At the heart of therapy is change. Perhaps it is the heart of life itself. Time passes, we go through new phases, we grow and age. With it comes physical changes to our bodies, outside and inside. We gain new experiences, challenges, traumas even. Often these lead to us seeing and thinking about ourselves and the world around us in new ways.

Yet, these changes are not always welcome and often not in our control.

Sometimes we embrace the changes, welcome them with open arms. More often we feel fear and trepidation. We don’t know what to expect from our new bodies, our new experiences, our new ways of thinking or being. Change can feel uncomfortable as we slowly adjust to whatever feels new and unknown.

In psychological terms there is a diagnosis in the DSM which is simply called Adjustment Disorder. Usually this diagnosis is accepted by insurance without question for at least six months. It is recognized that change requires adjustment and can create more stress and strong feelings. Even positive events that were chosen by the person such as going to college, a new job, moving, getting married or having a child can be stressful and take a considerable amount of time to feel comfortable.

The secret is in knowing that change is understandable. Give yourself time. Don’t set your expectations too high or compare yourself to anyone else. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion whenever you are going through a period of change and give yourself the space and grace you deserve to move through the changes at your own pace. Don’t hesitate to reach out to others for support.