The Shared Traumatic Reality of COVID-19 in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Lived Experiences of New York City Psychologists
This study sought to understand the shared traumatic reality of COVID-19 on the psychodynamic psychotherapy process through phenomenological, qualitative interviews with NYC therapists. Fourteen psychologists were interviewed. Participants’ experiences were organized along major themes: (a) omnipresence of COVID-19 in therapy, (b) remote therapy creating a new window into patients’ lives, (c) frame intrusions increase unwitting therapist self-disclosure, (d) new avenues for patient transference and fantasy, (e) challenges navigating the disembodiment of remote therapy, (f) therapist feeling cared for and humanized by patients, (g) challenges navigating countertransference, (h) a flattened play space and increased concrete interventions, and (i) increased therapist self-disclosure. Minor themes included: (a) increased sociopolitical focus in therapy, (b) confronting patients’ disavowal of COVID-19, (c) ethics and therapist ‘misdemeanors,’ in a new frame (d) therapist subjectivity: stress, uncertainty, and attunement, (e) existential concerns and questioning responsibility to practice (f) increased focus on health advocacy, and (g) equalized and less formal therapeutic interactions. Limitations of the study, avenues for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.
Psychology|Counseling Psychology|Mental health|Clinical psychology
Bigony, Cara Elizabeth, "The Shared Traumatic Reality of COVID-19 in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Lived Experiences of New York City Psychologists" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30492840.