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Life Transitions & Challenges

Life is a journey with many challenges and changes. It makes sense that change is often difficult. Most of us are creatures of habit and how we define ourselves is very much related to our routines, relationships, and our “overall sense of self”.

Some of our clients at Family Therapy Associates tell us their definition is related to the roles they play in other people’s lives, whether they are “the child, the parent, the grandparent” etc. For others the “definition” is closely connected to “what they do”, their occupation, attractiveness, ability at sports, etc. and when their definition of self is challenged by change, it often creates difficulty even if the change is welcomed.


So why is change so difficult for so many?

While change has many faces, life transitions cause us to leave behind the familiar and force us to adjust to new ways of living.

Sometimes life transitions are expected and sometimes we are caught completely off guard. Sometimes we view the change as a positive event and sometimes not, depending on the circumstances and the context of the change.

There is one thing however, that all life changes have in common. Adjustment to change is often difficult.

You are probably thinking about your situation which has brought you to this particular page.

  • Are you a young adult planning your future or going off to college?
  • Are you starting or looking for a new career or job?
  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you expecting a baby?
  • Are you buying a house?
  • Are you adjusting to a move?
  • Do you have a child going off to preschool – or college?
  • Are you becoming an “empty nester”?
  • Are you beginning retirement?
  • Has your life been changed by an accident, a death or divorce?

It is normal to experience some uncertainty when confronted with change. Change is a process and it often takes some time to get used to “the new way”.

Even when “loss” is involved, it is possible to learn about and discover our personal strengths and to explore what we can still find hopeful and enjoyable. This time of reflection can result in a sense of renewal, stability, and a new equilibrium.

Certainly, depending on the circumstances, some changes may seem more difficult to adjust to than others.

Some people regard “life transitions” “as part of life” and we would agree. However, that doesn’t make change easy .

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”

– Bertolt Brecht