Life transitions occur throughout the lifespan. They are essentially major episodes of change in our life. They can be anticipated rites of passage such as completing high school, starting your first full-time job or university course, moving out of the family-of-origin home, getting married, having children, becoming an empty-nester, and downscaling work or retiring. Even when anticipated and socially sanctioned these events can create stress and loss of identity. Individuals can also experience anxiety and depression if such life transitions do not occur as the individual perceives they ‘should’.
Aging in itself is a process of life transition. The aging process requires us to accept changes to body shape and physical health, and in the latter stages of life an increasing reliance on others for support.
These transition points can create challenges for the individual that can highlight gaps in personal, social or life skills. Individuals can also experience grief and loss over such major changes- loss of the familiar, secure context and in its place a scenario that may feel overwhelming. When an individual continues to struggle with such transitions they may develop Adjustment difficulties (please see our section on Trauma and stress related disorders).
Sometimes life transitions are thrust upon us too early and we are forced to adjust before we fully wish to accept such circumstances. Again, anxiety, grief and depression may result.Counselling can be useful in assisting an individual to adjust to major changes by addressing:
Counselling can also assist with more pronounced responses to major changes by supporting an individual with grief and loss.
We prioritise the use of effective psychological therapies in the context of a quality therapeutic relationship. The relationship between you and the therapist involves being supported in an alliance focused on your healing and growth. The therapeutic relationship allows for the direct experience of a healthy relationship that promotes self-inquiry and exploration in a non-judgmental manner. The therapeutic relationship promotes self-understanding and relationship skills such as healthy boundary setting, assertion, self-esteem, and the capacity to give and receive care, while addressing the specific issues you wish to resolve. At Integrative Psychology we provide counseling services for a wide range of issues including but not limited to:
Couples counselling can address a range of relationship issues to determine whether to stay and repair and enhance a relationship or separate amicably. Specific examples of issues addressed in couples counselling include:
Family counselling (otherwise known as Family Therapy) involves a number of family members together attending counselling to address a range of issues, which can often be long standing. Family therapy can be directed at assisting a family to clarify and better manage relationships amongst family members as well as assisting families in dealing with major changes or distressing circumstances or events, such as grief and loss or mental or physical illness. Dealing with past family based trauma can also be a focus. As with all therapies a counsellor is there to assist the individual, couple or family to gain their own clarity about a situation and develop better ways of managing that situation. The counsellor is not there to guide the individual or family members toward values or beliefs personally held by the counsellor. Counselling is non-judgemental and respectful at all times. At Integrative Psychology our therapists are trained in a variety of approaches to assist with a range of relationships.
Group therapy can be a very effective way of overcoming feelings of isolation and hopelessness while facilitating change in a relatively short duration of time. Group therapy can differ according to length, size of group and criteria for inclusion. Groups may also differ in the degree of group participation required; generally therapeutic groups require greater group participation than psycho-education seminars and workshops. If you have any concerns about group participation please discuss these with the nominated contact person for the group you are considering, prior to registering for that group program. Group programs available at Integrative Psychology: