Sept./Oct. 2012 Reflections

  SPRING EDITION          

This Newsletter comes to you from New York, where I am holidaying visiting my daughter.  It is the start of the Fall (our Autumn) but I am conscious that back home it is early Spring.  Both seasons represent change and transition and so it seems timely to write about this theme.

Over recent months I have worked with many clients who have been in the process of transitions of various types.  There have been people coming out of a relationship break up and learning how to adjust to not being part of a couple - others have experienced the death of their partner and were struggling to deal with their loss and grief and the reality of being alone.  Other changes have centred around work - people moving from a familiar job into a new area of work, sometimes motivated by a desire for improvement, or finding themselves facing restructure or redundancy and forced to explore new options.

Each of these events involve a period during which there is a mixture of emotions and responses.  Initially people may feel overwhelmed by fear, grief, loss or anger.  In situations which involve conscious choice there can be a sense of excitement about a new challenge or step in a desired direction.  However, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the change, there will usually be a period of uncertainty, insecurity and tentativeness.  Transitions take people out of their comfort zone.  They can feel like marking time - waiting for something to happen - being uncertain how to act or proceed. There can be a sense of tryng to find one's feet or learning to fit into an unfamiliar environment.

Transitions by their very nature represent change and movement - from one season to the next, from one stage or phase to another, or form part of a journey to a new place.  Sometimes people get stuck in life's "transit lounge" unsure how to move through and in which direction.  During these times it can be helpful to reflect on how you overcame these anxieties in the past.  Think about what motivated you to move ahead until you found your way again.  Accepting that it takes time to adjust to any change, and allowing ourselves to experience whatever feelings accompany this shift, and approaching it with curiosity and openness rather than impatience or dread, will make the transition easier. 

Just as we adjust to and accept the change of seasons with the different opportunities they bring, so too can we learn from and appreciate the lessons which accompany life transitions.  A lot depends on how we view change.  That space between the seasons when we feel the shift in temperature and see the first signs of blossom and new growth allows us time to anticipate and contemplate the changes to come.  It is in this space that we can prepare for what is ahead by discarding what we no longer need and start to plan for what is to come.

Spring is often associated with decluttering, sprucing things up, renewal and growth and it is a perfect time to apply these ideas to your personal life.  Do you feel the desire for some change in your relationships, your career or the way you feel and act in your life.  Has something happened which is out of your control and you are unsure how to deal with it?  Are you in transition?  If any of the above apply to you, then you may wish to think about some counselling sessions with me to help you get unstuck and move forward.

I return to Melbourne in early October and am available for appointments from 10th October, so don't hesitate to call me on 0438 855328 if I can assist you.




Wednesday, 10th October is World Mental Health Day and the commencement of Mental Health Week in Victoria.  During this time there will be a number of organisations holding activities to raise awareness of mental health and the needs of those many people affected by mental illness.   Nearly 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives so it is important to remind ourselves that taking care of our mental health is as important as our physical health.   Mental health is a state of wellbeing when an individual is able to realize his/her full potential, can handle life's stresses and is able to contribute positively to society.   Anxiety, depression, loss and grief, trauma, prolonged stress, social isolation, relationship break up, bullying, health & disability issues can all affect our mental health.