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Major Life Transitions

Major Life Transitions

The one constant in life is change. It can feel like it never leaves our midst.

Major transitions are a natural part of life. The life cycle brings unstoppable series of transitions.

The frequency of major life transitions occur can leave us feeling like there’s no way to ever catch up. Each major transition requires that we undergo a profound metamorphosis on multiple levels (physically psychologically, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually, sexually) as we exchange, adjust, and adapt our identities, roles, freedoms, and responsibilities.

Change speaks to external circumstances, and brings with it significant loss –such as relationship loss, employment termination, death of a loved one, empty nesting, retirement, or job relocation. Transition, on the other hand, addresses shifts in internal states- such as arriving at adolescence, emergent adult, sexual emergence, becoming a spouse, return to singlehood, entering menopause.

Surviving and thriving through difficult changes and transitions, as well as attending to the uncertainty that accompanies them requires excellent navigation skills, an understanding that anxious or depressive tendencies will be heightened, a healthy sense of self will be challenged,, and utilizing strong stress management skills will be essential. Cultivating an attitude of acceptance (i.e. being in a time of flux) helps us more fluidly embrace the change and transitions. In fact, that is vital for ensuring ongoing well-being. Think opportunity (versus adversity).

Important ways life transition counselling can help you include:

  • Moving through the difficult feelings and losses associated with a life transition

  • Overcoming a sense of “stuckness”, resistance, and powerlessness to conquer a fear of the unknown

  • Planning and implementing strategies for adjusting to the “new normal”

  • Using a strengths-based approach for identifying keys steps for successfully engaging in transitions

  • Understanding the meaning of the change and/or transition as it applies to your life at this time - the way it has touched your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual self.

  • Accessing available resources (internal and external) to overcome the hurdles associated with the new challenges introduced by the major transition and/or change

  • Cultivate ways for ensuring greater inner peace, tranquility and safety, even in the midst of uncertainty and chaos

  • Learn to apply mindfulness techniques to enter and adjust to new life stage you are entering

  • Develop a powerful and positive vision of what is possible to pull you through the transition

  • Enhanced sense of self that has heightened capacities to bridge between the old and the new

  • Explore the impact that the major transition is having on your relationships with others

  • Develop wider and deeper levels of support during the transition

  • Find tools for enhanced self-care that will bring a return to sense of purpose, direction, satisfaction, vitality, and well-being.

"Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes." 

-Hugh Prather

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