Therapy demands on the rise as COVID-19 pandemic hits 6-month mark

Akilah Davis Image
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Local counselor sees increase in therapy demand during pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic crosses the 6-month mark, it continues to take a toll on mental health. A local therapist says when it comes to treating anxiety, we're in new territory.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Managing stress during the pandemic has become a popular topic among mental health professionals who have clients looking for assistance. A local therapist told ABC11 when it comes to treating this type of anxiety, we're in new territory.

"A lot of the usual outlets are no longer there. For children, if home life is chaotic, they had school to get away with their quote on quote reality. For adults, they had work," said Licensed Clinical Mental Health counselor Tisa Hester. "I liken it to 9/11 where the initial thing was just shocking like I can't believe this happened. Then every day it's the same thing over and over and over again."

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Hester has helped clients navigate life as they know it for more than ten years. She said 2020 has been unlike anything she's experienced professionally. The pandemic accompanied by global cries for social justice have led to increased anxiety, depression, alcohol and substance abuse and issues in personal relationships.

According to Hester, she's seen a sharp increase in therapy demands; clients of all races and ages with various backgrounds are dealing with trauma.

"I've seen people in leadership roles. People in subordinate roles. People just looking for an outlet," said Hester.

There are many solutions. Hester recommends limiting news consumption, having conversations with friends and family and finding ways to keep busy help. These tools provide hope, healing and empowerment.

"Self-care is the utmost because we do hold space for other people's trauma. You have to have those outlets," said Hester.