Life Adjustment Difficulties

Throughout our lives, we are faced with changes. These changes may be considered positive, such as starting a new job or relationship, getting married, moving house, having a baby, retiring; or negative, such as losing a job, the end of a relationship, diagnosis of a medical illness or the death of a loved one. While many people expect to have difficulty adjusting to negative life changes, most don’t acknowledge that positive changes can also bring about psychological and emotional challenges. However, these are equally likely to occur and are considered by psychologist to be adjustment difficulties or disorders.

Adjustment difficulties can bring about a range of psychological challenges, with anxiety and mood problems being prevalent.


Treatment of adjustment difficulties or disorders will be dependent on the specific challenges being experienced by the individual. For example, if mood has been affected, we will work with clients to address any unhelpful thinking, and build activities into their (altered) lives to increase their energy and engagement. Treatment of adjustment difficulties with anxiety will similarly involve addressing worry and other unhelpful thinking, and helping clients gradually face aspects of their situation that they find challenging. Adjusting to a “new normal” after a significant change can be very difficult and often people will benefit from psychological support during this time.