Life's transitions and therapy
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Basia Spalek Accredited Member MBACP, PhD, MSc, Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy
2nd December, 20150 Comments
Sooner or later we all experience a life transition. This might involve leaving school and going to university, or becoming married or giving birth. Life's transitions can be very challenging because these are not necessarily planned for and may be thrust upon us. Sometimes we can be resentful of the changes a transition creates in our lives, we may be confused or afraid. Transitions can involve endings as much as new beginnings, and sometimes it may be essential to find closure on certain things in our lives before we can open ourselves to new experiences.
Therapy can help support a person who is undergoing a transition. We can feel destabilised by life transitions and so therapy can provide a secure base from which to explore and process life events. Unconditional positive regard should be provided by the therapist so that the client feels fully accepted and safe to explore sensitive issues and feelings. Therapy can help a person to lay new foundations within their life, to help discover what is meaningful to them, what they value and what they want from their life. Therapy is a bit like a spring clean that we can all do with at times, ridding ourselves of things and people that no longer work for us whilst keeping those things and people that we cherish and hold dear.
A life transition can also mean beginning again from scratch. We may decide to resign from a job we have done for a long time because this is no longer working for us emotionally or psychologically. We may choose to move house, to move to a new area and start to make new acquaintances and friends. We may decide to end a personal relationship, starting out once again on our own. Therapy can help to give us the reassurance that we need during these challenging times in our lives. We can reconnect with our inner selves in therapy, and explore what is important to us now. In this sense therapy can be a means through which to see life's transitions as an important part of getting to know ourselves again.
About the author
Basia Spalek is a practising psychotherapist, and is a professor in conflict transformation. Basia enjoys walking and running in nature and is interested in helping people to grow therapeutically.
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