Around the Institute

Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19, A Therapist’s Experience with the Virus

June 18, 2020  • Socrates Program

You can revisit the conversation by watching the video. Dr. Tamar Kaye, PsyD, has summarized the conversation below. Please feel free to share this content with friends and colleagues.

Through a therapist’s lens, Dr. Tamar Kaye shared her experiences, both physical and psychological, that resulted from her having contracted COVID-19 in early March 2020. Dr. Richard Daniele and Dr. Kaye candidly addressed the impact the pandemic has had on all of us, not just the patients they treat in their New York City-based private practices. They acknowledged some of the effects the current collective trauma has had on themselves and their practices, and encouraged all individuals suffering or feeling stress overload, especially frontline workers, including therapists, to seek the support and guidance they need. Frontline workers are especially at risk given the trauma they encounter on a daily basis. These feelings are intensified if early trauma unrelated to the pandemic has occurred. A person’s early trauma history and other life experiences shape their development, and hence, their emotional reactions that sometimes lay dormant until later trauma occurs. 

Drs. Kaye and Daniele emphasized that there is no one-size-fits-all solution of care and that even though we all are going through similar traumatic events related to COVID-19 together, each person, family, or system, must be considered individually in context. Across industries, managers and leaders are encouraged to meet regularly with their teams in both professional and personal or social settings. They should take note of any member of their team, including themselves, who begins to show signs of stress or emotional distress, including unusual anxiety or depressive symptoms. Familiarizing oneself with the general symptoms of mood disorders and providing available information about mental health support/coverage, as well as talking straightforwardly about mental health concerns, are strongly encouraged.  

The pandemic has changed the workplace, including therapeutic settings. Taking their practices online, by providing virtual psychotherapy sessions, was discussed in great detail. As a result of the pandemic and lockdowns across the country, there has been some loosening of restrictions related to teletherapy. This shift has enabled larger numbers of people across the country to access quality care that otherwise would have been unavailable. Resources, such as those provided by The American Psychological Association (APA) and state psychological associations, can be a positive first step to getting care. Both Psychology Today and The American Psychological Association are easily accessible sites that connect patients with therapists. While the importance of getting help early on, and seeking quality psychological support, was emphasized by both psychologists, there was an acknowledgement that these services are not accessible to everyone in need. 

If you have questions, Dr. Kaye and Dr. Daniele have made themselves available: 

Tamar Kaye, PsyD:

NYS Licensed Psychologist

Manhattan Office:

841 Broadway, Suite 302

New York, NY 10003

Brooklyn Heights Office:

100 Remsen Street, Suite 1A

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Office: (917) 846-2828

Richard Daniele, PhD

NYS Licensed Psychologist

Manhattan Office:

250 West 90th Street, Suite 61

New York, NY 10024

(212)595-6818

Westchester Office: 

21 Horseshoe Hill Road West

Pound Ridge, NY 10576

(917) 589-6477