Life transitions often create change and uncertainty, no matter the season you find yourself in. These transitions in our life can be a mix of feelings depending on the nature of the change expected or unexpected, welcomed or unwelcomed, and sudden or gradual.
Major life transitions such as moving to a new city, starting college, new job or career, becoming a parent, and retirement, can be an exciting part of life. However, life transitions, even happy ones, can also be stressful and bring up feelings of fear and doubt. Several of the therapists on our team have specialized training to help adults, adolescents, and children with these feelings of being overwhelmed, disillusioned, or angry. These worries left unchecked can lead to anxiety, depression, and stresses in your relationships.
Successfully moving through a life transition usually means moving from negative feelings such as anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, and self-doubt to moving towards acceptance, hope, and optimism. However, what happens if you get stuck and the change seems to be a mental health issue that you feel swallowed up by?
Adjustment disorder can occur when a major life transition occurs and you experience more distress than normal in response to a stressful or unexpected event, and the stress causes significant problems in your relationships, at work or at school. Other disruptive symptoms that begin within three months of a life transition and often include a depressed or anxious mood, changes in daily habits, feelings of overwhelming stress and panic, difficulty enjoying activities, and changes in sleeping or eating.
When should I seek help?
You should consider seeking help when all of your coping strategies are no longer working and you can’t manage work or school.
- You find yourself avoiding family and friends or any social interactions
- Your moods are negatively affecting your daily functioning and seem out of control, such as anger outbursts, crying, sad or depressed mood, anxiety, and recklessness.
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
- Increase use of alcohol and drugs or other unhealthy behaviors.
What kind of help is available?
A trained therapist can help assess your moods and level of functioning, encourage your strengths and reactivation of your social supports, assist with developing new effective coping and problem solving skills, monitor your progress and adapt your therapy treatment plan based on your needs.
Related Therapist Profiles
The following therapists specialize in Life Transitions
Clark Barshinger, Ph.D.
Practicing clinical psychology for over 50 years, Dr. Clark Barshinger has broad and deep experience counseling patients. His graduate education includes a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from DePaul University, and Master’s Degree of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. He works mostly with adults, teens and couples.
Keith Bjorge, Psy.D.
Dr. Keith V. Bjorge is a clinical psychologist with 33+ years of experience. He has experience and passion working with troubled marriages, teen and family related problems, chemical addictions, and mood disorders. Dr. Bjorge earned the Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Brendan Bell, MA, LCPC
Brendan Bell is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois. He has worked in private practice for the last 20 years, with offices in both Deer Park and in Wheaton. His expertise involves working with middle schoolers, adolescents, and their families, with extensive experience addressing behavior disorders. Brendan also works with adults and particularly enjoys counseling artists.
Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW
Diane Geiser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience working with adults, adolescents, couples and families. Diane is a highly skilled clinician who can work with clients in identifying goals and change strategies that promote growth. She also has experience conducting wellness seminars with corporations and executives.
Rick Coffaro, MA, LPC
Rick Coffaro’s work experience prior to Cherry Hill includes twenty-eight years in sales, marketing, and management. The theme of his career was making, building and maintaining relationships. Rick offers first-hand knowledge of life and career transitions. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, adults, adolescents and young adults, and groups.
Gary Gruebnau, MA, LSW
Gary is a social worker with several decades of experience counseling teens, adults, and couples in secular and church settings. He enjoys working with a broad age range of clients from teens to the elderly. His background includes military service, working in the business world, and teaching in both public and private settings.
Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC
Leslie Scofield, MSW, LCSW, CADC is a Licensed Social Worker who has worked in the field of substance abuse for over 15 years. Her practice ranges from children to adults, and focuses on trauma, grief and loss, family issues, and addictions. She is passionate about working with groups. Leslie is also retired from military service, which informs her clinical perspective.
Michelle Schaefer, MA, LCPC, PMH-C
Michelle Schaefer, LCPC, has experience working with adults, couples, teens, and families. Michelle has an advanced certification in Perinatal Mental Health and specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for individuals, couples, and families. Michelle strives to create a secure client-therapist alliance in order to support people as they navigate life challenges and heal relationships.
Elizabeth Haines, MS, LCPC
Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She values a strong therapeutic alliance and believes that a supportive and collaborative working relationship is instrumental in helping clients improve their overall quality of life. She uses her expertise in yoga and mindfulness to assist clients in learning to calm and relax the stressed body and mind.
Jack Gordon, MSW, LCSW, CCATP
Jack is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a certified clinical anxiety treatment professional. He works with adults, families, and adolescents ages 12 and up. He specializes in anxiety treatment and has a passion for work with clients with chronic pain/illness. His clinical interests include anxiety, parenting skills, life/career transitions, and family/relationship issues.
Lydia, Klassen, MA, LPC, CCTP
Lydia Klassen received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has experience working with interpersonal issues, emotional regulation, grief, and trauma. Lydia strives to develop safety in the client-counselor relationship as she journeys with clients toward greater freedom in their lives. She has a particular interest in couples, families, and third-culture kids.
Kristine Buelow, MSW, LSW
Kristine has had the honor and opportunity to help many individuals and families over the past 25 years as a social worker. She truly enjoys working with seniors, family caregivers, adults, parents, teens and kids. Her approach is genuine, full of grace and with a sense of humor.
Liz Lattof, MA, LPC
As a Licensed Professional Counselor at Cherry Hill Liz works with a wide variety of clients, children, adolescents, families, and adults. She has additional training in play therapy and groups. She enjoys helping people with anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, and other challenges and transitions.
John Dichtl, MA, M.Div., LCPC
John Dichtl has worked as a counselor since 2012 in both agency work and private practice. He has focused experience providing couples counseling, and treating mood disorders and addictions. With graduate level training in both therapy and theology, John is uniquely equipped to help clients integrate their psychological and spiritual concerns.
John Kim, MA, LPC
John received his MA in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University where he gained experience doing therapeutic work through the university's counseling center. John is committed to building warm, authentic, and meaningful relationships with his clients as he helps them work toward their unique goals. He works with individuals, couples, and groups.
Risa Becker, MA, LPC
Risa is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has a passion for seeing people come into the fullness of what their life could be. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, and having someone alongside can make a difference. Other times we need to make a change and need support to make that happen. Either way, I am here for you.
Arielle Miree, MA, LPC
Arielle received her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people heal and grow in order to live a meaningful life. She values authentic relationships and creating a safe space for clients. She has experience working with those struggling with addictions and co-occurring disorders. Arielle enjoys working with a variety of clients including athletes and artists.
Alison Yu, MA, M.Div., LPC
Alison Yu, M.Div, MA, LPC, is a bilingual (English and Mandarin Chinese) counselor who is experienced working with individuals, couples and families. She has a special heart for immigrant families. Trained in both psychology and theology, she is passionate about helping people to integrate the Christian faith in their healing process.
Kent Wohlrabe, MA, LCPC, CADC
Kent is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with many years of experience working with clients in a variety of clinical settings. Kent works primarily with adults and specializes in helping clients struggling with substance use and it's impact on daily life and relationships.
Shonda Gagliano, MSW, LCSW
Shonda Gagliano is a clinical social worker with over 20 years in the mental health field. She has experience working with adult and senior patients in outpatient, inpatient, and residential settings. She focuses on partnering with patients to identify and change thoughts and behaviors that are no longer beneficial to them. She is passionate about the ability of any person to change.
Justin Feinberg, MA, M.Div.
Justin’s Graduate education includes both a Master’s degree in Mental Health counseling as well as a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity International University. He works with individuals, couples, and families and has a heart to see relationships flourish and people become who they were meant to be. He has training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and utilizes this toward helping marriages, families, and individuals thrive.
Jennifer Flanagan, MA
Jennifer has a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has a passion for helping people see their strengths and potential. She believes this is accomplished through authentic relationships and support for and collaboration with others.
Rebecca Wiegman, MA
Rebecca received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University. She has experience working with children, individuals, families, and within groups. Rebecca is enthusiastic about working with different populations and has prior experience in the fields of education, health & fitness, and substance abuse.
Here are some groups we recommend to get started
Journey Group for Teens
This is a weekly therapeutic group for high school students ages 14-18 to give/receive support and safely process/share/connect during remote schooling and other current challenges.
Date: Tuesdays, 4-5:00pm
Location: Meetings via Zoom
Cost: $200/month (4 weeks)
Contact: Liz Lattof, 224-595-1993
Compassionate Connections Group
During this time of increased distance, stress, and uncertainty, women deserve the support, tools, and unity offered through our transformative therapeutic group.
Date: March 11, 2021
Location: Meetings via Zoom
Cost: $185/month (Please contact to discuss sliding scale fee if needed)
Contact: Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, 438-4222 x35
Connections Group for Women
Our Wednesday Women’s Connections group is accepting new members. The group is led by therapists Diane Geiser, MSW, LCSW and Chelsea Laliberte, MSSA.
Date: Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Cherry Hill – Lake Zurich, 61 S. Old Rand Rd, Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Cost: $185/month (Please contact to discuss sliding scale fee if needed)
Contact: Chelsea Laliberte, 847-438-4222 x35