A Turning Point for Caregivers

A Turning Point for Caregivers

Discussing the Hidden Impacts of the Pandemic

By Meaghan Winter

January/February 2021

Most therapists are all too aware that the pandemic is straining everyone in myriad ways. The demands of staying attuned to each person’s story, day after day, often while attending to our own challenges, don’t always allow us the space to step back and see how this crisis is affecting larger systems—families, com­munities, and our broader culture.

But couples therapist Alexandra Solomon, a professor and clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, is focused on the bigger picture these days, even as she’s navigating shifting family responsibilities and online learning in her own household. Her work on couples and family systems gives her a unique perspective on how the pandemic has exposed a longstanding caregiving crisis.

Psychotherapy Networker: What have you noticed about the hidden effects of the pandemic on kids and families?

Alexandra Solomon: One in four mothers is seriously considering scaling back her career or leaving the workforce altogether in order to manage childcare and online learning, according to some of the data we’re seeing now. Our collective failure to reckon with what women in the workforce mean for the micro-ecosystem of the family has become glaringly obvious. People have been saying for decades that we need to be…

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