Adjustment to Life Change


Sooner or later, life throws a curve ball at all of us. Divorce, job loss, burnout, retirement, victimization, tragedy, the loss of valued roles: all are a part of life, and all can be difficult to deal with.

We will all deal with many life changes on our own, without significant help. But most of us can anticipate being surprised by the intensity of our reaction to at least some of the events that happen in our lives. We may become overly stressed, overwhelmed, or deeply discouraged. We may experience depression or prolonged worry.

During such times, it can be helpful to have someone outside our own head who can listen, ask questions, and help us find a meaningful and fulfilling path forward.

Targeted cognitive behaviour therapy can be a tremendous help for people experiencing difficult adjustment reactions. Techniques are always tailored to the needs of the individual, but may include the following:

• Cognitive work to discover the meaning that the event has had for you, and methods for rethinking this meaning in a more balanced, fair, and useful light.
• Goal setting to identify what the ideal resolution might be, then gradual progressive steps toward elements of the resolution.
• Lifestyle work to get the diet, fitness, sleep, and related areas of life back on track.
• Pleasant event scheduling to overcome the dullness of endlessly sitting and thinking about the problem.

A variety of other strategies may also be used.

Adjustment problems are extremely amenable to change. Indeed, change is inherent in these difficulties; it has already begun and it will continue one way or another. By taking charge and directing the change, it can move in a more positive direction toward a more rapid resolution.

Note: Information on these pages is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be taken as a substitute for care from a qualified healthcare provider.