What type of therapy, cognitive, behavioral, self, group or type of counselling can I ask for to be able to come to terms with living with MS and constantly being perceived as a fake and a liar by people who truly think that they know what MS is all about and you cannot teach them anything new. So they are not willing to listen. I am not coping well with this and have not found anything to be helpful so far. Ignoring when it is your 24/7 life is seeming to be impossible for me.
Thank you for writing in with this question. It applies to many people with MS, who experience their family and friends not understanding what it is like to live with MS. There are many different types of therapy. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be helpful for people with MS who are experiencing depression and anxiety, but this does not mean that other forms of therapy are not helpful. Rather than choose your therapist on the “type” or theoretical orientation, I would recommend choosing based on the therapists knowledge of MS and/or other chronic medical conditions. People with MS often feel that they have to educate their therapist about MS, but there are many therapists who already have an understanding of what it is like to live with MS, and those professionals are preferable. You can locate a therapist who is knowledgeable about MS through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1-800-344-4867.
The MS society may also be able to refer you to a support group for people living with MS. Just as family and friends may not understand what it is like to live with MS 24/7, other people who have MS do understand that, and can be a great source of support, information, and strategies for living well with MS.
David Rintell, Ed.D.
Psychologist, Partners MS Center