Lots of therapists list Life Transitions therapy as one of their specialties. But this term seems vague, and many people don’t actually know what it means. Simply, it’s exactly what it sounds like—therapy to help you navigate the transitions and changes in your life. Think about those times that everything was “fine” but you maybe felt a little…..out of control; ungrounded; happy but had some humming of anxiety in the background……
These times can often be during a move to a new city (even if it’s an exciting move!); a promotion or completely new job; being at a new school (um, hello, the transition to college, even if exciting, is MAJOR!); or other shifts in your life that are generally deemed “positive” but still require an adjustment period.
These times can also be the ones that are “harder hits” so to speak. Maybe you didn’t see them coming, or they are generally considered more of a “loss”--think: job loss; retirement; empty-nester. Or, they are more all-encompassing: birth of a baby; your elderly parents moving in with you; your adult child moving to a different city.
Regardless of the type of change, here’s what we know: change is going to happen to you at some point in life—it’ll happen a few times in life!--and knowing that therapy is out there for this, can be a great, healthy way to navigate that transition as smoothly as possible.
Here are some reasons why Counseling for Life Transitions in St. Louis can be beneficial.
We’ll say it again: Life is a constant cycle of transitions.
People grow up, move out, get married, start school, end relationships, and make dozens of other large and small shifts that have major impacts on their lives. Life transitions therapy helps people adapt to these changes by teaching them skills and coping mechanisms they can use to navigate these turbulent periods. Some people don’t think change is frightening or difficult, but for lots of people it is.
For other people, the change is exciting, but they want to make the most of it, or they want to “stay on top of it.” Some people use therapy for life transitions as a way to understand themselves better; explore habits and new or different ways of doing things; or just use the therapist as an objective third party to help with this new period of life.
Let’s dig further into some examples of life changes that may motivate people to start therapy:
Losing a job: Most people will lose a job at some point, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy. Job loss can lead to feelings of anxiety over finances and future life plans, depression over feeling like a failure. It can cause someone to have to reevaluate the direction they were going or make their living situation unstable. Especially if a person’s identity is deeply tied to their job, losing that identity might require some processing.
Having a baby: People understand the stress around this change a little better. A new child changes your entire family dynamic and adds whole new levels of responsibility. Even if it’s planned, it’s still a huge upheaval that might require some support.
Moving into old age: Lots of us think of old age as the gold standard. No more work and lots of free time sound great. But this stage of life is fraught with change. People must redefine relationships with their children, find new ways to spend their time after being occupied with work for most of their lives. And on top of all that they are often facing new disabilities or diagnoses that change how they live. Navigating all this is difficult, and someone might need the support of a therapist to deal with this change.
The above examples are only a tiny sample of reasons a person might seek out life transitions therapy. Its usefulness also isn’t limited to these big moments of change. Instead of focusing on one type of transition; it offers a broader view on how all life transitions are connected and how they affect each other. Learning coping skills and understanding how the upheavals in our lives connect can help someone build a strategy that will carry them through future events with less stress and trauma.
Ways Therapy in St. Louis Can Help with a Life Transition
Understanding Your Goals And Values
The ultimate aim of life transitions therapy is to help you build resilience and clarity and to show you how to navigate the changes that come along with being alive. It teaches you strategies so you can pursue changes that fulfill you and align with your goals. When we are faced with major changes, whether intentional or not, we must make decisions about the directions our life will go.
Even if we don’t have a choice about the transition itself, like the death of a loved one, we still make choices through how we react in the aftermath. Life transitions therapy helps you measure those choices and navigate both the parts you can control and the parts you can’t. It helps you prioritize what’s important during a transition, and helps you find your identity during all the turmoil. And at the end of all the extra stuff, it gives you someone to talk to as you go through a hard thing.
Understanding Outside Influences
Life Transitions therapy in St. Louis, Mo helps people understand the role others play in their transition periods. They are influenced by people in their communities when they make big decisions. And these decisions affect others around them whether they mean to or not. Life transitions therapy can help you understand which people have influence in your life, and why, and help you track the impact of your choices on others. It can show you whose opinions you value and which people in your life align with your personal values. And as you explore the webs of relationships in your life, you can start identifying and working on the ones that need healing.
It’s most common for people to seek life transitions therapy during a major upheaval. But it's not necessary for a major change to occur for you to benefit from this kind of therapy. You don't have to feel conflicted or want to change your situation for it to be helpful; the skills and coping mechanisms learned during therapy are useful no matter what stage in life you’re at or how you’re dealing with it.
If you are in St. Louis and think life transitions therapy might benefit you, and you’d like to find somewhere to work on it, please reach out to us at Marble Wellness. Our therapists work with all ages and have experience guiding and supporting people through many different transitions. Contact us through our site and we will connect you with a therapist who will help you navigate whatever life changes you’re going through.
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Our St. Louis team of therapists have a variety of training backgrounds and areas of expertise. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.
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