Are you struggling to cope with recent changes in your life?
Has the loss of a loved one left you feeling sad, lonely or confused? Are you having difficulty moving forward after a recent break-up or the loss of a job? Perhaps you have taken on a new role in your life—gotten married, started a new career or gone back to school—and you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Or maybe you’re struggling to make sense of the world in the midst of so many challenges and changes.
As we all have experienced, changes happen everyday. Sometimes those changes are welcome or anticipated. Other times they are not. They can come about suddenly. They can be unexpected. No matter how they happen, life changes can be difficult. And, for many people, it can be hard to accept, cope with, or move through life’s transitions.
Why is change so difficult?
It is normal to find change challenging. When you experience changes or transitions in life, you are letting go of what is familiar and moving toward something new. Such moves can be stressful, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, unexpected or anticipated. As such, any change—good or bad—can trigger a stress response in your body and nervous system.
Stress responses can manifest both emotionally and physically within you. The stress of change can leave you feeling vulnerable, anxious and unsure. Physically, you can experience symptoms such as muscle tension, an increase in blood pressure, back pain and disturbances in your sleep. And, when the change is unwanted, feelings of grief, fear and even anger may emerge.
How can I begin to cope with or accept the changes in my life?
Therapy can help you move through life’s transitions. While we cannot always control what happens, we can begin to have more control over our reactions to what happens. I believe that an important part of moving through change is increasing your inner resiliency. When you are resilient, you are better able to cope with the stress and uncertainty that change often brings. You can better regulate your body’s responses to change and create a sense of balance and control. As part of my therapeutic process, I provide practical tools to help you achieve this increased resiliency and balance.
When the transitions you face are unwanted, I encourage you to make space for your grief or disappointment. I provide a safe and nurturing environment to help you move through the process of mourning. I believe it is important to honor your losses and reflect upon the ways in which they have impacted your life. It is through this process that you can find ways to heal and move forward.
I’m not sure . . . I have more questions.
Can therapy really help me? Maybe I’m just weak. Shouldn’t I be able to deal with change?
It can be easy to judge your struggles with change or transition. Commonly, people believe that coping with change should be easy, especially if those changes are positive. However, in reality, most people have difficulty moving through change. Life transitions mark an end to something, and adjusting to endings can be challenging. Therapy can provide the tools to help you accept and move through these endings to new beginnings.
I’m worried that going to therapy will make me feel like I’m “crazy”.
Unfortunately, there are some negative judgments out there about therapy. Some people believe that you must be “crazy” if you seek counseling. Such beliefs can lead to shameful feelings about asking for help. In truth, taking care of your emotional health is far from crazy or shameful. Your emotional well-being is as important as your physical health. If you broke your leg, would it be crazy to visit your doctor for help?
Can’t I just take medication to help me get through this period of change?
There are a number of excellent prescription medications to help with feelings of anxiety and depression. However, they do not necessarily offer long-lasting solutions. Taking medication alone will not help you develop the tools to deal with change and transition on an ongoing basis. Changes in life are inevitable. With therapy, you can develop effective ways of coping with them that will help you for the rest of your life.