Undoubtedly, 2020 was a tumultuous year filled with uncertainty and anxiety. Between the perpetual state of social turmoil and people’s businesses and relationships being torn asunder, the worldwide pandemic has taken a great toll on our mental health in one way or another. Though with the events of this first month, it may not seem like it, 2020 is over, and now is the time to look back in retrospect.
There are innumerable lessons to be learned, and many have been inspired to open up and seek professional guidance. The leading experts in mental health have not been spared the impact, and as such, have their own unique hindsight to share.
Let’s take a moment to recognize the top mental health experts who have been working incessantly to help the world through such trying times, and what lessons they took with them from the hard times the year has wrought.
1 Lisa Fei - @lisalinfei
Founder of Clarity, Lisa Fei is on a mission to help people successfully navigate every stage and aspect of their relationships, which are arguably the greatest influence on one’s mental health and well-being. Clarity is the “go-to destination for your love life” that encourages real, unfiltered conversation and taps into the wisdom and resources of 50+ renowned experts who have joined forces to help people build happier, more meaningful, and lasting relationships.
2020 Lesson: Embrace challenges—they are the perfect opportunity for you to test your strengths, bring out tremendous creativity, and uncover hidden talents.
2 Sara Kuburic - @themillenialtherapist
Sara Kuburic is known as “The Millennial Therapist” who is grounded in existential analysis, as well as somatic and experiential techniques. She specializes in areas of trauma/abuse, identity, relationships with self and others, life transitions, and anxiety.
2020 Lesson: The need to be more fluid. Life is so unpredictable, so be open to possibilities.
3 Francesca Hogi - @dearfranny
Francesca Hogi speaks, writes, and coaches people about true love, self love, dating, and Human Design. She’s a Digital Romance contributor for Forbes.com and the host of the relationship podcast Dear Franny. Francesca has been featured on The Today Show, in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, The Huffington Post, and more. In 2020 she founded The True Love Society movement and membership community.
2020 Lesson: Impatience makes everything take longer.
4 Lisa Romano - @lisaaromano
Lisa Romano is a Life Coach, bestselling author, and relationship expert on Clarity app. She specializes in helping people reclaim their lives through ascending old thought patterns and healing faulty childhood subconscious programs. She is an expert in the fields of codependency, narcissistic abuse, and elevating consciousness.
2020 Lesson: Focus on what you can control and try not to let fear take over. Be sure you’re staying conscious of what the difference is.
5 Dr. Thema - @dr.thema
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a psychologist, minister, author, and host of the Homecoming podcast. She has dedicated her life to bringing psychological empowerment and relief to marginalized people across the globe.
2020 Lesson: Everyone is deserving of rest and care. It’s OK to take some time to slow down and take care of yourself.
6 Dr. Ashurina Ream - @psychedmommy
Dr. Ream is a PMH-C PsyD with advanced training in perinatal mental health. She is also the creator of Psyched Mommy, which helps moms improve their mental health and feel more supported.
2020 Lesson: In a social media-crazed age, we get to see so much of what other people are doing. It’s important to focus on your own values and what YOU want, rather than what other people are doing.
7 Dr. Jazmine - @themompsychologist
Dr. Jazmine, also known as “The Mom Psychologist” is a specialist in child development and mental health, a skillset she utilized to create The Mom Sisterhood, a private community designed to educate and support women through the challenges of motherhood.
2020 Lesson: Be adaptive and learn to focus on the things that you do have control over like self-care, which should be mandatory for all.
8 Dr. Jennifer Mullan - @decolonizingtherapy
Psychologist, activist, ancestral and ITTM trauma healer, and dubbed “The Rage Doctor,” Dr. Mullan’s mission has been to help her clients as well as decolonize and degentrify the school of mental health, returning to it’s spiritual beginnings.
2020 lesson: Overworking is not an option. If you want to achieve long-term growth, allow yourself to unwind.
9 Dr.Kate Balestrieri- @drkatebalestrieri
Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Psychologist, Certified Sex Therapist, PACT II Couples Therapist, and relationship expert on Clarity app. She is Founder of The Modern Intimacy group, and focuses on helping people heal from trauma, addiction, sex and relationship issues. Kate is on a mission to deepen the conversation about the intersection of mental health, relationships, and sexuality, free of judgment, without stigma, and with an intentional fostering of empowerment.
2020 Lesson: Humans require belonging, touch, and safety to thrive. These three sentiments underlie resilience, empathy, spontaneity, productivity and healthy relationships. Without all, the human condition (as individuals and as a collective) remain lonely and desperately isolated in survival mode), which exacerbates pain.
10 Jordan Green - @the.love.therapist
LCSW, relationship therapist and coach, and founder of The Love Group, Jordan Green is on a mission to help people on their journey of self-discovery and healing. Her practice focuses on helping people reclaim their power and find healing so they can live a life of purpose, peace, and love.
2020 Lesson: Everything works out in the end. We’re all gonna be OK, so take a deep breath and be more present.
11 Elizabeth Earnshaw - @lizlistens
Licenced marriage and family therapist, complex trauma and grief therapist, and Practice Director of her company, A Better Life Therapy. Elizabeth also works with entrepreneurs as they navigate the stresses of business ownership.
2020 Lesson: The creativity of human beings is beautiful and fascinating. Take a look at how people have pivoted their businesses to work within ever-changing rules to protect the health of others, and how families completely change their structures and routines to support each other, as well as how people come up with unique ways to stay connected.
12 Minaa B - @minaa_b
Minaa is a psychotherapist who specializes in treating childhood and racial trauma, depression, anxiety. She is a speaker, writer and workshop facilitator who uses practices such as creative arts, literacy and storytelling to help people manage their mental health and cultivate healing.
2020 Lesson: The power of adapting. We will not be able to control many things that happen to us in life, but when life throws a curveball at us, we must find ways to build resistance and adapt to change.
13 Dr. Christina - @dr.christina_
Clinical Psychologist and founder of the mental health action campaign, #therapyiscool, Dr. Christina focuses on raising awareness to combat the stigma around mental health through encouraging authentic conversations.
2020 Lesson: Human connection is something that we all need and cannot live without.
14 Alyssa (Lia) Mancao - @alyssamariewellness
Alyssa Mancao, LCSW is a Psychotherapist and relationship expert on Clarity app who specializes in trauma treatment for individuals that endured the pain of childhood abuse and exposure to gang violence. Her team focuses on resolving emotional pain, grief and sadness, and has a special interest in working with those who experience depression, anxiety, and loss.
2020 Lesson: Be more intentional in your relationships. More importantly, we can’t do this alone—a solid support system is so important.
15 Joanne Encarnacion - @gofitjo
Certified relationship, life, and sexual wellness coach who has been helping women become emotionally fit and sexually liberated throughout 2020. The pandemic has led many to self-examine and reflect, making lots of people more open to feeling the deepest parts of themselves, the depths of their souls, uncovering inner childhood wounds.
2020 Lesson: Having healthy boundaries in every aspect of your life is crucial. Also, be able to stand in your truth without hesitation.
16 Dr. Judy Ho - @drjudyho
A trained psychologist specializing in self-development, Dr. Judy Ho is also the author of Stop Self-Sabotage, as well as the host of the SuperCharged Life podcast. Since COVID, Dr. Ho’s business has experienced great innovation: neuropsychological exams have been successfully performed virtually, and psychology and mental health are now better received amidst these trying times.
Her 2020 lesson: Be flexible and not rigid in your relationships.
17 Haley Jones - @the_queer_counselor
MS, counselor, and pioneer in radical mental health services in the field of eating disorders, trauma management, and EMDR therapy. Haley wants to spread the word on how it could be dangerous to pick the wrong therapist.
2020 lesson: The importance of community support, and prioritizing rest and self-care.
18 Shelby Sells - @shelbysellslove
Love, life and sex coach, tantra expert, and co-podcaster for @emotionalcheckin, Shelby Sell’s mission is to, well, sell love - empowering sexual health and wellness. For Shelby, 2020 was a productive and busy year because of all the broken hearts and fractured relationships caused by the pandemic.
2020 Lesson: Forgiveness - learn to forgive other people, and also learn to forgive yourself for any hurt you may have caused others. No one is perfect, so it’s important to have a sense of empathy.
19 Amy Fielder - @amythelifecoach
Reiki Master, Amy Fielder is an expert in alternative therapy, certified holistic life coach, and specializes in trauma support. Amy Fielder’s philosophy is all about helping women feel empowered, establish healthy communication, and regulate emotions.
2020 Lesson: It’s comforting to really be seen and loved when you’re in a bad place, as well as a good one.
20 Michelle Dempsey - @themichelledempsey
Author, Coach & Certified Divorce Specialist, Michelle Dempsey helps moms in navigating divorce and co-parenting through her “Moms Moving On” podcast and community. Michelle’s first book will be released this fall.