Life Change Counselling
At some point we all experience a major change in our life, a devastating loss, or a traumatic event.
While these experiences can be very difficult and distressing often the stressful change in your life goes away and the distress eases.
In other cases we just manage to cope with the situation, bounce back within a reasonable period of time and are able to get on with life.
Sometimes, however, the level of distress we feel is more intense or much longer than would normally be expected, and the symptoms interfere with our normal functioning.
Some people find that, just when they feel they are getting back on track, a new stressful situation arises, and they face emotional struggles all over again.
Common life changes that cause distress
Difficulties adjusting commonly arise from things like:
- marital / relationship problems including breakups and divorce
- the death of a loved one
- family conflict
- developing a serious illness (by yourself or a loved one)
- unexpected catastrophes
- losing or changing job
- school changes
- getting married, having a baby, retiring from a job or moving home
- being a victim of a crime
- having an accident
- living through a disaster, such as a fire, flood, or cyclone
Common symptoms when you’re not coping well
Like many people having difficulty coping in these situations you may experience:
- Low mood or sadness
- Worry or anxiety
- Poor Concentration
- Loss of self esteem
- hopelessness, feeling trapped, having no good options, and
- feeling isolated from others
- Children and adolescents often exhibit depressed and irritable mood, sleep disturbance, poor performance in school, school avoidance, fighting, or acting out.
Treatment can be tailored according your individual needs to help you:
- Better understand how the stressor(s) affect you
- Develop strategies for building your resilience so you are better able to respond to stress, adversity, trauma or tragedy
When to get life change counselling
If you’re struggling to deal with a major life change, loss, or event, have tried to work your way through but are still having a hard time coping, consider getting professional help.
Get life change counselling to help you get through
You don’t have to tough it out on your own. A psychologist can help you regain your emotional footing, cope better with stressful events and feel better about life again.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (5th ed.). (2013). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
Holmes, T., & Rahe, R. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11(2), 213-221.
Please Note – Ahead Psychology does not provide emergency crisis counselling. If you or someone you know needs crisis counselling, call Lifeline’s 24 hour telephone crisis support service 13 11 14. If you are facing a medical emergency from self-harm call an ambulance (000) or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.