According to a survey of mental healthcare professionals, significant problems could result from the pandemic. This will continue to plague people for many years as demand for treatment rises in a second pandemic. While few would argue that the almost two years of the pandemic were not intense, psychologists claim the effects are more profound than previously thought.
The New York Times reported that nine out of 10 therapists said the client demand for care has increased to a level they’ve never seen before. For a new appointment, some professionals may have a waitlist of up to three months. Jacent Wamala is a Las Vegas marriage and family therapist. “Every day there are new inquires.” “People are dealing with the aftermath, mentally and emotionally, of what happened.”
Lockdowns had a profound impact on couples and individuals, though they were all different: Some felt isolated and separated while others began to see the differences that could not be avoided.
Nearly 75% said that they spend significant time helping clients with their family and relationship problems.
“It’s difficult to find couples therapists who aren’t slammed,” Chris Davis, a Louisville, Ky., marriage and family therapist, said. They are fighting, they communicate poorly, or they seem apathetic.
Couples highlighted differences in parenting styles, communication, household chore division, spending habits, and parenting style. Couples also stated that they are less attracted to one another and have no time for “missing and wanting each other.”
The most alarming finding is that child health problems have increased, something U.S. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, warned earlier this month.
Dr. Pooja Sharma is a Berkeley-based clinical psychologist. She said that it might take years before children feel normal in their mental health. Clients also had concerns about racial justice. Therapists said that George Floyd’s murder and an increase in anti-Asian hate crime incidents drove them to seek treatment.
Montia Brock, a Pittsburgh professional counselor, stated that while the pandemic might not have created these problems, it “definitely increased the problems.”
Although telemedicine is becoming more popular, 28% of professionals feel it can make the sessions more difficult because they are missing important body language cues. Background noise can also distract from understanding and cause confusion.
Christin Guretsky, a Virginia-based professional counselor, said that an in-person office can help people slow down and give them a sense of security.
This will continue to be the norm for mental health professionals in 2022. However, the demand won’t change. 20% of respondents reported that they had to reduce their hours due to a lack of time for personal and home needs.
Claudia Coenen, a Hudson, N.Y. certified grief counselor, said, “We’re holding others’ emotions, their sadnesses, their sorrows, and their stress.” I am on the edge of burnout and have to take a step back and trust my clients will be okay.