All change: dealing with a new life

Are you struggling with a life change that has brought unexpected challenges? Life transitions can be really stressful - whether you are becoming parents, moving to a new home, getting divorced, have been made redundant or taken retirement. Any of these situations can leave you feeling that your ways of enjoying life and coping with its difficulties just don't seem to work any more. At this point, psychotherapy can be useful to enable you to get your head around your options. Here is a summary of my work with one client, who I will call "Melody" (removing or changing any identifying details for the sake of confidentiality).

After twenty seven years in the civil service, Melody had worked her way to a high-ranking position, with lots of responsibility. In her job, she got frequent reminders of how highly she was regarded by her team and her peers, and she enjoyed the feeling of being able to apply her wisdom and experience. Melody relied on her job to give her a framework for living and for feeling good about herself. Once retirement loomed, she began to panic. She realised that she was not prepared for the loss of the lifestyle of being employed. In psychotherapy sessions, I helped Melody to go back to basics and discover what she liked about herself, what types of experience satisfied her and what she wanted to do with her time. She learned different ways to feel good about herself and started to create a new and satisfying pattern for living outside of work. When she finally retired, she was so fulfilled that she wondered how she ever had the time for work.

Change is difficult for most people. If you are struggling to find your way after a major transition or, like Melody, you are anxious about an upcoming life-changing event, then psychotherapy can help.

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© Gill Sweeting