Is Wearing a Mask Causing Us Anxiety? Interview with James Kelleher

Is Wearing a Mask Causing Us Anxiety? Interview with James Kelleher

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Hey everybody! Welcome to Conversations with Doc Martin, where we talk to extraordinary people doing extraordinary things! 

In today’s interview, we talk to James Kelleher!

James has been a licensed therapist for over 15 years and in private practice in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for over 10 years. He is a graduate of New York University with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. James has had extensive experience with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and has counseled clients from a wide range of challenges. 

James always uses a non-judgmental approach to his therapeutic methods and creates a strong sense of trust with his clients. He starts by creating a positive sense of self and uses that foundation to overcome the challenges that limit one’s full potential.

I start out by asking James to give us an idea of what his practice was like pre-pandemic compared to now being a little over a year into it, what that change has looked like, and what he has seen.

He starts out by talking about the fact that even before the pandemic began we all had our own stressors in life, from everything to travel, to setting life goals on a day-to-day basis, to living life outside of our homes in whatever way that looked like. 

Now, since we’ve been in the pandemic for so long, he goes on to say how now he’s seen a major increase in depression and anxiety, with new factors contributing such as: being stuck in our houses, communication within relationships (or even between friendships) have changed, isolation from friends and family, new ways of coping, and in dealing with either teleworking or joblessness altogether. 

We go on to discuss how not only have we been dealing with the pandemic for the past year, but the Nation’s political climate has also been extremely intense, and because of that we are simultaneously dealing with people having a lot of raw emotions. This has created an even stronger desire for discovering different coping mechanisms in order to deal with the stressors that have been coming from life in general. 

One of the emotions that James and I discuss is anger, and how anger has led people to react in different ways. For some, an example of this can be wearing a mask, or lack thereof, which he says can produce legitimate feelings of anxiety because of the association that comes along with it. James talks about how this is something he’s discussed with clients, because oftentimes the anxiety can actually be caused by something that is underlying and not necessarily the thing that someone is getting angry about to begin with or where they may think the issue lies. 

Zoom calls, finding alternative means to communicate with friends and family, coping with the feeling like we’re stuck in the house with the same people for an extended period of time, or feeling like we’ve lost control of our lives and are alone. James and I discuss all of this and more!

Join us over on YouTube in Conversations with Doc Martin for the full interview!

In Gratitude,
Doc Martin

Find More of James’ Work Here:

Website: https://fromwithincounseling.com

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