Allison Fine - Counseling for Inner Balance
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About Allison

I provide counseling to the greater Seattle area. I have counseled individuals from all walks of life.

As a counselor, my role is to help you define what you want to accomplish during our sessions and help you understand how to reach your goals.

I seek to create a safe, trusting, and open environment in our sessions. I work from a variety of therapy models to individualize our work together.

Please visit my About page to learn more.

Finding Dr. Right: How to Identify the Correct Doctor for You

Imagine having a neurologist tell you that you have been diagnosed with MS and handing you a prescription, saying they will see you again in three months.  Having a diagnosis of MS can be difficult enough, but not having a doctor who works with you makes it even more stressful.  Some doctors focus only on treating the disease - not on what that disease is doing to your life.

One of the most important things a person can do when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is to find “Dr. Right.”  As a social worker, I constantly hear complaints of, “my doctor doesn’t listen to me,” or, “my doctor isn’t open to other ways of treating my MS,” or, “I feel my doctor is pushing one particular medication my way.”  These are red flags that may indicate that it’s time to look for a second opinion and another doctor.

Decide what things are most important to you when being treated by a doctor.  Do you want someone who will be compassionate and listen to you, or someone who will just lay the facts out on the table?  Would you prefer a doctor who looks solely at western medicine, or someone who encourages you to do yoga, acupuncture, and herbal remedies?  Is it better to go to an office with nurses who connect you to other health and social service resources around the community?  Perhaps you might like someone who pays attention to your emotional and mental health needs as well as your physical ones.  Find out what you are looking for and then go ‘doctor shopping.’  With a disease like MS, why sacrifice what you really want and deserve in a doctor?

As an MS patient you will most likely have more than one doctor.  When seeing multiple care providers, make sure your doctors are communicating with each other.  Each time you see your doctor they should send a letter or note to your other doctors, letting them know what was discussed about your care.  With an illness like MS you should be able to expect this.  If your doctor is not willing to triage your care with your other providers, you may start wondering - is this really Dr. Right?

Like all other human beings, doctors are not perfect.  As you begin and continue medical treatment for your MS, let go of the idea that when you see your doctor, they will have all of the answers for you.  If doctors knew everything about MS, there would already be a cure.  Even though it’s best to have an MS specialist as your doctor, if they start pretending they know everything about MS or about you, it may be time to find a new doctor.  Remember that each person is an individual with individual problems and concerns.  If your doctor is not treating you as such, then they are probably not Dr. Right. 

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