Adulthood can be a time of enjoying your achievements and important relationships including family. It can also be a time of regret and disappointment with life circumstances, sense of being stuck with the choices you have made, and/or sense of being overwhelmed and constricted by obligation to family and work. Depression is a common response to loss including loss of an important relationship and sense of lost opportunity in life. Anxiety is a common response to anticipation of loss. Often longstanding emotional pain becomes problematic as the ways you’ve managed to endure the pain or keep it hidden and under control no longer work threatening to throw your life into a tailspin. It is often longstanding and underlying patterns of thinking, feeling, and interacting that contribute to these sorts of difficulties. Relational psychodynamic psychotherapy can help.
Problems/challenges that can arise during this time period include:
- Marital or relationship dissatisfaction – chronic conflicts and arguments, lack of emotional connection and sense of being isolated and alone, sense of being trapped, despair and frustration due to loss of passion or sexual interest, anxiety provoking sexual fantasies and/or temptations, sexual affairs leading to guilt, anxiety, and sense of inner turmoil
- Adjustment to divorce including sense of loss, despair, anger/betrayal, struggling with changes in parent-child relationships, struggling to establish new support network, and readiness to seek out new romantic relationship
- Career/job dissatisfaction – sense of being stuck in a career that bores and/or drains you, anxiety about making a career change for fear of loss of stability or failure, relationship problems within the work environment that make you dread going to work
- Death of a parent or illness and declining health of a parent can open old wounds particularly where there is a history of painful unresolved conflict between you and your parent
- Sense of emptiness or feeling disconnected from yourself and others
Short-term interventions for adults:
- We will work together to explore and define the extent to which your difficulty is related to a life transition issue or more long standing underlying patterns of thinking, feeling, and relating to others. Doing so will help us to determine whether a short-term intervention is likely to benefit you.
- Examples of life transition issues for which short-term interventions can help include: (a) work-family life balance – too much responsibility and not enough time, energy, or resources. Time management including difficulty setting limits, asking for help, and setting priorities; (b) parenting problems – parent-child relationship conflict or alienation, struggling to effectively parent teenage children, adjustment to grown children leaving home, and/or difficulty working together as a parental couple; and (c) grief related to death of a parent or adjustment to caretaking responsibilities for elderly parent where there has been a secure and stable parent-child relationship. There might be other issues not listed here that can be appropriate for short-term interventions. The initial assessment process will help us to make that determination.
- Short-term intervention strategies can include: (a) we will work together to clearly define the obstacles that are getting in your way of adjusting successfully to life changes and/or challenges; (b) we will devise a plan to help you identify and explore your options and to pursue your goals once you have made a decision; and (c) we will work on development of specific strategies to help you manage stress, resolve relationship conflict, deepen your emotional investment and satisfaction with the life changes you have chosen, and help you balance self-care with responsibilities to others.