Toshima Michelle T

Michelle T. Toshima, Ph.D.

  • Psychology
Accepting New Patients
1600 E. Jefferson St.
A Level
Seattle, WA 98122

General Information

MS and other neurological conditions come with many physical, cognitive and emotional challenges that can hurt a person’s satisfaction with life. As a clinical rehabilitation psychologist at the MS Center, I work to educate and equip patients and families to deal effectively with the demands of MS, and help them connect with others in a supportive community.
Education Background
Medical School: San Diego State University
Medical School: University of California, San Diego
Residency: University of Washington Medical Center, Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology
Fellowship: University of Washington, Chronic Pain Management
  • English
Professional Associations
American Psychological Association
Personal Interests
In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, biking, kayaking and skiing with my family. I like to spend quieter moments with a good book, a challenging puzzle and cooking.



Apps can help MS patients and other disabled people with daily living

September 16, 2016

Mobile technology has revolutionized the way we work and live, and now it’s helping people with disabilities manage daily life and maintain their independence by assisting them in communicating, planning, completing crucial tasks, getting help in emergencies and more.

New year's resolutions: The science behind them

January 04, 2016
Ringing in the New Year is often a time of joyful celebration marked with annual traditions, including New Year’s resolutions. Many of us don’t achieve our resolutions, but there is hope. Here are some tips for success with resolutions in 2016.

Focusing on the 'Thanks' in Thanksgiving

November 20, 2015
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it is a good time to focus on giving thanks. Research shows that practicing gratitude can result in a number of benefits, including improved physical and psychological health. People who practice gratitude take better care of themselves, engage in more protective health behaviors like exercise and eating healthy, and get regular check-ups.

Mental health apps: help when you need it

August 28, 2015
Millions of Americans suffer from some form of mental health problems. It is estimated that in the U.S., about 40 million adults suffer from anxiety, about 20 million adults suffer from depression, and another 8 million suffer from PTSD. Many more people, about 78 million, report suffering from high levels of stress with poor health in self or a family member being the primary reason for the stress. Unfortunately research consistently shows that two-thirds of these people do not seek out treatment for their problems. And those who are interested in help often run into barriers that prevent them from receiving treatment. Barriers can include lack of or inadequate health insurance, lack of mental health resources in rural or impoverished areas or the stigma of getting help for mental health problems. 

Apps on smart phones could help address some of these barriers. There are hundreds of apps focused on helping people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, stress and other symptoms.  

How to Make a Behavior a Habit

July 22, 2015
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

We are constantly inundated by “advice” from our doctors, family, friends and even advertisements to make lifestyle changes to improve our health and well-being. This is all well and good but for many of us the mere thought of trying to make behavior changes, can be overwhelming and daunting. We often stop ourselves before we even start. If you happen to be one of the few who actually makes changes, you may struggle to keep it up over time.

So what’s the secret to making behavior changes? And for these changes to become habits?

Making the Mental Shift: From "Doing" to "Being"

June 18, 2015
Over the years, the World Health Organization’s discussion around disability has changed from “impairment, disability, and handicap” to “impairment, activity, and participation.”  In other words, the focus has shifted to that of function through activity and participation.  This shift in perspective is important but not sufficient.

Social Interaction has Positive Benefits to Health and Well-Being in MS

April 22, 2015
Numerous studies over the past several decades have consistently shown that social interaction has positive benefits to our health and well-being.  The potential benefits cited in many of these studies include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, reduced blood pressure, and reduced mental health issues such as depression and alcoholism.  More recent studies are focusing on the positive impact that social interaction may have on optimizing our brain functioning. 

What the Americans with Disabilities Act Says About Service Animals

March 16, 2015

What does a dog, cat, horse, bird and fish have in common? These animals and many others share...

The ABLE Act (Achieving A Better Life Experience Act) Approved by Congress: A Step in the Right Direction for Individuals with Disability

January 20, 2015
The ABLE Act, also known as The Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, was finally approved by Congress on a 76-16 vote and was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.  Although the ABLE Act does not directly benefit individuals with disabilities acquired later in life, it is a bold first step in recognizing the financial needs of individuals with disabilities and not penalizing these individuals from receiving public benefits.

What is the ABLE Act?

The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families to set up a special savings account for disability related expenses.  Earnings on an ABLE account would not be taxed.  Disability related expenses is broad in definition and includes: medical and dental care, education, community based support, personal support services, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. 

How is the ABLE Act different from existing law?...

A blood test to diagnose depression

November 13, 2014
Currently the standard protocol for diagnosing depression involves asking a patient a series of questions or administering a self-report questionnaire about a patient’s mood, energy level, interest and engagement in activities, appetite, sleep, and so on.  A patient’s responses as well as observations of mood and behavior would then be used as an indicator for depression.  Depression is often difficult to diagnose because diagnosis is dependent on patients being truthful in reporting symptoms and being clear in their description of symptoms. 
Researchers at Northwestern University (Redei et al., 2014) have developed a blood test that ...

Multiple Sclerosis and the Winter Blues

September 05, 2014
Many people with Multiple Sclerosis look forward to the cooler temperatures and reduced humidity that comes with fall and winter. Symptoms can be worse in the warm summer months so relief comes to many with the lower temperatures. With fall and winter right around the corner, it’s important to be aware of and prepare for the Winter Blues. 
The Winter Blues is fairly common in northern latitudes where the days become shorter and there is reduced sunlight.  The Winter Blues is often characterized by feeling irritable or gloomy, having less energy, sleeping more but not feeling more rested, and eating more, often with cravings for carbohydrates.  So what can one do to prevent the Winter Blues?

National Stress Awareness Month-Managing stress with multiple sclerosis

April 10, 2014

April is National Stress Awareness Month so it seems appropriate to look at the impact of stress on people living with MS and to become more aware of what one can do to better manage one’s reaction to the inevitable stressors in life.
There is a growing body of research that suggests there is an association between stress and an increased risk of MS exacerbations and the development of new lesions in patients with MS.  A group of Dutch researchers followed 73 patients with RRMS and found that those patients who reported a major stressful event were 2.2 times more likely to have an MS exacerbation in the following four weeks.  In 2006, a group of U.S. researchers followed 36 people with MS and found that after experiencing a major life stress, those MS patients were 1.6 times more likely to develop a new lesion in the next eight w...

Clinical Experience

Clinical Interests
  • abducens nerve disease
  • abducens nerve injury
  • abducens nerve palsy and paresis
  • abnormal coordination
  • abnormal eeg
  • abnormal emg
  • abnormal neuroimaging
  • abnormal reflexes
  • abnormal twitching
  • abscess central nervous system
  • absence epilepsy
  • accessory nerve disease
  • accessory nerve injury
  • acoustic neurofibromatosis
  • acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
  • alcohol withdrawal
  • alcoholic encephalopathy
  • alogia
  • ambulatory eeg
  • amnesia
  • amplified pain syndrome
  • amyloid neuropathy
  • aneurysm
  • anosmia
  • anoxic encephalopathy
  • anxiety
  • aphasia
  • arteriovenous malformation
  • ataxia
  • athetoid cerebral palsy
  • aura
  • autoimmune meningitis
  • autonomic dysreflexia
  • autonomic nervous system disorders
  • autonomic neuropathy
  • baclofen therapy
  • beriberi
  • berry aneurysm
  • brachial plexopathy
  • brachial plexus lesion
  • brachycephaly
  • brain concussion
  • bulbar palsy
  • carotid stenosis
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • cauda equina syndrome
  • causalgia of lower limb
  • causalgia of upper limb
  • cerebellar anomaly
  • cerebellar ataxia
  • cerebellar disease
  • cerebral aneurysm
  • cerebral anomaly
  • cerebral arteritis
  • cerebral atherosclerosis
  • cerebral contusion
  • cerebral cyst
  • cerebral edema
  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • cerebral hernia
  • cerebral laceration
  • cerebral lipidosis
  • cerebral palsy
  • cerebrospinal fluid abnormality
  • cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • cerebrovascular accident
  • cerebrovascular disorders
  • cerebrovascular insufficiency
  • charcot-marie-tooth disease
  • childhood epilepsy
  • chorea
  • choreoathetosis
  • chronic headache
  • chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuritis
  • chronic pain
  • chronic post-traumatic headache
  • ciliary neuralgia
  • circadian rhythm disorder
  • cluster headache
  • common peroneal nerve lesion
  • concussive seizure
  • convulsion
  • corticobasal degeneration
  • cranial nerve diseases
  • cranial nerve disorders
  • cranial nerve injuries
  • cranial nerve palsy
  • creutzfeldt jakob syndrome
  • degenerative brain disorder
  • degenerative disorders of the balance organs
  • delirium
  • demyelinating disease
  • depression
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • diabetic polyneuropathies
  • diagnostic lumbar puncture
  • diffuse axonal injury
  • diplegia of upper limbs
  • disorder of balance
  • disorder of body awareness
  • disturbance of skin sensation
  • dizziness
  • drop attack
  • drug-induced acute dystonia
  • dysarthria
  • dysautonomia
  • dyskinesia
  • dysphagia
  • dysphonia
  • dystonia
  • echoencephalogram abnormal
  • eeg telemetry
  • electroencephalography
  • encephalopathies
  • enlarged optic nerve
  • enlarged ventricle
  • epilepsy
  • erythromelalgia
  • essential tremor
  • executive dysfunction
  • exvacuohydrocephalus
  • facial asymmetry
  • facial nerve palsy and paresis
  • facial paresis
  • facial spasm
  • facial tingling
  • familial ataxia
  • fasciculations
  • femoral nerve lesion
  • fibromyalgia
  • focal dystonia
  • foot drop
  • friedreich ataxia
  • frontal lobe disinhibition
  • functional quadriplegia
  • fungal meningitis
  • ganglioneuroblastoma
  • generalized seizures
  • genetic dystonia
  • gestalt psychotherapy
  • glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • grand mal status epilepticus
  • grief
  • group psychotherapy
  • guillain barre syndrome
  • handwriting tremor
  • head trauma
  • health psychology
  • hearing loss
  • hemiatrophy
  • hemicrania continua
  • hemidystonia
  • hemineglect
  • hemiparesis
  • hemiplegia
  • hereditary sensory neuropathy
  • hereditary spastic paraplegia
  • hiv dementia
  • hiv neuropathy
  • hydrocephalus
  • hydromyelia
  • hypertonia
  • hypoglossal nerve disease
  • hypoglossal nerve injury
  • hypotonia
  • idiopathic transverse myelitis
  • infantile cerebral palsy
  • infectious neuritis
  • injury to brain
  • intention tremor
  • intermittent cerebral ischemia
  • intermittent tremor
  • intracranial arterial occlusion
  • intracranial hemorrhages
  • intracranial hypertension
  • intractable pain
  • isolated central nervous system vasculitis
  • late effect of spinal cord injury
  • late effects of poliomyelitis
  • lateral sclerosis
  • leg numbness
  • leg weakness
  • lesion of popliteal nerve
  • lesion of sciatic nerve
  • leukodystrophy
  • lip droop
  • lissencephaly
  • lobar atrophy of brain
  • locked-in syndrome
  • loss of consciousness
  • lumbar puncture
  • lumbosacral plexus lesion
  • macrocephaly
  • managing transitions
  • marcus gunn phenomenon
  • maternal neurologic disorders
  • mental health disorders
  • meralgia paresthetica
  • metabolic brain disorders
  • microcephaly
  • migraine
  • migraine treatment
  • mononeuritis
  • mononeuritis multiplex
  • monoplegia
  • monoplegia of upper limb
  • mood symptoms
  • motor neuron disease
  • movement disorders
  • moyamoya
  • multiple sclerosis
  • multiple system atrophy
  • multisystemic disseminated toxoplasmosis
  • muscle spasticity
  • muscle weakness
  • muscular dystrophy
  • myelitis
  • myelomeningocele
  • myelopathy
  • myoclonic seizures
  • myoclonus
  • neck pain
  • nerve compression syndrome
  • nerve diseases
  • nerve root disorder
  • nerve sheath tumor
  • nervous system disorders
  • neuralgia
  • neuralgic amyotrophy
  • neuritis
  • neuroborreliosis
  • neurological disorders
  • neurometabolic disorder
  • neuromodulation
  • neuromuscular ultrasound
  • neuropathic arthritis
  • neuropathy
  • neurosarcoidosis
  • nonruptured cerebral aneurysm
  • normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • numbness
  • occipital neuralgia
  • olfactory nerve disease
  • optic migraines
  • optic nerve and pathway injury
  • optic nerve disease
  • pachygyria
  • pain clinic
  • pain disorder
  • pain management
  • paralysis
  • paraneoplastic polyneuropathy
  • paraplegia
  • parasitic meningitis
  • paresthesia
  • pellagra
  • periodic paralysis
  • peripheral autonomic neuropathy
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • periventricular lesion
  • periventricular leukomalacia
  • periventricular mass
  • peroneal muscular atrophy
  • peroneal nerve lesion
  • petit mal status
  • pinched nerve
  • plagiocephaly
  • plantar nerve lesion
  • plexitis
  • plexopathy
  • poliodystrophia cerebri
  • poliomyelitis
  • polymicrogyria
  • polyneuropathy
  • popliteal nerve lesion
  • post radiation pain
  • post thoracotomy chest pain
  • post traumatic seizures
  • post-concussion syndrome
  • postherpetic neuralgia
  • post-laminectomy syndrome
  • post-traumatic amnesia
  • post-traumatic headache
  • primary progressive aphasia
  • problems with smell and taste
  • progressive muscular atrophy
  • progressive supranuclear palsy
  • pseudobulbar palsy
  • pseudotumor cerebri
  • psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
  • psycho-oncology
  • psychotherapy
  • quadriplegia
  • radial nerve lesion
  • radiculopathy
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • reflex neurovascular dystrophy
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • restless legs syndrome
  • schwannomatosis
  • seasonal affective disorder
  • segmental dystonia
  • sensory impairment
  • sensory problem with head
  • sensory problem with neck and trunk
  • sensory problems with limbs
  • slurred speech
  • spasticity
  • spinal cord diseases
  • spinal muscular atrophy
  • spinocerebellar degeneration
  • spinocerebellar diseases
  • staring
  • status epilepticus
  • stereotypic movement disorder
  • stress disorder
  • subdural hematoma
  • subdural hemorrhage
  • syphilis
  • syringobulbia
  • syringomyelia
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • temporal sclerosis
  • tens therapy
  • tension headache
  • tetany
  • tetraplegia
  • tibial nerve lesion
  • tic disorder
  • tingling
  • torsion dystonia
  • torticollis
  • tourette syndrome
  • toxic myoneural disorders
  • toxoplasmosis
  • transient cerebral ischemia
  • transient ischemic attack
  • transient limb paralysis
  • transient monocular vision loss
  • transverse myelitis
  • traumatic brain injury
  • tremor
  • trigeminal nerve disease
  • trigeminal nerve injury
  • trigeminal nerve palsy and paresis
  • trigger point injection
  • tuberculosis of meninges
  • tuberous sclerosis
  • ulnar nerve
  • ulnar nerve compression
  • unsteady gait
  • uremic encephalopathy
  • vagal nerve disorders
  • vagus nerve disease
  • vascular malformations of the brain
  • vascular myelopathy
  • vasculitic neuropathy
  • venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis
  • venous sinus thrombosis
  • ventriculomegaly
  • vertebrobasilar insufficiency
  • vertigo
  • vestibular function test abnormal
  • viral meningitis
  • visual evoked potentials
  • vitamin b deficiency
1600 E. Jefferson St.
A Level
Seattle, WA 98122
Affiliated Facilities