Life is a series of transformations, changes, and transitions. Some change is predictable and normal, and some is unexpected and life changing. Life transitions can be affirming and positive, but even expected changes can bring a sense of loss for what is being left behind. Counseling services and therapy can be a support system for managing change and bringing back a sense of balance and order.
Predictable life changes include those that are associated with the normal developmental stages of life. For example, each phase of school, learning to drive, dating, graduating from school and moving on to college, trade school, or military service brings with it certain emotions and challenges.
Marriage, conception, and parenthood also pose transitions as you shift from being single to being a family. This also means a change in priorities and activities. Some couples face difficulty in conceiving a child, which means that infertility, adoption, or the decision to remain childless become issues of focus.
As families grow, the usual progression is that children leave the home to start families of their own. The “empty nest” is a time when parents rediscover who they are as a couple and make plans for retirement. Because of changing economic factors, many individuals and couples have to delay retirement or change their dreams of what retirement looks like.
Another result of our current economy is that many young adults are either returning home or not leaving. We also see more grandparents as a larger parenting presence in their grandchildren’s lives. And on the flip side, as people are living longer, children are now caring more for aging parents.
Other life transitions that are not always predictable include the loss of relationships through breakups, divorce, and death; loss of employment; or a change in career and financial status. New or chronic health conditions can also impact our lives in ways that forever change how we approach each and every day.
Life is rarely a smooth journey from point A to point B. Individual therapy and couples therapy can help you navigate your path with grace when you feel overwhelmed or lost. Talking to a mental health counselor gives you a sounding board to discuss your feelings and learn more about yourself so that you can work toward a balanced life, even in the face of transition.
Remember that therapy and individual or marriage counseling does not have to be in the context of a major, ongoing concern – seeking the guidance and partnership of a mental health professional when anticipating or reacting to a life transition gives you the best chance of moving forward in a healthy way.
Connect with The Calli Institute to find a therapist who can be your support system through life’s changes.