Stages of Life

man alone on bench in desert

Stages of life are loosely defined according to ages ranges that involve similar developmental and situational experiences.  Understanding the common adjustments and considerations for a particular stage of life can help a person become better prepared and equipped to handle the inherent challenges. While each stage of life is marked with cultural, social, gender, economic and chronic stressors, how a person experiences and responds to these stressors varies between individuals. This adjustment is also influenced by compounding stressors, such as one’s child leaving home at the same time she is about to retire and also facing difficult decisions about her parent’s care.  Stage of life issues can occur in any age of life.  Young children can experience transition difficulties when starting school a middle age person may struggle with finding satisfaction in her career yet does not feel she can start a new career path and widower may experience new relationship challenges when starting to date for the first time in many years.

Stages of life issues are part of life’s journey and can appear at any time.  A professional counselor can help the individual cope and manage life’s adjustments through education, processing of options and developing a response or goal plan that is specific to one’s current stage of life.

The Timeline of Stage of Life Issues

While individual adjustment struggles are unique to each person there are many commonalities that exist along the timeline of life. Adolescents and teens between 10 and 19 years of age typically experience peer pressure, romantic relationships, increased desire for independence and identity changes.  The many changes during puberty can bring on behavioral risks, insecurities and emotional reactions.  Young adults between 20 and 29 years of age enter an arena of new challenges.  Starting college, finding a professional job, living independently, finance management and starting a family are all significant events that can be very demanding.  Middle age presents challenges such as signs of physical aging, empty nests, plans for retirement evaluation, caring for one’s parents and eventually the arrival of grandchildren.  Senior citizens may face stage of life issues with retirement, decreased financial security, health problems, loss of autonomy and the death of a spouse.  At any stage in life, people can experience depression, anxiety and isolation as they encounter these new challenges.

How Counseling Can Help During Stage of Life Issues

The support and guidance of therapy during stage of life struggles can be very useful. A strong therapy plan will include new strategies to cope with life’s changes and outline goals in a step-by-step manner. During counseling sessions, patients learn how to identify and express their feelings about the current challenges they are facing.  Therapy can also help the person evaluate the challenges more completely, fine additional sources of support and normalize the experiences he/she is encountering at that time.

Grace Weyrauch has assisted patients of all ages during various challenges that arise with stage of life issues.  Grace has the experience, clinical knowledge and compassion to help people accept the changes they encounter and better manage the impact of one’s shifting life.