Author Archives: Tom Ruggieri

How Grieving COVID-19 is Similar to Taking Care of a Parent with Dementia

Since early April I have provided 30+ Zoom presentations to thousands of faculty and staff at the University of Maryland.  My focus has been on how most of us have been reacting emotionally to this pandemic, including experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.  Given the severity and unpredictability of the COVID -19 pandemic, another […]

Coping with Your Anxiety

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a […]

Relieve the Struggles of Depression

Depression is a “whole body” illness involving mood, thought and changes in your physical health. It may affect appetite, sleep, feelings about self, and thinking ability. It may also affect relationships and performance at work. Clinical depression is more than the “blues” or the normal feelings we have around loss. In depression, symptoms are more […]

Op/ed: ‘What Do I Do With These Emotions?’

Faculty-Staff Counselor Shares Observations on Staying Resilient Amid Worry, Grief of Pandemic As a counselor at UMD’s Faculty Staff Assistance Program, I have spent 30 years helping people understand and make sense of what they are going through. I was around for 9/11 and the tornado that swept through our campus two weeks later. That […]

Couples and Family Counseling / Divorce / LGBTQ & Family Issues

Couples often approach therapy reluctantly and hope that the therapist will agree with their individual perspective and “join them” in convincing their partner to see things similarly. They are often surprised (and hopefully pleased) when I don’t go along with their plan and instead use an approach that involves teaching them to: Listening for understanding; […]