Over the past two years, Access Institute’s clinical training programs have undergone a series of changes and challenges, including, the development of a new Doctoral Internship, staff and leadership changes and all the organizational obstacles related to COVID-19— treatment, didactic training and supervision all moving to remote platforms (and now back again). While stressful for staff and trainees, these and other trials have moved us to create important new organizational processes, structures and the hiring of key training staff. Change is never easy for an organization and managing change is critical to organizational resilience. Thanks to a dedicated team of staff, board, volunteer supervisors and faculty and our talented interns and fellows, Access Institute’s training programs will continue to meet the highest standards of excellence and will be ready to grow and adapt to meet the needs of a diverse community
By Bart Magee, Ph.D.
Writing in the New York Times recently, Adam Grant struck a national cord talking about a post-pandemic emotional state. He called it “languishing”. It’s a pervasive dull, joyless, and aimless feeling that he names as middle state between flourishing and depression. His article resonated with millions of people who, after a year of isolation, anxiety, and either overwork or underwork, are feeling burnt out and spent. It’s common to hear people expressing confusion these days, saying that with restrictions being lifted and society coming alive again, they expected to be relieved and excited to get out, but they’re not. Rather, they are feeling reluctant, ambivalent, and too emotionally drained to deal with it all. They are languishing.
“Thank goodness you found me. I need to talk to you! What happened to everyone? I’ve been so frightened, and my sister, she just tells me to calm down.” These were the first words spoken by Mrs. Jones* to her Access Institute therapist during their initial remote session in March of 2020. Mrs. Jones is 85 and lives in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point.
By Bart Magee, Ph.D.
“I’m so upset. They just announced it. We are going to be 100% remote. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m at the end of my rope with this.” This came from a patient as he sat down for his therapy in my office the other day. It’s a sentiment I hearing all around, from friends, family, and colleagues. After a year of coping with isolation, feeling tied to their monitors, missing spontaneous interactions, having trouble shutting work off, and struggling to just get out of the house, many workers are feeling at the end of their ropes.
“You who are in the field of psychology have given us a great word. It is the word maladjusted. This word is probably used more than any other word in psychology…the word implies you are declaring that destructive maladjustment should be destroyed. You are saying that all must seek the well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities.
But on the other hand, I am sure that we will recognize that there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted…We must never adjust ourselves to racial discrimination and racial segregation. We must never adjust ourselves to religious bigotry. We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Invited Distinguished Address to the American Psychological Association, September 1 1967