Where to find a diabetes psychologist?

Has anyone found a good search engine for diabetes psychologists?

I’ve recently decided that seeing a psychologist would be a good idea after being diagnosed with Graves Disease. The Graves put me through an emotional roller coaster this year, mostly all related to my T1D, and I should’ve been seeing a psychologist for a while now really, but have never dealt with this before and didn’t realize I should see someone till now.

After reading other posts, it sounds like people recommend asking their doctor, but I won’t see mine for another 2 months. I checked findapsychologist.org, but even a search for diabetes specific psychologists in the area didn’t seem to find those specialists.

Those who go to a psychologist- how did you find them?? My google searches aren’t yielding much, and I would love to be able to find someone! OR, if you’re in the Twin Cities (MN)- do you know of a great provider??

Thanks everyone :grinning:

The Diabetes Education Center at a local hospital might keep a list of diabetes counselors in your area. Good luck in your search!

I would call Gary Scheiner’s group at

they have a licensed mental health counselor on staff. they limit their services to folks affected by type1

While I don’t see a psychologist myself so I cannot speak from personal experience (not that there’s any shame in doing so; the stigma that remains firmly attached to psychiatric issues makes me want to scream), have you tried searching for a therapist with experience in dealing with chronic medical conditions (as opposed to confining your search to those who specialize in D)?

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I really agree with this - any suggestions for a good place to start looking?

Here’s a hit I discovered with my best friend, Google:


The leading center in the country is Behavioral Diabetes Institute run by William Polonsky and his colleagues. Susan Guzman works there and is a clinical psychologist and she is awesome. Susan has come to TuDiabetes and done several Live events. She might either be able to help you directly or refer you to someone in your area.

ps. I actually expect to see Dr. Guzman tomorrow and could get her contact info for you if it is helpful.

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I would have asked my favorite cousin, who is a clinical psychologist, but unfortunately he lives 1000 miles away. However my next door neighbor is an OT at the closest large hospital, so I asked her to poll her network. She came up with 3 or 4 names. The first one I saw was a jackpot; we hit it off so well that there was no point looking any further. She’s excellent, even if I do have to drive all the way across the bridge and into town to see her . . . :wink:

Thanks, I haven’t heard of this group before. They are run out of San Diego and I’m in MN and I’m also looking for individual therapy sessions, not workshops, but could still point me somewhere more than where I’m at now. If Dr. Guzman knows of anyone in the Twin Cities specifically, that would be of great help! If you don’t catch her tomorrow, I can still write into their organization from their website!

Good find! I’ll take a look at those listed.

I will say I am only interested in those specializing in diabetes as I’ve heard those who don’t know anything about the disease can’t relate to it, other than it being a chronic illness. Most chronic diseases are nothing like diabetes and as the things I really need help with are diabetes specific, it just doesn’t make sense to work with someone who doesn’t specialize in it.

I’ve already found a group in the list you provided that has psychologists focusing on diabetes though, so that’s great. Thanks for the help!!

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Oh, this is cool! I will definitely check this out. Thank you!

I am not certain where you live, but Indiana University Hospital has a terrific Diabetes psychiatric progem Since I assume you are not near IU you might check with a large medical center in your area. They are often hidden gems and it takes some digging but IU’s is attached to the hospital endocrinology practice.

There are many paths to becoming a certified diabetes educator. One of them is having practiced as a clinical psychologist for more than 2 years. Maybe you can look into the backgrounds of your local CDEs to see if one fits the bill.
If not, maybe reconsider the ones that specialize in chronic illnesses, despite your reluctance. In all likelihood, they’ve seen many D patients over the years. And a therapist isn’t necessarily there to fix your specific problem - more to help you work through the feelings. (Although,yes, a dspecialist would be better with helping you with problem solving) So a therapist with a heart for those with chronic illness is probably a better fit than you’d think.


In general, you probably want to look for someone with “behavioral medicine” training—that’s the psychology subfield specializing in coping with medical issues. I’m a psychologist (not in MN), but a close friend from grad school is currently in the U of MN system, so I asked her if she knows anyone in the area. She didn’t know anyone who specializes in diabetes specifically, but two names I got were Megan Petrik and Amy Gross—they may not be exactly the right people (more toward the metabolic/weight management side of things, but a lot of times there’s some overlap), but they may be good starting points and may be able point you in the right direction.


Good luck!

I’d recommend taking a less specific route to start. Since there is a such a shortage of mental health workers, it may be easier to just pick a few nearby clinics/hospitals, give them a call and see if any of their therapists are currently accepting patients. Usually you can also tell the receptionist what issues you’re looking to address and they can help match you with the best fit who also has openings.

If the first therapist doesn’t work out due to personality, experience, methods, etc., ask them for a referral to someone who will better fit your needs. Sometimes finding a therapist is more about trial and error and finding someone that clicks with you than anything!


I did talk with Dr. Guzman this weekend. Unfortunately she didn’t have a good answer. They are not really set up to see patients over distance and they don’t have a list of people who specialize in the area. She did suggest simply looking for a local psychologist who specializes in chronic illness. You can do that at the APA here by putting in your zip code and select “chronic illness” as a specialty. And then simply ask if they specialize in diabetes.

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Joseph Nelson is who youre looking for…
Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN

EIther one will be able to suggest someone if they cant help you themselves.

Nelson is a Diabetic Psychologist with a preference for MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Emailed him in the last week, looking for a referral to anyone local to my area

He was very kind and helpful. If you catch him, please tell him I said thank you again.

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There really is not one single website tragically. Certainly SHOULD be one!!!

Behavioral Diabetes Institue
in California, run my WIlliam Polansy. He is diabetic like us. They have a pretty good network, but not all inclusive by any means.

The APA (American Psychological Association)
will have state office(s). A search I ran less than a week ago gave me a few good leads for local folks. Some states have a listing for diabetes, others do not sadly.

You could try the ACDE, Association of Certified Diabetes Educators.
They might have a name locally for you?

Try your local JDRF office.
Hit or miss but they might ahve a name or two to suggest for you?

The local hospital diabetes programs, often have names. The larger the unit, the more likely they’ll have a name or two.

I’d agree with the sentiment that perhaps you want to look for a less specific psychologist, someone who specialises in chronic illness would be ideal though.

My personal experience, and keep in mind this is only my own experience so it’s by no means a rule of thumb, but I’ve actually gotten more out of speaking to generalists psychologists, versus the mental health workers at my diabetic clinic.

The reasons behind this are that a large part of my problem comes from my own anxiety around my condition. The problem is with the diabetic mental health specialists, I actually have quite well controlled diabetes, so often when I speak to them it just constantly comes back to that and the end result is I shouldn’t be worrying etc.

I find that in-helpful, as I’m aware I do have well controlled diabetes but it doesn’t help the anxiety and stress I feel from it still. I have found people less specialised in diabetes focus more on how I can cope with that, not just getting me to focus on the fact that anxiety may be misplaced.

Again, that was my experience, I’m not sure if it is helpful, but my general suggestion would be see a broader psychologist to start, if they don’t hep maybe try a diabetic specialist. It may work for you!


Brian, this is somewhat off topoc but, are you in the San Diego County area? I got to work on some projects with Bill when I lived there. San Diego is an awesome place for PWD’s. Actually it is the T1 community there - and the amazing resources like Bill, John Walsh, Steve Edelman - that I miss. Otherwise, don’t miss San Diego at all. I’m in Portland OR now