A psychiatrist and a licensed clinical psychologist will join forces to bring truthful, helpful mental health-related COVID advice to audiences at Jewish Women’s Theatre’s newest special Zoom event.

Titled “Virus Tsuris: Mental Health Experts Help Us Find Inner Strength, Courage, and Compassion in Pandemic Times,” this much-requested panel will be available everywhere via Zoom on Sunday, August 9, at 11 a.m. PDT as part of JWT’s popular Sunday Morning at The Braid series.  It will feature psychiatrist Shelly Cohen, M.D., J.D., and Anita Siegman, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine.

The digital event of JWT’s popular Sunday Morning at The Braid is free, but JWT hopes viewers will consider choosing a virtual ticket from its website. Registrants will be directed to Zoom, and instructions for joining the program will be provided. For more information and the link to register, visit: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org/zoom.

“JWT has always been committed to providing not only great theatre, but timely insight on our everyday lives and Jewish culture,” says Ronda Spinak, JWT’s Artistic Director.  “So many of our loyal patrons look to us to explore relevant topics and facilitate community dialogue that  will inform, enrich and connect us all, so this new pandemic-related program will hopefully help us meet this goal.”

Cohen is a graduate of NYU School of Medicine and a board-certified adult psychiatrist specializing in women’s mental health and reproductive psychiatry.  She treats adults with mood, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, bipolar, and psychiatric disorders with a holistic and patient-centered approach.

In addition to her clinical psychology and professorial positions, Siegman also teaches medical students.  During her doctoral training at the University of Southern California, she became the founder and director of Counseling and Psychological Services.

The unique composition of the panel, which includes both Cohen, a psychiatrist, and Siegman, a licensed clinical psychologist, will facilitate the combination of medical and psychological explanations about what people of different ages and genders are currently experiencing.  Since everyone is different, their reactions to the virus will be different.  Panelists will be able to discuss what this life-changing crisis is doing to children, teenagers, parents of kids of all ages, workers, singles, and seniors.  They will also provide proven advice on how to manage the myriad of challenges in the short and longterms.  In addition, there will be ample time for audience members to ask their own questions of the two distinguished experts.

“Every conversation I have with family and friends since the coronavirus began quickly turns to a discussion about the hardships that the disease and quarantine are bringing to our lives,” says Maureen Rubin, emeritus professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge, who will moderate the panel.  “It seems obvious that a panel of experienced, knowledgeable, and smart women will give us some guidance on how to cope and maybe even gain something from this difficult experience.”

Cohen and Siegman are the latest in a series of noteworthy and significant speakers who have shared their knowledge with JWT audiences. Previous guests include Rabbis Naomi Levy, Toba August, and Laura Geller; LA Superior Court Judges Renee Korn and Angela J. Davis; writers Rob Eshman, Angella Nazarian,  Judy Zeidler, Amelia Saltsman, Maggie Anton, and Gina Nahai; politicians Jackie Goldberg, Joy Picus, Alicia Weintraub, and Laura Friedman, as well as numerous artists, attorneys, composers, musicians, philanthropists, and movie and tv executives.

JWT programming is made possible in part with grant support from the City of Santa Monica.

Learn more about JWT at: www.jewishwomenstheatre.org

Submitted by Maureen Rubin