We are in the middle of the horseracing season, what with the Kentucky Derby and the Pimlico Preakness already over. We are also in the middle of emerging from more than a year of hibernation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from a deadly virus. This change in lifestyle with the isolation, the diminished social and physical contact (read: hugs at the very least) meant that our relationships were affected in many ways. Those who lived alone and those who had others in the household experienced reactions ranging from increased senses of loneliness, of irritability, anxiety, and depression. There were deaths, losses of jobs, housing, and an overall dark cloud on all of us. Now, we are about to emerge from this darkness, and it is a coincidence that cicadas are showing up in our area as well. Just as they make a racket about their existence, we are starting to feel the joy and freedom of seeing the sunshine.
How are you dealing with the soon-to-come transition? Are you excited, anxious, fearful, curious, or even unaffected? While we are all facing the consequences of individual choices, we are also seeing parts of the larger community attacking minority rights. Whatever the instigating factors might be, transgender issues and voting rights have attracted legal efforts to attack them. In stressful times, some people look for a scapegoat, the “other” to blame and to target. What we all have to be alert to is to support the fight in all ways we can, legally, socially and emotionally. As we are off to the races, it is crucial to take note of our physical and mental health, to recognize that we have endured a challenging time and not to minimize the side effects and aftereffects of it. Resilience requires accepting whatever cost has been accrued, look to mend that which has been damaged, and then to focus on gathering our resources to continue in a healthy way. Now is the time to look at what we missed, what we welcomed, what we may not want to continue doing and move towards rejuvenation, and celebration of connections we value and want to seek.
It is a sign of maturity to know our choices are what we must live with, that we can be kind and gentle with ourselves but also respect what we have to do for the greater good as well.
As a psychologist in private practice since 1979, Janan Broadbent, Ph. D. offers individual, couples, group and family therapy, in addition to conducting workshops on topics such as stress management, communication skills and assertiveness. She writes about current issues relevant to relationship building and conflict resolution in LGBTQ and minority populations, with emphasis on health, fitness and education.
Born in Turkey, Dr. Broadbent earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1965. At that time, first as a Fulbright Scholar, then as a CENTO Fellow, she received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology and education from the University of California at Los Angeles. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology at St.Mary's College of Maryland, Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D. C., Johns Hopkins University and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore. From 1981 to 1988, she was also the Director of Counseling at Notre Dame College.
While in graduate school, Dr. Broadbent worked for the Voice of America radio program, writing and recording materials on the cross-cultural college experience. She has been interviewed on various news programs on TV and has received media training.
Dr. Broadbent is a member of the American Psychological Association and has served as the chair for the Public Affairs Board and as a member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Psychological Association.
Dr. Broadbent's office is located at:
Village of Cross Keys, 120 West Quadrangle, 2 Hamill Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210-1847 phone: 410-825-5577