Package Description

Pandemic Acquired Risk Avoidance (PARA): Considerations for Clinical Application, Public Education, and Research: Homestudy Publication

Authors: Laura Barbanel, EdD; Dorothy Cantor, PsyD; Rosalind Dorlen, PsyD; Bonnie Markham, PhD, PsyD; Phyllis Tobin, PhD; Zoe Verrico.


Program Narrative

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major health crisis which has profoundly affected the world’s population and is associated with major outbreaks of adverse mental health effects. A group of 5 senior psychologists, with the help of a graduate student, conducted a survey in the Spring of 2021 called “What Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Meant to You?”  Almost 800 individuals, between the ages of 18 and 80, completed the survey. The results, which were analyzed using Qualtrics, provide insight into how people were affected by the pandemic, particularly with regards to anxiety produced by the pandemic and about reentering society after the lockdown.

This paper will summarize the results of the study, define PARA (Pandemic Acquired Risk Avoidance), and discuss the implications for clinical practice, research and public education. The key message is that PARA may be a normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances, rather than psychological dysfunction and pathology. With this knowledge, people will be more accepting of the anxiety that they are experiencing and clinicians will be able to distinguish between PARA and ICD-10 diagnoses.

Learning Objectives

  • To introduce the concept of Pandemic-Acquired Risk Aversion (PARA) and its role in re-entry anxiety after the pandemic
  • To normalize the phenomenon of PARA and put it in clinical perspective
  • To underscore the 6 key challenges that COVID-19 has posed
  • To learn about the distinction between PARA and other forms of anxiety
  • To expand psychological tools for assessing PARA

Level of Learning

Intermediate - Some basic knowledge of the specific content is required

Target Audience

Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Physicians, Marriage and Family Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, Nurses, Educators, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students

NJPA Members: $10 | Non-Members $20
Homestudy Fee includes CE certificate.


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