NYMC Faculty Publications

The Psychodynamic Psychiatrist and Psychiatric Care in the Era of COVID-19

Douglas H. Ingram, New York Medical College
Kimberly Best

Abstract

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 13, 2020, about 50 members of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis convened through Zoom to talk about the impact of the pandemic on their practices, their patients, and themselves.* They offer their reflections through oral and written comments. Participants were encouraged to organize their contributions around the dimensions of administrative psychiatry, the structure of clinical care, the content of clinical care, the patients' reported personal experiences, and the psychiatrists' reported personal experiences. Themes identified and discussed are paradoxical separateness, seeking an optimal interpersonal distance, finding new idioms, reality and symbolism, and loss, mourning, and isolation. The views are noted to touch on only one point early in the arc of the pandemic. A significant body of personal commentary provides an understanding of the roots of themes likely to evolve as the pandemic progresses.