Sebastien Saylor, Psy.D.
Most recent update first. For previous communications, scroll down.
July 6, 2020
Based on current information from New York State, as well as local data and phased re-opening, the office will be open for face-to-face appointments at this time. There are a few important points to note.
Many current patients are asking to continue with teletherapy at this time. This is a viable option moving forward. The HIPAA compliant virtual "waiting room" can be found at www.doxy.me/saylor
As required by New York State, a re-opening plan has been written. The relevant points for patients coming into the office are as follows:
The purpose of these measures is to do everything feasible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and to do my part in helping every day life move closer to normal. It is also entirely possible that in the future, COVID-19 cases will increase to a degree that requires teletherapy to resume. But until then, patients and their families are welcome to resume in-person appointments.
Sunday, April 12, 2020
It has been three weeks since I last wrote an update. At this point, many of us are adjusting to this time that we live in. I hope, just like everyone else, that things move toward normalcy sooner rather than later. I know that some of you are struggling with illness, and many are struggling financially.
To keep you all updated on the state of my office, the building owner took the step last Wednesday of thoroughly cleaning the entire building with a disinfectant and virucide. Previous to that, I had already disinfected all surfaces within my suite and have had all upholstery coverings cleaned. Although I am not yet comfortable resuming sessions at the 92 Broadway address, I am hoping to resume sessions there as soon as possible. Developments over the next few weeks will help determine how quickly I return to conducting therapy appointments at my Greenlawn office.
In the meantime, many of you have found it feasible to communicate via video conferencing for tele-therapy. For the near term, things will continue in that way. Please contact me at my email address - email@example.com - or mobile phone - 718-685-4830 - to make/change appointments.
Healthy wishes to all of you!
Sunday, March 22, 2020
I hope this update finds you all healthy. As things now stand, I will not be offering face-to-face sessions out of my Greenlawn office for the foreseeable future as we all wait to see how this crisis evolves. I will continue to offer tele-therapy, in line with the New York State governor's executive order "New York State on Pause," which some of you took advantage of last week. Although face-to-face therapy is much preferred to a phone session or video conference session, you are all aware of the situation so working via phone, Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype are the only workable options at this point.
In the interest of maintaining a therapeutic relationship, if you would like to connect, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can schedule a time and method (phone, Zoom, Facetime, Skype). I have been able to communicate with BeaconOptions, the insurer for any of you who have your benefits through a school-based job. BeaconOptions confirmed that tele-therapy (therapy over the phone or video conferencing) is covered for anyone with NYSHIP. I have put in calls to Cigna and BlueCross/BlueShield and they both let me know that the members (you) would have to call them to see if tele-therapy is covered with by your particular plan.
If for some reason you are in need of urgent emergency psychiatric support, you will need to dial 9-1-1 and/or go to your closest emergency room.
Lastly, I would encourage you to look for positive supports online. I have been posting useful things that I come across to my twitter account (@sebsaylor), but here are some other online resources you may find helpful:
National Alliance on Mental Illness "Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies" https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/March-2020/Coronavirus-Mental-Health-Coping-Strategies
American Psychological Association - "Cope with Anxiety Around Coronavirus Coverage"
“Talking to kids about the Coronavirus” https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/
“Tips for Being Home With Children Who Have Special Needs in the Time of Covid-19/ Coronavirus” https://www.donnathielepc.com/on-my-mind/2020/3/15/tips-for-being-home-with-your-child-in-the-time-of-covid-19-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR2WELpYbwKKwACbVHfMA_wr2BWkhUtv-drJ_4NX_kJp4YYg-H435BlQq_8
Monday, March 16, 2020
To the individuals and families I work with,
I hope everyone is adjusting to life being significantly different for at least the near future. I am reaching out to everyone to let you know that I am cancelling in-person appointments for this week and next week, in line with current recommendations. As you all are aware, information and recommendations are adjusting daily, so I will send out updates at thing evolve. I am offering phone appointments to anyone who would like to take advantage of that option. If you would like to coordinate a time to do a phone session, please email me at email@example.com or text/call me at 718-685-4830.
I have a few nuggets of general advice:
Limit news consumption. Whether it is those with children, or those of you struggling with mood or anxiety issues, having no structure combined with excessive media consumption is not healthy for anyone. I encourage everyone to stay in formed, but set your own limits on when to consume news - maybe a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening should keep you covered. Research has shown that excessive news consumption (think post 9-11) increases anxiety and trauma. Remember that cable news companies are primarily focused on ratings and ad sales, so get your updates and turn it off.
In addition, schedule out your days. For those of you working from home, or not working at all, schedule in time to exercise, eat well, take care of something you've been procrastinating on, talk to friends on the phone, re-read a favorite book, reach out to elderly friends/neighbors who may need you to pick up groceries or prescriptions, enjoy public parks (weather permitting and keeping distance from others), pay extra attention to your pets, play table-top games, pick up that instrument you haven't touched in years, the list goes on...
For those with school-age children, you may be terrified of the prospect of having to look after them for two weeks or more (with no activities, teams, library programs, etc. to bring them to!). It sounds cliche, but kids - and adults for that matter - thrive on routine. Your kids are used to very consistent schedules on Monday-Friday, so make a rough schedule to follow each day. Start with a time by which they should be dressed, fed, and ready for their day. The remaining details will be very different depending on your child's age and interests. It's a good idea to include your children in this plan, at least if they are about 7 or older, since they will be helpful in letting you know what their day normally looks like or what they were in the middle of learning. Schedule specific times to...
1) read and talk/write about what they read
2) do some kind of math practice
3) explore specific science information online
4) break for lunch and recess (free time)
5) learn about some kind of history/geography/current events
6) journal writing or drawing (for younger)
7) practice whatever sport/activity/instrument they are interested in.
Whatever schedule works for you, works for you. The point is, 14 hours of YouTube, Nintendo Switch, TikTok, and XBOX will not be a healthy next few weeks.
So please do what is appropriate to keep your family healthy and to help "flatten the curve." Be well.