The last couple of years has really brought life transitions to the forefront. Making it through a global pandemic meant abrupt changes in our lives- we were all forced to make many decisions that impacted out mental health. These decisions around health, work, school, social life, family life and community engagement are marked by transitions physically and emotionally. While the pandemic is fresh in our minds it’s important to know that major transitions have always been apart of life. They can sometimes be the result of a change for the better too. At other times, they occur due to a tragedy.
Even when the transition happens because of a positive change, there is still stress associated with any significant shift in life. Each change is accompanied by its own unique stressors. Sometimes we feel better equipped to handle them but when we don’t we can get stuck.
This can make the process of adjusting to these changes extremely difficult, even in the face of something that would otherwise be positive.
In fact, any life change can cause you to experience a significant amount of stress. And in some cases, the change can even result in an adjustment disorder.
Almost everyone finds it helpful to talk about their situation. And with life transitions people may have a harder time talking about their discomfort or difficulties because these things seem like they should be “no problem”, “a normal part of life”, or “something that can easily be handled”.
When it’s difficult to talk to friends or family members about mental health-related issues and life transitions, many find it beneficial to seek counseling from a person who will help you not judge yourself.
Counseling helps address those difficult emotions that can arise for a life transition. Counseling gets you support when a transition in life is getting you stuck. Counseling helps you build effective coping strategy and let you lay out tools to support personal growth.
What Is Life Transition Counseling?
Counseling that uses evidenced based treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) address the symptoms that are getting in the way. The specialized skills from CBT and ACT can to help you get focused on the major change in your life so you can excel.
Your counseling experience will be individually designed to help you develop the coping skills you need to deal with those changes successfully.
Your counselor can help you understand why you are struggling with the changes in your life and provide you with additional tools to help you get through each day.
It’s important that you understand that all people react to life changes differently. Therefore, you may find yourself struggling with something that may not necessarily pose an issue for someone else- so try not to compare or judge.
Reasons People Seek Life Transition Counseling
There are many reasons that someone may choose to seek counseling when faced with a major life transition or decision. What most people will have in common is the feeling that they are stuck, unsure and struggling.
Moving to a new city, going to school, quitting a job, opening a business, getting married or divorced, or experiencing the death of a loved one are just few circumstance that we might find ourselves struggling and counseling can make to navigating these times a little easier.
Any life change that puts an emotional strain on you qualifies as a reason to seek counseling.
Chosen change or circumstantial change still means we have to transition and both of these can be hard. When it’s all said and done, no reason should be considered invalid. If it bothers you enough that it has caused stress in your life and you are having a hard time coping, you will probably find it helpful to speak to a psychotherapist.
Transition Counseling Services
What types of services can you expect to experience from life transition counseling?
Typically, we will help you develop insight in your thought, feeling and behaviors around the symptoms you’re experiencing. You will gain self regulation skills, increase self-support, coping skills and communication skills that will help you work through your feelings associated with the changes are experiencing.
You and your counselor determine together the frequency of your sessions- helping you work through your issues at your own pace.
Transition Counseling and Wellness
How is transition counseling tied to your personal well-being? In reality, transition counseling and wellness go hand-in-hand.
When you are struggling with some form of transition in your life, it can become almost impossible to deal with the daily challenges life tends to present.
This, in turn, can cause you to lose sleep, experience increased levels of psychological and physical stress, wreak havoc on your eating habits, and in some instances even cause you to turn to substances.
In short, life transition related stress can do a real number on your overall health.
That’s precisely why you need to seek transitional counseling. Learning to navigate the changes in your life successfully can help you stay healthy.
In fact, your physical and mental health may depend on your ability to seek and find effective treatment.
How Transition Counseling Can Help
If you’re wondering how life transition counseling can help, you are not alone. The truth is, it can help you get a handle on the things that are now different in your life.
This is accomplished by helping you discover new ways to cope with the life changes that are outside of your control.
Sometimes, it helps to talk to someone in an environment where you can speak freely. At other times, activities like journaling and art can help.
The point is to reduce your level of stress and deal with the changes in your life so you can move forward in an appropriate manner.
Don’t hesitate to seek support if you are struggling. It really can make a significant difference in your life.
I’m Selena Soni, LCSW. I specialize in helping people just like you work through life transitions.
I’m available for in-person counseling sessions in my Scottsdale counseling center.
Either way, if you are considering life transitions therapy, give me a call to talk about ways we can work together to get you feeling better.