Dealing with Life Transitions

Everyone goes though significant periods of change throughout their lives. During these periods of transition, it is perfectly natural to experience some emotional and psychological difficulties. Psychotherapy can be helpful in overcoming these challenges and finding healthy ways to cope and heal from life’s stressors.

Some of these life transitions may include:

  • Entering college
  • Beginning or ending a romantic relationship
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Job termination
  • Career change
  • Parenthood
  • Loss of a loved one

As a result, you may experience some of the following feelings and behaviors:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Difficulty eating and sleeping
  • Obsessive compulsive tendencies
  • Panic attacks
  • Social isolation or avoidance of loved ones

Our Work Together

In therapy, I can help you identify mental blocks and obstacles, explore patterns, and gain clarity about conflicted feelings that may be standing in your way. Together, we will develop skills to reach personal goals and to feel confident in your ability to confront future challenges.

Coping with Painful Emotions


Depression can change the way you experience the world. Things that brought joy and laughter can be met with boredom and apathy. Relationships that once felt important may seem distant and cause feelings of loneliness. Depression can often leave you feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and despondent. Whether happiness feels unattainable or you just don’t feel like your normal self, psychotherapy can be a helpful tool for you to cope and return to who you are.


Though we all experience stress in our daily lives, this feeling can morph into something that becomes intrusive, overwhelming, and unbearable. Some may even experience panic attacks, which can make you feel unable to breathe or even as if you are going to die.

As a result, you may experience some of the following feelings and behaviors:

  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Social isolation
  • Anger or agitation
  • Strain on relationships
  • Increased stress reaction to regular events
  • Difficulty eating or sleeping
  • Loneliness
  • Feelings of apathy
  • Excessive time spent worrying
  • Hypervigilance
  • Intrusive thoughts of catastrophes
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of negative outcomes
  • Feeling that the future is doomed

Our Work Together

Psychotherapy is clinically proven to be highly effective in treating depression, anxiety, and panic disorders. With a safe space to examine your world and the way you feel as you move through it, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself. Together, we can uncover the root of difficult emotions and find tools to heal, alleviate depression, manage stress, open yourself to a new perspective, and experience a renewed sense of mastery in the world.

Facing the Realities of Pregnancy

You’ve gotten pregnant… now what? Was it what you expected? Do you feel surprised by how you are coping? Many experience difficulty with hormone balance, emotions, and self-image. Women may find they feel lonely, uncertain and anxious about what is to come.

Struggling with Fertility

Every woman’s body is unique and will respond differently when she is trying to get pregnant. For many, becoming pregnant can be met with unforeseen obstacles and can be emotionally painful. Infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant can cause emotional trauma and strain relationships.

In dealing with pregnancy or fertility challenges, you may experience some of the following feelings and behaviors:

  • Anger or rage
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Arguing with loved ones
  • Helplessness or hopelessness
  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness
  • Sadness or grief
  • Fear of the future (birth, parenthood, etc.)
  • Struggles with identity
  • Disappointment
  • Difficulty with eating or sleeping
  • Weight loss or gain

Our Work Together

I understand the complex emotions associated with becoming pregnant, and offer a safe space to talk about your personal experience so you can find peace of mind and acceptance. Talking to someone about your concerns, fears, and struggles can help to alleviate some of the pressure and help you reconnect with your body.

Caring for Maternal Mental Health

The reality of becoming a parent can look dramatically different from what you may have expected. Perhaps you have been imagining what parenthood would look like since you were a young child, or perhaps it feels like a sudden surprise. Either way, this transition causes significant changes to your self-image, lifestyle, and feelings towards sexuality and relationships. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men experience postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD.

Postpartum parents may experience some of the following feelings and behaviors:

  • Feelings of disappointment, or the feeling that “this isn’t what I thought it would be like”
  • Helplessness or hopelessness
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Obsessive and compulsive thoughts and anxious feelings
  • Difficulty eating and sleeping
  • Exhaustion
  • Rage or anger
  • Numbnes or lack of emotion
  • Confusion
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Fear of leaving your baby in the care of others
  • Fear of harming the baby
  • Relationship conflict

Our Work Together

In therapy, we will explore these feelings and help you to create your own emotional toolbox to manage challenging situations and heal. You are not alone, and these feelings are temporary. Together we will develop skills to empower you to feel like a capable and confident parent.

Working on Relationships

Significant life transitions can cause different reactions for partners, and can result in increased arguing, agitation and a decline in emotional and physical intimacy. Many new parents ignore relationship issues, assuming “things will work themselves out on their own,” and continue to suffer in silence.

Working together with your partner to find common ground and mutual understanding can be incredibly empowering and strengthen a relationship. Taking time to check in with each other – especially when struggling with new parenthood – is very valuable to the longevity of a relationship.

Couples experiencing transitions, may experience some of the following feelings and behaviors:

  • Increased fighting or disagreements
  • Decreased sexual intimacy or interest in intimacy
  • Loneliness
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Questioning the future of the relationship
  • Feeling trapped

Our Work Together

Counseling offers a safe space to explore your relationship and collaborate to find ways to rekindle the love and support you have for one another. One of the approaches we may choose to pursue is the Gottman Method, which is founded on communication skill development, conflict-management, and improvement in intimacy long-term. The method was developed by Doctors John and Julie Gottman after they completed over 100 research studies on couples’ communication patterns and relationship quality. 85% of couples who practice it find that it increases their intimacy and overall relationship satisfaction, and it may be a method you too wish to explore.

© 2019, My Encinitas Therapist - Elana Zagorsky, LCSW #73040