On April 19, 2021, CalPsychiatry founder Josephine McNary, M.D., moderated a discussion with Prof. Ted Robles, Ph.D. of the UCLA Department of Psychology, as part of CalPsychiatry’s monthly “Psych Media Night” for California mental health professionals. Dr. Robles shared his clinical perspectives on patient management during the pandemic, and his research on loneliness. He emphasized that the social environment can be protective during the pandemic, and he observed that many people are even enhancing their social connections despite the distancing protocols.

Main takeaways include:

  • During the pandemic, some people have actually experienced less loneliness, even while being alone.
  • Loneliness is dependent on the degree to which a person’s social network actually meets expectations.
  • Therapists need to address the stigma against loneliness so that people are able to accept and change their reality.



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