Therapy for Healthcare Professionals in NYC
You don’t have to sacrifice your own needs to take care of others.
You’re not alone
We Specialize in Therapy for Healthcare Professionals in NYC
The rapid and devastating surge of the COVID-19 pandemic knocked the world off its axis, affected the lives of millions across the globe, and reinvented our definition of normalcy. It was a sobering wake-up call across various industries — especially in the healthcare industry.
Hospitals were filled to capacity. Healthcare professionals, including nurses, medical assistants, ER doctors, medical doctors, residents, and many others, had to deal with cramped conditions, inadequate equipment, and extremely long shifts as patients continued to pour through the doors and the deaths continued to climb.
Even after the initial surges calmed down, however, the difficulties didn’t wane. Many healthcare professionals powered through burnout, trauma, insomnia, guilt, anxiety, depression, moral distress, and more in order to give their patients the best care possible. Yet there was no relief at the end of the road. Hospitals remained understaffed and workers remained underpaid, in spite of their necessity. Variants of COVID popped up. The pandemic itself is not yet fully over. Many doubt it will ever be.
In the midst of all of this, our healthcare professionals suffer. Various studies have looked into the mental health of healthcare workers after the pandemic, with concerning results:
There is a high prevalence of anxiety (22.1%), moderate depression (21.7%), and PTSD (21.5%) among healthcare professionals during the pandemic.
There is a prevalence of trauma-related stress, ranging from 7.4% to 35%, mainly among nurses, women, frontline workers, and workers who experienced physical symptoms of COVID-19.
58% of physicians in 2020 reported having feelings of burnout often, compared to 40% in 2018.
39% of healthcare workers said that they did not feel like they had adequate emotional support. Nurses were even less likely to have emotional support (45%).
1 in 4 physicians reported knowing a physician who committed suicide. 26% reported knowing a physician who considered it.
18% of physicians have increased their use of alcohol, medications, or illicit drugs due to the effects of COVID-19 on their practice or employment.
The field of healthcare is demanding. No one can dispute that. The unpredictable hours, excruciatingly long shifts, the fear of infection, the burden of saving lives, the trauma of losing patients — the issues that healthcare workers routinely confront would pose a challenge to anyone’s mental strength.
However, that doesn’t mean the stress you face and its subsequent result on your mental health is something you just need to learn to live with. You may be used to always being the helper and neglecting your own health and emotional wellbeing, but don’t forget that you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. You’re allowed to take a step back and breathe.
What Issues Do Healthcare Professionals Often Experience?
It can be easy to tell someone else to get the help they need. However, when it comes to your own needs, you might be too practiced at ignoring the lingering effects of stress and trauma to recognize when you’re the one that needs help. Here are some signs that you could benefit from professional support:
Feeling constantly depressed, anxious, or lonely — You might realize that you feel happy much less frequently, unable to escape being constantly sad. The bad days seem like all you’ve ever known, the good days are barely a blip on the radar.
Being unable to control your irritability or anger — You might find that your fuse has gotten shorter and shorter, and you’re irritable or angry more often. You no longer have as much patience as you used to, losing your cool at things that wouldn’t have bothered you before.
Losing trust in others and isolating yourself — You may no longer want to talk or socialize with others. You might become apathetic to the things or activities that once interested you. You might feel as though you’re better off alone, questioning whether anyone around you truly cares about you.
Flashbacks to traumatic events — As much as you want to forget the distressing losses you’ve experienced or the suffering you’ve seen, your memory seems to be unable to let it go, making you relive these traumatic events repeatedly and unexpectedly.
Changes to sleep — You may be sleeping too much or too little. Your shift work may have left you unable to put a healthy schedule in place. Regardless of how much sleep you get, you never seem to feel rested afterward.
Experiencing burnout, compassion fatigue, existential issues, or moral injury — The toll of caring for others in an unbelievably difficult time may have stretched you thin, and now you find it hard to empathize with others. It can also leave you questioning your own faith, existence, or spirituality. Decisions or situations that feel “wrong” may also leave you bothered, struggling to get through each shift.
Substance and alcohol use — You may have engaged in new or increased substance abuse, whether alcohol, illicit drugs, medications, or others.
Physical issues — Issues such as unexplained aches and pain, memory and executive function problems, changes in appetite, digestive problems, and reproductive and/or sexual issues.
Acknowledging these symptoms is the first step in taking care of yourself. The healthcare industry is stressful enough as it is and the COVID-19 has only served to make matters worse — it’s okay to need a little help in getting back on your feet. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, you may want to consider seeking therapy.
THERAPISTS WHO CAN HELP
Therapists Who Specialize in Therapy for Healthcare Professionals in NYC
Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.
What Does Therapy for Healthcare professionals Look Like?
Seeking therapy can be a difficult decision, especially when you’re used to helping others with their problems instead of focusing on your own. You might also be held back by the stigma surrounding mental health and the fear of professional repercussions.
Even if you’re afraid — especially if you’re afraid — therapy can help you. Therapy can help you process your feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment, giving you an understanding of why you reacted the way that you did and how you can react better in the future. Therapy can help you identify and break away from negative thought patterns and behaviors that impact your physical and emotional wellbeing. Therapy can help you reprocess traumatic memories so they become less overwhelming and less threatening. Therapy can give you the coping mechanisms and tools you need to handle difficult situations without succumbing to stress.
Therapy can help you begin healing — to eventually be in a better place to heal others.
What if I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?
As helpful as therapy can be, it’s not a decision that everyone’s ready to make — and that’s okay. If you want to start small, here are some tips:
Seek support from others — Reaching out to others that understand your struggles can be a great first step in your healing. Try looking through these support groups and resources.
Practice a healthy lifestyle — Your physical well-being has an impact on your mental health. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help improve your mood and lessen the intensity of some of your struggles.
Incorporate mindfulness practices — Mindfulness emphasizes living in the here-and-now instead of getting caught up in the worries of the past or future. Even simple techniques like breathwork or a five-minute meditation session can help ground you in an overwhelming moment.
Ready To Seek Support?
We can help.
Being a healthcare professional in New York comes with unique stressors. We can help you learn coping mechanisms, skills, and tools to manage your stress and your emotions to better perform your mission to help others. Reach out today for a complimentary consultation with one of our therapists who specialize in therapy for healthcare professionals in NYC.