Life Transitions

Adjusting to Life Transitions with Cognitive Therapy

It has been said that change is the one thing that we can count on happening in life. At times, life changes, such as: loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a new medical diagnosis, or divorce, can cause us emotional distress and/or affect how we function. Some individuals may experience a change in their behavior such as social withdrawal or begin to suffer from a physical illness. Still others develop interpersonal problems. Cognitive therapy can help these individuals to gain the tools and skills to overcome these situations and learn how to navigate these situations more effectively in the future.

The clinical term for “life transitions” is commonly known as “Adjustment Disorder”

Adjustment Disorder often occurs with one of the following: depressed mood, anxiety, or mixed anxiety and depressed mood. An adjustment disorder that persists may progress to become a more serious mental disorder such as Major Depressive Disorder.

Symptoms

  • Hopelessness
  • Frequent crying
  • Depressed mood
  • Impaired occupational/social functioning
  • Insomnia Agitation Trembling or twitching
  • Somatic complaints (general aches and pains, stomachache, headache, chest pain)
  • Palpitations Conduct disturbances Physical complaints
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety, worry, stress, and tension

How Cognitive Therapy Can Help

  • Help you get back to your previous level of functioning
  • Utilize your social supports such as family, friends, and the community
  • Use and develop your problem solving skills
  • Learn relaxation techniques to help you deal with the feelings of stress
  • Help you understand your reaction to the life change and help you view it as chance for positive change or improvement.

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