Everyone’s Anxious. Therapists Are Slammed. Here’s How Mental Health Care Is Keeping Up.

In a time when we’re experiencing a collective amount of anxiety, the field of mental health is changing

Photo: SDI Productions/Getty Images

This anxiety is almost unprecedented in its universality — nearly every single person worldwide is currently experiencing some kind of corona-related impact on their mental health.

Within sessions, therapists are facing new kinds of questions, even from pre-existing patients, as the virus becomes the sole focus of sessions. “Pretty much everyone who is in therapy, this is what they’re talking about,” Bufka says. It’s changed the tone of sessions for many. “I’m seeing such fascinating dynamics right now,” Taskier says. “For single people, it’s a lot of feelings of social isolation and feeling disconnected. For parents, it’s very much about staying sane, managing childcare, and balancing the load with their partners.” The close quarters we’re all in put additional strain on relationships. “Couples have already been more critical and short with one another. I also see couples whose levels of anxiety are vastly different, so they’re having trouble taking care of one another,” Taskier says. “A lot of people are making more assumptions about their partners — they think that because they are around each other more, their partner should know their needs, and they are getting hurt, disappointed, frustrated when that doesn’t happen. I’m working with a lot of my couples to start explicitly naming their triggers, their needs, and how their partner can support them in times of distress.”

is a writer focusing primarily on health and women’s cultural issues. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and more.

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