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Mental Health

Here’s How to Handle Difficult Life Changes, According to a Therapist

Have you ever evaluated one of your responsibilities and thought, “I can’t do this. Don’t they know this happened in my life?” I think we’ve all cancelled plans or missed assignments due to feeling overwhelmed with stress, which can be totally normal. But if you’ve recently gone through a major change, Dr. Kristy Donaldson, a Texas counselor with over nine years of experience, says, “[It may be time to] seek professional help if you’ve gone through significant life changes.”

Dr. Donaldson has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in her time as a therapist, and she’s developed a system for working with people of all ages – because therapy doesn’t discriminate. Looking at her current workload, a large amount of people who come in are adults working through transitions in life, but because of COVID, more people than usual are willing to “add a third party who has professional training” to their lives. And Dr. Donaldson won’t just use a few tactics to help you cope. “Everyone is unique – like a fingerprint – so I use different modalities for everyone,” she says. It’s important to find the right method for you – therapy is far from one-size-fits-all. Here are four suggestions to help you seek professional help, and get the most out of it: 

A therapist is a non-biased third party

You cannot rely on a friend to see from a “bird’s eye view.” You need a third party who can guide you through tragedy or change, someone who is as separated from the even tas possible and who can look at everything you discuss objectively. 

Many people also “suffer in silence,” and there’s no need to do that when there are professionals willing to help.

Find the perfect match

Research and meet up with your therapist first, because you can always move on if it isn’t a good fit or what you’re looking for. Different professionals have different experiences and different specialties, and it’s okay if the first one – or even few – you try aren’t the right fit for you. 

Be open to change

“People who have a desire to change can move mountains,” Dr. Donaldson says. Challenging yourself will help you come to an understanding of what wasn’t working, and what will work for you in terms of coping mechanisms.

Trust the process

Trust the process, and don’t run. “[Therapy] gets messy before it gets cleaned up,” Dr. Donaldson says. Give yourself the time you need to make the change. 

Seeking professional help is the most courageous coping mechanism there is when you are dealing with a life change. A professional like Dr. Donaldson will guide you through your challenges and help you come out on top. Don’t go through your life changes alone, seek professional help when you can because it will change your life.

My name is Bridget, and I am a South Carolinian living in Texas. I am a Baylor girl with a dog I talk way too much about. 
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