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Health Psychology and Multiple Sclerosis

Health Psychology Services at the Mellen Center

The Mellen Center offers a range of psychological services for people with multiple sclerosis. We can help you manage your stress, which is important in controlling your MS. Recent research in Neurology (Mohr et al., 2012) has shown that “stress management techniques may be useful in reducing the development of new MRI brain lesions while patients are in treatment.”

Initial evaluations

Before you participate in therapy, a psychologist will assess your needs by completing a psychological evaluation. The evaluation takes 1 ½ hours to complete and includes:

  • Questionnaires asking about your emotional status and coping skills
  • Brief testing of your cognitive (thought) functioning
  • Review of the results of your questionnaires and cognitive tests
  • Recommendations for psychological services such as individual or group psychotherapy
  • Individual psychotherapy

We utilize a short-term treatment approach and may work on any of the following, depending on your treatment needs:

  • Adjustment to disease or change in disease for patient and family
  • Family/Couples Therapy
  • Mood disorder treatment for patient (Depression and Anxiety focused)
  • 4 session Stress Management Protocol
  • 4 session Fatigue Management Protocol
  • Medication Recommendations
  • Needle Phobia
  • Pain Management
  • Biofeedback for Stress Management
  • Sleep Hygiene Techniques to help build better sleep habits
  • Personality and IQ testing
  • Building relationships

Improving your quality of life

Sessions last for 45 minutes and are scheduled based on your needs and preferences, with typical duration being every 4-6 weeks for about 4 months.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a tool that we use to help increase the efficacy of stress management techniques, restoring autonomic nervous system balance and helping to reduce the inflammatory state. Biofeedback occurs in a one-on-one session with a psychologist who has specialized training with the equipment, including: EMG, respiration probe, galvanic skin response and finger temperature measures.

Group psychotherapy

Group psychotherapy provides an opportunity for you to share experiences with others who have similar concerns and issues. Benefits include support, knowledge, coping and personal growth. Groups typically meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. We offer groups for the caregiver and for the MS patient.

Billing and insurance coverage

A portion of psychological evaluations and psychotherapy is covered by most insurance plans. Since coverage varies, be sure to check with your insurance company prior to your appointment. The following procedure codes may be useful:

  1. 90791: Psychological interview
  2. 90834: Individual psychotherapy
  3. 90853: Group psychotherapy

For assistance related to your insurance coverage, please call 216.445.7372.

Making an appointment

Health psychology appointments can be scheduled through the appointment center by calling 216.444.8600. Find out more about this program by calling Amy Sullivan, PsyD, Clinical Health Psychologist, Director of Behavioral Medicine, Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at 216.444.5376.

What do you want to do next?

Request an Appointment

216.444.8600 call locally.