Seasons of Change

With the Fall weather approaching (much more slowly here in California than other places I’m sure), I’ve been reflecting on change. I have great neighbors moving away, I’m settling into a new office, and I’ve been forced to reassess certain parts of my life. The changes are real, and while some are great others have been really hard. I do my best to take them in stride, but I’m human too and I know I haven’t handled everything as gracefully as I could.

And I know I’m not alone, which got me thinking about the different ways we all handle changes in our lives. I think the biggest differentiating factor between what constitutes “good or bad” change is choice. When we are choosing to make a change in lifestyle, career, living situation—it’s a lot easier to feel positive about it. We can rationalize some of the sadness and discomfort because the end-game is aligned to what we want.

It’s so much harder when we are forced into change. Getting fired, being broken up with, getting a bad medical diagnosis—these are the changes we seek to avoid, and the ones that are always unwelcome. This is where we can struggle to find the positive spin, and for the most part that’s ok. I will always advocate to feel your feelings. Move through them as needed, but don’t get stuck in them.

One thing that has been helping me this year, as I look at all the upcoming change, and reflect on all the changes of the past is remembering that no matter how scary and big some of the shifts have been, I always survived them. Maybe at times we come out the other side a little worse for the wear. The hope is that we find meaning in the change—a lesson or a purpose for it happening. But even when we can’t, or haven’t made it to that place, we grow stronger. We learn that we can endure, and sometimes that is enough.

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Good Morning!

Some of you might be wondering what happened to last week’s post (I hope), and I wanted to fill you in.

Last week I attended my first professional conference, The Evolution of Psychotherapy. Virginia Satir called it the best conference she ever attended; and though my experience with them is thus far limited, I have difficulty imagining a more enlightening and inspiring combination of professionals. I am walking away with a tired brain, but I am also feeling refreshed and ready to take on the challenges I have set for myself. I not only feel that the workshops will help in my growth as a clinician, but I am also excited to share with my readers the many thought provoking subjects, and my reactions to them.

If I was worried at all about keeping the ideas flowing, I now have a full notebook to pull from. I hope you are as excited as I am, and keep checking back to see what is happening in the world of psychology, and how I plan to translate that into reaching out to you.

Finally, I have some questions coming in, so I will be posting a ‘Dear Jacqueline’ later this week about managing parental relationships post-divorce. I imagine many of you have or know of someone who could benefit from this topic, so I am eager to give my feedback.

Thank you for reading, and as always feel free to share comments.

-J