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Back to School - Austin Jones, AMFT

Back in March of 2020 when quarantine started, people were stressed about being stuck at home. The Journal of The American Medical Association conducted a study that found symptoms of depression were up 300%, anxiety was increasing, people were uncertain about the future, the economy, friendships, how they were going to make ends meet… People felt the mental health impacts of COVID.

Now that things are opening up and students are returning to school, we are seeing something very interesting. The same people that were stressing over the world shutting down are stressing over the world opening back up. There is a certain “reintegration anxiety” that we are noticing.

What I’m hearing from students is that they are uncertain if they are going to be able to perform in school as well as they did before COVID. They are uncertain if they are going to be able to socialize as well as they did before COVID. Students want to socialize with each other, but are feeling anxious about doing it.

This is a new kind of anxiety where students who have been waiting to reintegrate into school experience difficulty in doing so. Students have been missing the confidence that comes from interacting with and getting positive feedback from their environment. The absence of this reinforcement may manifest in a lack of self-assurance.

The thing to keep in mind is that this is totally normal. Keep showing up. This will get better fairly quickly. The research shows that if we expose ourselves to difficult social situations, chances are we will start to feel more comfortable within 1 to 4 weeks.

If you are experiencing reintegration anxiety, know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Reach out to a mental health provider. It’s my firm belief that the most effective way to get an angle on your issues is to have a professional in your corner.

Austin Jones, AMFT #122611, Supervised by Anna Major LMFT #98441

My clients experience me as easy to talk to, warm, genuine and effective. We work together in a partnership to establish connection as an antidote to the isolation of addiction. My clients gain the resources, support, and judgement-free environment that they utilize on their road to recovery. Together, we uncover obstructions by pathogenic beliefs that emerged from early life experience; increase functioning and awareness in order to make better choices; and ultimately create a life worth living.

Austin is currently accepting online clients. To learn more about his schedule and availability, please call/ text/ email him at 424-254-9391;

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