Growing with Life

Finding emotional strength in life’s challenges and developing new insights that may help you to meet difficult transitions constructively.

Important life changes and periods of transition, such as moving, a breakup, losing a job or a parent, or suffering an illness, can be challenging and create emotional difficulties, stress, or relationship problems.

When stress—or distress—becomes sufficiently strong and cannot be ignored, therapy can help to moderate the emotional impact of such transitions, and offers the opportunity for significant emotional and psychological growth and insight.

For some people the issue is not just coping with the pressures and expectations imposed by a major life change, but understanding what has changed for them, or what they find difficult about the situation. Particularly during stressful life changes, the tendency is to take on the challenge while ignoring what’s going on internally.

While we accept that “change is good” and that life would be boring without transitions, we can often become so attached to our routines that we go to great lengths to avoid changes. Some people embrace change and avoid routine or “settling down.” Others—even when situations are uncomfortable and they don’t like their job, their marriage, their neighbor, or the layout of their furniture—may still prefer to adapt and accommodate than to face the unknown.

Whether you prefer one end of the spectrum or the other, most people find that major life changes and transitions challenge their personalities and their mindset, sometimes very painfully so. Therapy offers support and insight during these transitions, and a sense of containment that brings a revitalizing, rather than a depleting attitude to life crises.

Examples of major life changes and transitions are:

New relationships

Graduation and starting a new direction in life

Breakups or loss of relationship

Coping with illness


Moving or relocation

Mourning and bereavement

Job or career change


Pregnancy and childbirth

Marriages or stepfamilies

Caring for elderly dependents