Every person’s life comes with up and downs, but some transitions can be more difficult than others. Life stages like divorce, children leaving for college, or retirement can turn normal rhythms of life upside-down. The fallout from these large transitions can sometimes go away on its own, but other people may need help to adjust to “the new normal.” Symptoms of adjustment problems may include sadness, insomnia, anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, or other signs of emotional difficulty. If left untreated, these symptoms can become extremely disruptive and can even lead to long-term quality of life problems.
How Therapy Can Help?
An important part of therapy is learning how to build the resilience needed to face challenges. A therapist will work with the person struggling with transitions to identify any emotions that may be standing in the way of adjustment—like grief, anger, or even loneliness. A variety of techniques can help the patient learn how to come to terms with these emotions so that his/her life can finally continue to its next phase. Additionally, if any of the fallout from the transition has led to clinical depression, an anxiety disorder, or other problem, the therapist will work with the patient to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan, so that patient’s emotional energy can go towards healing and moving forward instead.