Losing Control: Managing Stress in the COVID-19 Crisis
May 8, 2020
With stay at home orders in effect nationwide due to the coronavirus, feelings of autonomy and agency are diminishing. Essential and front line workers carry a different sense of loss, but a loss of control all the same. The weight and impact of stress is taking its toll on all Americans. Many are searching for new ways to cope, but the messages on how to cope, however, seem just as overwhelming as the accumulating stress.
How can individuals regain control over their lives during this pandemic? Is there a way to create a sense of normalcy? In this afternoon’s virtual webinar, NYU DC Dialogues presented a discussion on the psychological and physiological impacts of stress and the ways in which individuals can seek to manage it.
Featured panelists included Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology, NYU College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Lawrence Balter (GSAS), Psychologist, Professor Emeritus of Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt, and Dr. Zoe Ragouzeos (MSW '06), Associate Vice President, Student Mental Health, NYU, who moderated the discussion. The panel was introduced by Riley Searcey, NYU First Year Liberal Studies Student and current DC Dialogues Executive Board Communications Manager.
This event was free and open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in information for the webinar. Please note that this webinar may have been recorded.
Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences, NYU
Emily Balcetis is interested in the conscious and nonconscious ways people fundamentally orient to the world. In particular, she focuses on how the motivations, emotions, needs, and goals people hold impact the basic ways people perceive, interpret, and ultimately react to information around them. She advocates for an interactive cognitive system where psychological states constrain the basic manner in which we perceive and react to our worlds. Her work, then, explores motivational biases in visual and social perception and the consequential effects for behavior and navigation of the social world. In doing so, her research represents an intersection among social psychology, judgment and decision-making, social cognition, and perception.
Dr. Lawrence Balter (GSAS), Psychologist, Professor Emeritus of Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt
Dr. Lawrence Balter is an internationally renowned psychologist and author of numerous books for children, parents, and professionals. He is recognized for his clear communication of psychological information to the general public. Formerly a contributing editor and columnist for Ladies’ Home Journal, Family Circle, and Sesame Street Parents, Dr. Balter has also been a psychology reporter on CBS TV’s The Early Show, WABC TV’s Eyewitness News, and WCBS TV’s News at Five. He hosted The Dr. Lawrence Balter programs on ABC Talkradio nationally and on WABC Talkradio in New York. He appears on PIX Morning News (channel 11) in New York.
Dr. Balter is the author of several books on parenting, “Dr. Balter’s Child Sense,” “Who’s In Control?” and “Not in Front of the Children,” as well as eight children’s books, two textbooks on child development, and a two-volume encyclopedia, “Parenthood in America.”
He is Professor Emeritus at New York University where he trained child and school psychologists. Dr. Balter has consulted with numerous corporations and educational institutions around the country and has conducted study-abroad programs in Geneva, Prague, and Puerto Rico. He serves as an Advisory Board member at The Future of Children (Princeton University and Brookings Institution), a Consulting Editor for the National Association for the Education of Young children, a member of the Advisory Board at Roads to Success, a Senior Advisor for the Center for Social and Emotional Education, and a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Media Psychology.
Millions of people including health professionals have turned to Dr. Lawrence Balter for his expert advice. He has offered guidance through his books, magazine columns, television appearances, call-in radio programs, and his speeches and workshops. He is a dynamic speaker who blends vast experience and knowledge with a vibrant personality and a refreshing sense of humor.
He has been recognized for his ability to convey technical material in a user-friendly manner. He is quoted regularly in magazines and newspapers around the country. Dr. Balter is the recipient of numerous professional awards.
Dr. Zoe Ragouzeos (MSW '06), Associate Vice President, Sexual Misconduct Support Services, Assistant Vice President, Student Mental Health, Executive Director, Counseling and Wellness Services, Student Health Center, NYU
Dr. Zoe Ragouzeos is the Associate Vice President for Sexual Misconduct Support Services and Student Mental Health and the Executive Director of the Counseling and Wellness Services at New York University. She oversees the mental health services as well as the sexual misconduct support services for the over 40,000 students. She was hired in summer 2004 to start the "Wellness Exchange", a set of programs and services that respond to the varied wellness needs of students. At its core, the Wellness Exchange offers the NYU community a clinically-staffed hotline that offers counseling support over the telephone as well as access to face-to-face emergency response services 24/7. The hotline receives tens of thousands of calls each year from students themselves but also from their friends, parents, faculty, staff and others who care about their wellbeing. The NYU Wellness Exchange also recruits and trains other Student Affairs and University partners including Athletics, Public Safety, LGBTQ Student Services and faculty from all around the University thereby building a "web of support" for students beyond the walls of the Student Health Center.
From 2004-2009, Dr. Ragouzeos created a significant Emergency Response Service at NYU including a 60 hour/week walk-in service and the Crisis Response Counselor program modeled after NYC Mobile Crisis. These services significantly augmented the support being provided by the traditional Counseling and Behavioral Health Services already in place. In 2009, Dr. Ragouzeos united the two units creating the current "NYU Counseling and Wellness Services". This service offers approximately 40K visits each year including short term counseling, group treatment, psychiatry services, workshops and emergency interventions.
Given the vast global presence of NYU, Dr. Ragouzeos currently oversees a clinical team of full time NYU staff in 12 countries.
In 2014, Dr. Ragouzeos created the Center for Sexual Misconduct Support Services which seeks to coordinate wrap-around health, mental health, academic, housing, safety and other support services to survivors of sexual misconduct.
Dr. Ragouzeos is a clinical social worker licensed in the state of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from New York University.
Riley Searcey is an LS Freshman from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. After this semester he will transition to his home campus in New York, where he will double major in Economics and Mathematics. He chose NYU for its study abroad opportunities, to be closer to his family, and with the goal of one day making the city his home. He is excited to join the DC Dialogues team and be a part of promoting and planning events that foster great discussion and learning for students at NYU.
DC Dialogues is a student-led initiative created to engage the NYU DC community in key discussions on politics, culture, business, environment, education – and more. Through active participation from the student body, DC Dialogues will convene prominent experts of various perspectives to discuss matters most captivating to students.