Life Transitions & Adjustment Issues  

What is it

Certain changes, such as entering school, starting a new job, or starting a family, can often be exciting, even when they cause some amount of stress, because they are generally considered to be positive changes. Many people look forward to obtaining a degree, rising in their chosen field, or having a home and family.

Changes, and especially difficult changes, can influence personal growth, and dealing with a change successfully may leave one stronger, more confident, and better prepared for what comes next in life. In other words, even those changes that are neither expected nor wanted might still produce some beneficial outcome.

Change can encourage the development of skills or knowledge, and might also bring about greater awareness of a condition or group. For example, the family of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia might become more aware of severe mental health conditions and their effects. Or the parents of a child who comes out as gay might become interested in LGBTQIA issues and equal rights and work to increase awareness. Change can also make clear what is important in one’s life and allow for greater self-discovery and self-awareness.

What it includes

Because change can cause stress, it can have an effect on one’s daily life. A person facing a big change might, for example, experience depression, anxiety, or fatigue; have headaches; develop trouble sleeping or eating well; or abuse drugs and alcohol.

Persistent symptoms of stress might improve with treatment in therapy, but an individual may also be able to prevent some of these symptoms by:

• Researching an upcoming change. Often, stress can develop out of fear of what is unknown. When one is well-informed about a change, it may be easier to face.
• Attending to one’s physical and mental health. Being healthy in mind and body may make it easier to cope with changes in life. Sleeping well, exercising, and eating nutritional foods regularly may all be beneficial in improving both physical and mental health.
• Taking time to relax. Remaining calm in spite of stress may be easier when one’s life is well-adjusted and includes time for leisure as well as work.
• Limiting change. It may be helpful to avoid making a large change immediately after another change. Generally, adjusting to a change takes some time, and making multiple changes at once, even smaller ones, may not allow enough time for an adequate adjustment period, which can cause stress.
• Discussing any difficulties adapting with another person. Family members may be able to help one adjust to change, but professional help may also benefit those experiencing difficulty or stress as a result of life changes.

A diagnosis of adjustment disorder can occur when a major life stress or change disrupts normal coping mechanisms and makes it difficult or impossible for a person to cope with new circumstances. Symptoms of this condition tend to begin within three months of the stress or change and often include a depressed or anxious mood, changes in daily habits, feelings of overwhelming stress and panic, difficulty enjoying activities, and changes in sleeping or eating. For example, a man whose wife died suddenly might become anxious and panicked as he tries to cope with his new situation, finding it difficult to go on his typical daily walks or prepare meals.

This condition may also lead an individual to engage in reckless or dangerous behaviour, avoid family and friends, or have thoughts of suicide. A diagnosed adjustment disorder generally indicates that a person is experiencing more emotional turmoil than others facing the same situation might experience. For example, a young woman who cries frequently after the death of her mother is likely experiencing distress typical to the major life change she has experienced, but a man who quits his job and stops speaking to his children after the death of his wife might be experiencing a significant amount of difficulty adjusting to his changed situation.

How a psychologist can help

be warranted. In this way, one can prepare for changes and become better able to face them in the future, even without prior knowledge of potential changes.

Support groups and group therapy sessions also might benefit some individuals who have experienced a particular type of change, such as a life-altering illness or disability or a divorce.
If you require additional information please call our office on 32566320. Our mental health focused administration staff will be able to assist you with your enquiry about our service and assist you with linking you with the most suitable Psychologist.

References

Psychology Today

If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.

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Psychologists who work in this service

Meredith Falkiner
Meredith Falkiner
Senior Psychologist. Taking new clients.
Tania Watson
Tania Watson
Psychologist. Taking new clients.
Mary Kedwell
Mary Kedwell
Psychologist. Availability for a couple of new clients.
Timothy Southwell
Timothy Southwell
MH Accredited Medicare Rebates Available. Gottman Couples Therapist
Ricardo Bird
Ricardo Bird
Senior Psychologist. Taking new clients.
Vince Conway
Vince Conway
Psychologist. Taking new clients.
Jessica Kenny
Jessica Kenny
Psychologist (Prov.). Taking new clients.
Gerald White
Gerald White
MH Accredited Medicare Rebates available. Taking new clients.
Sarah Laird
Sarah Laird
Psychologist (Prov.). Taking new clients.
Gregory Kelly
Gregory Kelly
Taking new clients from 1 August.
Naomi Norman
Naomi Norman
Psychologist (Prov.). Can take a couple new clients. Heavily booked.
Jane Correnti
Jane Correnti
Psychologist (Prov.). Heavily booked. Call the clinic for new bookings.
Teracia Sehgal
Teracia Sehgal
Psychologist. Taking a few new clients
Lindy Devenish
Lindy Devenish
Senior Psychologist. Closed to new clients. On extended leave
Amanda Murray
Amanda Murray
Not taking clients. At capacity for new clients.
Carolina Gonzalez
Carolina Gonzalez
Clinical Psychologist (On mat leave, return August 2022 )
Jade Dean
Jade Dean
Closed to new clients
Kristie Clarke
Kristie Clarke
At capacity for new clients. Waitlist available. Contact clinic for any referrals.