Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Grief Has Gone Viral

Death is present in conversations around the world with so many people lost to or affected by COVID. Robert Neimeyer, PhD of the Portland Institute for Grief and Loss, speculates that with greater than 500,000 COVID deaths in the US, 25 million cases of grief could be identified using a broad definition*. There is an increase in anxiety and depression, and a change in meaning in our lives as people tackle job loss and financial insecurity: grief has gone viral.

The losses that are experienced affect our core beliefs. We are constantly bombarded with challenges to our beliefs, be they social, spiritual, interpersonal or practical. It is hard for many of us to sacrifice our freedoms for the good of the group and the world. Our bodies have responded with increased physiological arousal, increased needs for emotional regulation and reduced social isolation.

There has never been a better time for mindfulness approaches such as breath work, meditation, yoga, stress reduction or immersion in the arts.. There can be many emotions as someone tells the story of those that died. Newfound intimacies and explored memories can refine life goals. There is much ahead if we allow for grief and transition.

Psychotherapy opens the door to a full life, helps build new memories, joys in our lives and new experiences, and a future filled with improved relationships and careers. Please reach out for help. I am happy to take your call to discuss your needs.

*Grief Has Gone Viral, Dr. Niemeyer.

Family Issues In The Time Of Covid

Covid-19 has necessitated a transition for many families. Parents are working from home with more proximity to each other and children learning from home. Family issues in the time of COVID are a lightning rod for conflict in already upset or disrupted families*. The legal system has become overwhelmed as there is more incentive to settle quickly without time to absorb family changes.

There has never been a more important time for parents to find ways to communicate about their needs and the needs of children. Many developmental factors need to be considered with the time and adjustments parents need to make in a changed home environment.

Women are challenged with the increased demands for both their work lives and child care responsibilities. Parents may need guidance on how to remain focused in reassuring their children amid changing school schedules and requirements.

Clinicians are available to serve as mediators, co-parent counselors and coordinators. Specialists in these areas can be helpful. It is a time to help people co-parent and keep them out of court. On-going psychotherapy is beneficial for parents struggling with internal needs, especially as external events are challenging and in transition.

A lot can be learned about oneself to maintain calm and care for families during times of chaos and change. Please reach out for help. I am happy to take your call to discuss your needs.

*Addressing The Need In Families Of Divorce In The Time Of COVID, Dr. Behrman, Feb 5, 2021.

Transition and Change: COVID-19 consequences

The last year has been difficult for each of us – our neighbors and the world. There are many consequences of the epidemic, transition and change largely driven by increased social isolation, economic consequences and generally negative news*. People are drinking more, women are losing financial and career gains, dentists are seeing more cracked teeth from stress and an increase in problems related to anxiety and depression.

Even for those that have not lost jobs or loved ones during the pandemic, the shift to on-line for treatment and socializing has been challenging. Many of us feel more isolated from their colleagues and friends and are less able to maintain boundaries between work and home life. “Zoom fatigue” is real and it can be difficult to find quiet spaces and privacy for work, therapy or personal time. Those working from home may have a lesser risk of COVID, but at the same time experience increased social and emotional isolation.

With children not in school, normal routines are disrupted, and parents assume dual roles as teachers. Some find themselves unable to care for others in the same way that they would like, including elderly relatives. Many have experienced profound grief and loss.

In this environment, there has never been a more important time to practice self-care. Distress and burnout can be balanced with good habits and positive activities. We are all working within the constraints of a new reality and we need to balance our time and set realistic goals. A long-term view and practicing resilience is critical.

The pandemic will not go away overnight, even with more vaccines and wider education and awareness. Each individual will continue to be challenged to find strategies to counteract boredom, anger, excessive daydreaming, fatigue or feelings of loss of enjoyment.  It is encouraging that more people are reading books, enjoying pets and finding safe ways to spend time with family and friends.

We are truly in this together. Please reach out for help. I am happy to take your call to discuss your needs.

*Transitions, Transformation, And Tele-mental Health In Clinical Practice, Clinical Health, American Psychological Association, Dr. Barnett, Feb 5, 2021.