you will be able to find mental health providers, neuropsychologists, or psychiatrists.

Widen your search: Many psychologists and therapists are working remotely and can see people across state lines. In the past, you were limited by seeing therapists close to home, or in your home state. Not so anymore! Think about expanding your search and asking if the providers are licensed or approved to see people in your state. For psychologists, ask if they are a PsyPact provider. These professionals can see individuals in 28 states, and new states are being added regularly. Click HERE to read more about PsyPact and see if you are part of a PsyPact State.

Once you have a list of potential therapists or psychologists, it is time to start making some calls. Also, be sure to ask about their approach to treatment and whether they think it would be a good fit for you. Finally, don’t forget to ask about things like cost and insurance coverage. Here are a few questions to ask when you are vetting a potential MS psychologist or therapist:
 
      • What is your experience treating people with MS?
      • What do you know about the unique challenges of living with MS?
      • How do you think I can best cope with my MS?
      • Do you have any experience working with people who have…
      • Describe any other medical conditions you are managing or any other relevant mental health challenges you are facing.
      • What is your treatment approach?
      • How long will treatment last?
      • What are your fees?
      • Do you take my insurance
      • Are you a PsyPact provider? – Can they see someone across state lines?
      • Can you see people in other states? Where are you licensed?

It can be a lot of work to find the right MS psychologist or therapist, but it is worth it! The right professional can make all the difference in how you cope with your MS.

If you are looking for more resources, check out the Find Empathy podcast, where we interview people with MS about their experiences, MS clinicians, and researchers. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We would love to hear from you!

What are your tips for finding the right MS psychologist or therapist? 

Share your suggestions with us on social media!
Meghan Beier, PhD

Meghan Beier, PhD

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