Life Transitions

When your life changes course, it can be useful to have extra support.  Counselling can help!  Change is often scary and overwhelming.  As human beings, we crave stability and security and resist flux.  When I chose the metaphor of the willow tree for my counselling practice, I did so quite deliberately.  The willow tree represents flexibility amidst the “winds of change” in life.  Our challenge is to become flexible in response to them; when we don’t, we’re like a dry branch that snaps when a gust comes along.

Life transitions are a common reason for coming for counselling. Clients meet with me in my downtown Vancouver counselling and psychotherapy office for a range of life issues, including:

Divorce / Separation

  • The pain of a break- up
  • Adjusting to single life
  • Understanding patterns in relationships
  • Co-parenting after separation / custody issues

Marriage

  • Weddings: stress and joy
  • Premarital counselling
  • Newlywed life and adjustment

Career / Education

  • Career exploration
  • Career change
  • Workforce re-entry
  • Opting out of the workforce
  • Unemployment / underemployment
  • Retirement
  • Starting school
  • Returning to school
  • Studying away from home
  • Graduation and ‘the future’

Family

  • First-time parenthood
  • Life as a couple after baby’s birth
  • Children’s ages and stages / parenting issues
  • Step family issues
  • Children leaving home (“empty nest” syndrome)
  • Caregiving for elderly parents

Illness

  • Changes in health status and physical functioning
  • Chronic illness and physical pain
  • Pandemic stress/Covid psychological/social readjustment
  • Life-threatening illness

Geographical shifts

  • Moving, relocation
  • Immigration
  • Cultural adjustment

Loss

  • Loss of anyone or anything we consider important

I would be honoured to assist you in any aspect of your life journey.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Related Articles

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I recently heard someone using the term ‘under new management’ to reflect the idea of doing life differently—in new and healthier ways. I liked this idea and sought to expand on it.

Postpartum Tips

April 2011 In Postpartum Issues

A variety of strategies for navigating the postpartum period.

Recommended Books

The book links on this page are Amazon Associate links; if you choose to make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission which I use to fund my low-cost counselling resource lists. Your support is greatly appreciated.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (2014).

This bestseller, translated from the original Japanese, breaks away from traditional ‘clear the clutter’ manuals, asking us to reflect on our relationship with objects, keeping only those things which spark joy.

Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Child’s First Year by Anne Lamott (1993)

A humorous and unflinchingly honest description of first-time motherhood.  Lamott writes with a unique level of candour, wit and vibrancy.

 

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Realife Parenthood by Camille Peri and Kate Moses, Eds. (2000)

Anthology of stories about motherhood. Pieces range from tender to provocative.

 

The Mother Zone by Marni Jackson (2002)

Personal account of first-time motherhood. Author asks the question, “why didn’t anybody tell me it would be like this?”

 

Resources

Discovery College – Canadian Mental Health Association

A wealth of free online mental-health related courses, developed in conjunction with people who have lived experience.

Vancouver Low-Cost Counselling List

List of private master’s-level counsellors, or their interns, offering subsidized counselling. Updated quarterly.

Kelty’s Key Online Therapy

Free, self-directed online cognitive behavioural therapy.

Wellness Together Canada

Canada-wide, 24/7 professional phone counselling and other support options.

Crisis Services and Hotlines in Vancouver

Resource list, updated quarterly.

Vancouver Friends For Life

Specialized support programs, including counselling, for persons living with HIV, cancer, hepatitis C and other illnesses.

Callanish Society

Offers a healing space, retreats, counselling and other groups for those affected by cancer.

Reduced-Cost Counselling [PDF]

A resource list of lower-cost professional counselling options in Vancouver. Corrections and suggestions welcome.

BC Cancer Agency, Cancer Support Groups

604-877-6000, ext.2194

Parenting After Separation

Program  for B.C. parents and other family members who are dealing with family issues including guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support and spousal support.

Information Children, Simon Fraser University

778-782-3548
Parenting helpline. Also offers workshops and resource/referral.