Life Transitions

Clients I work with are often navigating the challenges associated with life transitions, as defined by Eric Ericson’s model of psychosocial development across the life cycle. These include:

Intimacy vs. isolation –young adulthood, from around age 20 to 40.  Client struggles include: 

  • Personal identity development—differentiating from parents or caregivers
  • Defining personal values
  • Setting short and long term goals
  • Clarifying objectives
  • Navigating personal and professional relationships

Generativity vs. Stagnation — 40’s through 50s—middle adulthood.  Client struggles include:

  • Single vs. partnered—difficulty connecting, loneliness, emotional isolation, social anxiety
  • Parenthood—pregnancy anxiety; post partum depression—male and female experiences; difficulty maintaining autonomy and self-care; changing relationship dynamics with partner; perceived lack of intimacy; effective parenting/healthy children
  • Crisis of meaning—self vs. others, issues of contribution, to work, cultural community, society
  • Separation/Divorce — difficulty weighing and making decisions, controlling anger and symptoms of sadness, supporting children, maintaining self-care; practicing self-compassion

Integrity vs. Despair —  mid 60s to end of life.  Client struggles include:

  • Self criticism and blame, dwelling in regret, the language of should of, could of, would of
  • Difficulty recognizing and feeling positive about accomplishments
  • Difficulty experiencing and dwelling in gratitude and/or positivity
  • Reflection: difficulty slowing down, dwelling in positive memory
  • Difficulty of caregiving elderly parents or partners experiencing dementia
  • Difficulty experiencing grief associated with loss of partner and peers during old age

Clients who find the most benefit from working with me are motivated to better understand what might be contributing to your challenging circumstances. You are willing to step beyond your comfort zone to consider the idea that acceptance (rather than avoidance, distraction, resistance, etc.) of one’s internal experience leads to a more compassionate understanding of why you might feel what you feel, think what you think, or do what you do, or don’t do!  This is the heart of the work that leads my clients to report an improvement in their quality of life.

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