Dr. Dana Lipsky has witnessed “pandemic fatigue” firsthand.
Lipsky has plenty of experience helping people navigate anxiety, depression, and other conditions as the owner and clinical director of Metropolitan Psychological Services PLLC (MPS), a mental health care practice that she started in Arlington in 2014.
However, she says there has been a noticeable uptick in clients struggling with anxiety in particular since COVID-19 upended daily life in Northern Virginia last March.
“Since the pandemic, it’s been more focused on what’s the world like: My everyday life has been disrupted. How do I make those adjustments and live in a world of uncertainty?” Lipsky said. “So, we’ve been working a lot with just kind of accepting the reality and learning how to adapt given the situation that we’re in.”
MPS had contemplated expanding to serve more people for a while, but the search for a second location got underway in earnest in early 2020, as the pandemic triggered fears of a widespread mental health crisis.
According to Lipsky, MPS settled on The Boro in Tysons for its proximity to major roads like I-66 and I-495 and to the Spring Hill Metro station. The neighborhood also stood out for its mix of residential and commercial properties, allowing the company to offer its services to businesses and workers as well as residents.
MPS officially announced the opening of its Tysons practice at 8401 Greensboro Dr. last week and has been providing services there since August, though the physical office has not been utilized yet, with the pandemic limiting nearly all clients to virtual sessions.
When the office does open, it will be staffed with four or five clinicians with different areas of expertise, from children and teen specialists to adult and couples’ therapists, Lipsky says.
“Our Arlington location primarily services teens and up, with the bulk of the population that we see probably ages 25 through 40,” Lipsky said. “…We really opened the Tysons Corner office with reaching out to more folks in mind, so this office is designed to really focus on treating the whole lifespan.”
Once the pandemic is under control, Lipsky also hopes to take advantage of the Tysons office’s central location to turn it into a base for educational and outreach efforts to aimed at combatting the stigma around getting therapy and other mental health care services.
MPS clinicians use various treatment and counseling methods to address issues ranging from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder to relationship difficulties and life transitions, but the overall goal is not to “fix” people. Rather, Lipsky says therapy is about giving people tools to better handle the challenges they encounter.
“Life doesn’t need to be so difficult, and learning ways to mitigate that distress is really important,” Lipsky said. “That helps you achieve a better form of wellness for yourself by increasing that positivity and hopefully finding more fulfillment in your life.”
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