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Pandemic Stress Prematurely Aged Teenage Brains with Dr Kathryn Smerling

  • Broadcast in Health
A Fine Time for Healing

A Fine Time for Healing


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We all knew that mental health was greatly affected due to the pandemic, but a study published last week in Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science has revealed that the stress due to the pandemic prematurely aged teen brains by at least three years, and in ways similar to children who have faced chronic stress and adversity.

One of the study’s findings showed that when comparing the MRI scans of a group of 128 children, half before the pandemic and half at the end of the first year, there was growth in the hippocampus and amygdala, parts of the brain that control memory access and help regulate fear, stress and other emotions.

To quote today's special guest, NYC psychotherapist Dr. Kathryn Smerling,  “What we’re seeing is that when we are isolated and fear-based, we don’t grow as well when we are not fear-based.”

A collaborative and dynamic psychotherapist, Dr. Kathryn Smerling specializes in creating healthy and meaningful relationships. She works with individuals and families in all phases of life, crises-related or otherwise. Her extensive professional and educational experience has developed her working knowledge of a broad range of techniques, allowing her to creatively tailor sessions to meet the specific needs of her clients.

Dr. Smerling provides individual adult therapy, as well as comprehensive couples and family therapy. She also specializes in family systems, with an approach that is both inclusive and supportive of children and their needs within the greater picture of the family. Having begun her career as a nursery school teacher, Dr. Smerling has always been an advocate for children and their education. She is an authority in aiding families going through divorce, both as a parent coordinator and a child advocate, and she is a known expert with families who have children in the autistic spectrum, especially working with their siblings.


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