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Psychologists See Demand for Services Rising as Pandemic Continues

November 18, 2020

In a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 29% of psychologists said they are seeing more patients since the start of the pandemic, and almost all are now using telehealth platforms at least part of the time to provide treatment.

Other findings from the study, which was conducted Aug. 28 to Oct. 5 and received responses from 1,787 psychologists:

  • 74% of psychologists who provide treatment for anxiety disorders have had an increase in demand for services
  • 60% who treat depressive disorders have seen an increase
  • Sleep-wake disorders (51%) and trauma and stress-related disorders (48%) have also had a significant increase in demand

Additional findings indicate psychologists themselves are experiencing pandemic-induced mental health challenges: 41% report feeling burned out and 30% said they have not been able to meet demand from patients.

The emergence of telehealth has created increased flexibility and new opportunities to reach patients, with one-third of respondents saying they are now working with patients out of state. Of the psychologists surveyed, 96% said they have used telehealth to conduct patient sessions at least part of the time, with 64% reporting they are treating patients remotely only during the pandemic. That latter number is slightly down from an APA study released in June, when 76% said they were remote-only.

Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, two-thirds of psychologists said they are practicing self-care and 55% said they are maintaining a positive work-life balance.

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