news&views Spring 2022 | Page 51

Why do some people handle transition and change better than others ?
Your ability to manage change typically depends on your resilience — the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from events . Some people equate resilience with mental toughness , but that ’ s not true . Rather , resilient people can recognize when they ’ re in turmoil and actively work through their painful emotions . Resilience is like a muscle : it takes time to build up and sometimes we need help .
How can therapy help someone better manage the stress of a big life transition ?
Talking with an unbiased , non-judgmental individual can be helpful to normalize what you are experiencing . This is an important part of the therapeutic process .
Therapy can also help you manage expectations and focus on the opportunities that come from a transition , rather than dwell on the negative . Once in that state of mind , therapy can help you set goals . Sometimes when you ’ re in the thick of it — moving through a job loss or ending a relationship — you can get stuck . Therapy can help you to step back and take stock of the situation , explore your goals , and develop a plan to achieve them .
You might walk away with some concrete tools like stress management techniques , thought reframing , cognitive processing techniques , ways to identify and express your feelings , acceptance skills , and how to maintain a healthy routine . Ultimately , a therapist will help build your resilience so you can better manage life transitions and even turn them into positive experiences .
What advice would you have for someone who is currently embarking on a new life chapter and feeling overwhelmed ?
I would encourage them to see the opportunity in the experience . Maybe you ’ re newly retired and no longer focused on a busy work schedule . You may feel grief at a chapter ending or you may struggle to define your purpose . But you ’ ll also have additional time to pursue things that you didn ’ t have time for before . You can dive into that hobby you absolutely loved , spend more time with your support systems , or explore volunteering . When you reframe the experience , your time now represents a period of unlimited opportunity .
We no longer have to struggle through difficult periods alone . Therapy is a safe place to bounce your ideas off another person , express yourself , learn different skills , get feedback , and prepare for life ’ s exciting challenges .
Want to get started ? ARTA benefit plan members can access five free hours of Inkblot therapy every year . Visit arta-map . net to sign up and schedule your first session . You will need your ARTA member ID number , starting with ART ( i . e ., ART12345 ). news & views SPRING 2022 | 51