I am offering video sessions to current and new clients and would be honored to support you during this difficult time.

Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 with Ann Masten, PhD (review)

As a follow up to my previous resiliency post, I would like to share this recent discussion between the American Psychological Association and resiliency expert Dr. Masten for her thoughts on how to be resilient (ie adapt well in the face of extreme challenges) and build it in our families during the COVID-19 pandemic. I love this discussion because it provides a fresh perspective and concrete steps while stimulating our thoughts on adjusting to the new “normal”. Interestingly, Dr. Masten compares the psychological and emotional impact of COVID-19 to a trauma reaction not too different from the impact of a natural disaster or being in a war zone. Triggers for the trauma reaction might include tv images of overwhelmed hospitals/emergency rooms, supply or food shortages, or hearing about people who have been infected or have lost their lives due to the Corona Virus.

Dr. Masten suggests that it is possible for everyone to grow in resilient thinking and behaving with conscious effort and support from others. She mentions how watching the news too much can lessen our ability to be resilient and may even impact our children. On the flip side, she believes that the challenges we are now facing can bring about resilience and mobilization in the form of personal growth and action behaviors, such as connecting more with people and helping others (grocery shopping, making masks for others).

It can be exhausting and upsetting to live with uncertainties, changes, and losses resulting from a virus pandemic that is invisible and not understood well enough. All of us have experienced changes, losses, burdens, and instabilities that are largely beyond our control and we don’t know how long it will continue. What can we do about it? Dr. Masten recommends being aware of how you are feeling and doing- and to guard against depletion. It is helpful to consider strategies to “replenish and restore” your capacity to be resilient. Another recommendation is to manage your feelings, behavior, attention, thoughts so that you are able to be more resilient. So for example, going for a walk or listening to music can calm your mind and anxieties so that you are able to be more resilient.

If you or a loved one need help fostering resilience and handling the psychological and emotional effects in response to COVID-19, I offer therapy services (currently through telemedicine). I especially invite those who have/have had depression and anxiety concerns in the past to reach out, as this can be an especially challenging time.

<3 Be well !

#mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #breakthestigma

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