How to recognise and cope with an identity crisis

Experiencing an identity crisis can be a challenging and confusing time. It often involves questioning and re-evaluating various aspects of your identity, such as your values, beliefs, goals, and sense of self.


While it can be overwhelming, there are several steps you can take to recognise and cope with an identity crisis.

How can I cope with an identity crisis?

Recognise the signs

Common signs of an identity crisis include feeling lost or disconnected from yourself, experiencing a lack of purpose or direction, questioning your values or beliefs, feeling dissatisfied with your life, or undergoing significant life changes or transitions.


Reflect on who you are, what matters to you, and what you want in life. Engage in introspective activities such as journaling, meditation, or talking with a trusted friend or therapist. Ask yourself deep questions about your values, passions, strengths, and long-term goals.

Embrace change

Understand that change is a natural part of personal growth and development. Accept that evolving and your identity may shift over time is OK. Embracing change can open up new opportunities and help you discover unique aspects of yourself.

Seek support

Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist who can provide support and guidance during this challenging time. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others who are empathetic and non-judgemental can be immensely helpful.

Explore new experiences

Engage in activities or hobbies that allow you to explore different aspects of yourself. Trying new things can help you better understand your likes, dislikes, and what truly resonates with you.

Challenge limiting beliefs

Identify any negative or limiting beliefs that may hold you back from embracing your true identity. Replace them with positive affirmations and beliefs that align with your authentic self.

Set goals

Establish meaningful goals that align with your values and passions. Working towards these goals can provide a sense of purpose and direction, helping you build a stronger sense of identity.

Practice self-care

Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Be patient

Remember that an identity crisis is a process that takes time to explore and discover who you truly are. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself the space to grow and evolve.

Seek professional help if needed

If your identity crisis is causing significant distress or interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor. They can provide you with additional tools, techniques, and support tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, an identity crisis can ultimately lead to personal growth and self-discovery. Embrace the journey and be open to the possibilities that lie ahead.

Can counselling help us with an identity crisis?

Yes, counselling can be beneficial in navigating an identity crisis. Identity is a complex and deeply personal aspect of our lives, and a skilled counsellor or therapist can provide valuable support and guidance during this process. Here's how counselling can help with an identity crisis:

Exploration and self-reflection

A counsellor can create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to your identity. They can help you delve deeper into understanding your values, beliefs, aspirations, and any challenges or conflicts you may be facing.

Validation and empathy

Going through an identity crisis can be emotionally intense and confusing. A counsellor can validate your experiences and emotions, helping you feel understood and accepted. Their empathy and support can be crucial in helping you navigate the complex feelings that arise during this time.

Clarifying personal values and goals

Counsellors can assist you in clarifying your personal values and goals. Examining what truly matters to you and what you want to achieve can help you create a clearer sense of direction and purpose, aligning your identity with your aspirations.

Challenging limiting beliefs

Identity crises can often involve negative or limiting beliefs about oneself. A counsellor can help you identify and challenge these beliefs, replacing them with more empowering and positive perspectives. This process can support you in developing a more authentic and confident sense of self.

Coping strategies and self-care

Counsellors can provide coping strategies and tools to manage the stress and uncertainty that often accompany an identity crisis. They can help you develop healthy self-care practices, resilience, and strategies for navigating challenges and setbacks.

Support during transitions

If your identity crisis is connected to significant life transitions, such as career changes, relationship shifts, or cultural adjustments, a counsellor can offer valuable support. They can help you adapt to the changes, explore new possibilities, and cope with any associated stress or anxiety.

Continued personal growth

Even beyond resolving the immediate identity crisis, counselling can support your ongoing personal growth and development. It can help you maintain a strong and resilient sense of self as you continue to evolve and face new challenges throughout life.

Counselling is a collaborative process; finding the right therapist who understands your needs and values is essential. A skilled counsellor can provide you with the tools, insights, and support to navigate your identity crisis and emerge with a clearer understanding of yourself.

Hope has an extensive team of counsellors, many of which have immediate availability. So if you are looking for a therapist experienced in supporting your identity crisis, simply get in touch to learn more.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services, Offering Counselling, CBT, Hypnotherapy, EMDR & Mindfulness.
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3

Ian Stockbridge is the founder and lead counsellor at Hope Therapy and Counselling Services. 

As an experienced Counsellor, Ian recognised a huge societal need for therapeutic services that were often not being met. As such the 'Hope Agency'was born and its counselling team now offers counselling and therapeutic support throughout the UK.

Show comments

Find the right counsellor or therapist for you

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals