There is an old story about a snake who, while gliding its way through the forest, comes upon a long bamboo stick. The snake had never seen such a thing before and, being curious, stuck its head into the opening. The inside of the bamboo stick was dark and the snake found the shape of the stick quite challenging to work its way through. The snake began to feel anxious, grief-stricken, and eventually a little depressed that it was now stuck inside this foreign, very tight, shadowy object. However, once the snake's body was completely inside of the bamboo stick, it realized that it could not back out. It could only move forward, in the dark, and straighten itself out before it could reach the other side.
Not one of us will live our lives without experiencing a multitude of life transitions and changes. These life transitions may open new possibilities, yet they may also involve loss, bewilderment, fear and shifts in our sense of ourselves. Some of the life transitions we see in our practice include:
- Loss of a loved one
- Illness or injury
- Career transitions
- Financial hardships
- Becoming a parent or stepparent
- Children leaving home
- Coming out
- Menopause and other midlife changes
Many of us will try to do whatever we can to avoid strong feelings and emotions associated with change; we might isolate ourselves, cruise the internet or shop for hours, drink, use drugs, cut, zone out in front of the television, anything but actually look directly at those intense feelings. The fact is that those feelings that we try to drive underground will manifest in our bodies as stress, anxiety, depression and other disease. Perhaps you've heard the expression: "The only way out is through."
At Womencare our therapists are dedicated to helping others through the fear and confusion that accompany those who find themselves traversing the terrain of a life transition. We use a variety of models including integrative (body/mind/spirit), cognitive-behavioral, movement, and art, collaborating with clients to help them safely access what have been called the "dark emotions" in order to enable lasting and positive change.
For questions or to discuss an initial appointment, please contact our intake counselor, Jan Smallwood, MS.Ed, LCPC, CADC at 847-475-7003 x 10, or email her at email@example.com.