Therapy for Life Transitions

two paths in woods

Life Transitions come in many varieties. A young person is going away to college. A marriage is planned or maybe a new baby is on the way or there is a move up to a bigger and better job. These are all things that we think should make us happy and give us fulfillment, right? Well, it turns out that any transition can be difficult for people. Yes, there are people who are comfortable with change and do not miss a beat when there is a shift in the routine, however, those people are few and far between.

One of the first significant life decisions we make is college. Although this is an exciting time, it is also an extremely stressful time. Seniors are overwhelmed with the prospect of how to make a college decision. Then, if they get accepted, the sadness of leaving their friends and family settles in. Or they are worried that they will not be able to succeed on their own. Or, for one reason or another, a student may not be able to go to college right away. Dissappointment can be acute – especially to a young person. I think maybe it is in hindsight that we romanticize 'senior year' but I have seen overwhelming depression in a profound number of seniors.

Or, another ‘big’ life transition is from being single and/or dating to either living with someone or marriage. This can be fun and exciting but there is often anxiety, turmoil and sometimes depression with it as well. When we move from dating into living with someone, the relationship changes whether we are prepared for it or not. There is actually a high percentage of marriages that report symptoms of depression in the first few years.

Although it is the norm to experience some challenge during times of transition, we rarely talk about it. We are expected to handle these times with ease and look forward to the new opportunity. Although we may feel the excitment and eagerness, there are often other feelings that go along with the change. Depression is a very common emotion felt during any normal life transition.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is normal to experience depression, to varying degrees, during normal life transitions. Short-term therapy is often a good choice of treatment because it helps people understand that their emotional reaction is normal and will also help provide coping skills relevant to the individual and the situation.

I work with older high schoolers and adults and I use several Psychodynamic approaches to treat depression as related to life transitions such as mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Object-Relations, Self-Psychology, and Relational Therapies.

It is extremely satisfying to see clients improve their ability to have healthy and happy lives. I take pride in approaching each therapy with compassion and I make every effort to exceed a client’s expectations for care.

If you would like to learn more, call me at 925.323.0515. Thank you for visiting.

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