Susan Mustafina, LPC

by Susan Mustafina, LPC

“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again” Buddha
I have never heard of anyone having a smooth and uninteresting life. Life, for as long as you are living it, is full of change, transitions, tragedies and joy. How we handle these transitions can determine our future. Though we may handle some transitions smoothly, we may not be able to handle other transitions without some perspective and support. I love working with people in transition. With every transition, whether positive or negative, we have a chance to improve ourselves.
Some people ask me, “How can a positive transition, such as a new job, or getting married go wrong?” All change is hard. Making more money may mean more conflict in the household over where the new money goes, or the new job may take up more of your time, leaving your family without the time they were used to having with you. A new marriage leads to many changes and compromises, especially in the first couple of years. We lose some independence as a married person, but we gain support and a lifelong ally in our battles. Transitions in marriage include everything from finances, sex, children, extended family, sickness and even what is for dinner (i.e. who is going to cook it, shop for it, and clean up after it.)
There are other transitions in life. Death, injury, trauma, loss of employment, divorce, and sickness are all things we can face in our lives. These transitions are hard in a different way because no one volunteers for these transitions, they are just a part of life. Having support through these transitions can help an individual through the situation and discover a “New Normal” on the other side.
Finding a “New Normal” is a part of all transitions, because who we are changes, at least a little, with every new experience. We cannot go back to being a child once we have grown up, we cannot continue to rely on those who have passed, we cannot renew our abilities when we start the decline of old age and we cannot remain isolated when we have a family. Yet we can find and accept a new way of life that fits our current situation.
I do love working with people in transition. It is like watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. When a young person becomes a functioning adult, when a married couple learn to compromise and establish healthy boundaries, when adults learn to function better with their disabilities and losses I know I am watching the miracle of human determination and adaptability. I am often humbled by my clients’ determination and bravery in not only taking on these challenges, but for asking for help.
Whatever you may be facing in your life, know that help is not too far away for those who are ready to change for the better.