Midlife crisis is among the most argued issues in the aspect of psychology. Research has been scarce despite its widespread popularity. A lot of researchers dispute that there is no such thing as a midlife crisis, as it merely exists in certain cultures. Others claim that it is very real, and while it is a time of the not-so-good experiences, it is also an opportunity to grow and review one’s goals in life.
Individuals who are said to be suffering from a midlife crisis can find relief in therapy. The therapist can help effectively resolve their trauma, protect themselves from the challenges of a new relationship, create a plan, and finding purpose while aging gracefully. The right therapist can also mediate with certain issues, including healing from infidelity and tackling with a career change. Honestly, “The benefits of therapy are vast, including having an objective perspective on happenings in your life, a sounding board for you to talk through options before taking action, a place where you can deepen self-awareness, access resources to support your growth and personal development, and much more.” Robin D. Stone, LMHC explained.
Getting Help For Someone With Midlife Crisis
Most people who are suffering from a midlife crisis are having difficulty admitting to themselves that they do have a crisis – or even to be aging! It seems that growing old and losing their youth are among the major causes. Being aware of the warning signs of a midlife crisis can lead an individual to find help.
Midlife crisis varies from individual to individual, but some of the most common signs are anxiety especially about the future, envy towards the young, loss of purpose, insecurity, and a depression every birthday as he or she gets a year older.
Undergoing psychotherapy during one of your most depressing moments allows you to go through your midlife phase with more awareness, armed with more knowledge about where you are. “Good psychotherapy is an amazing tool because a skilled therapist can help you discover and learn things that will help you lead a happier, healthier life,” says Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC. With the psychotherapist’s guidance, the person can effectively resolve the issues that he may not have been able to verbalize to others. He will learn the ability to confront his fears appropriately and in a way that doesn’t affect him negatively.
Types of Therapies For Midlife Crisis
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. For most of those who have a midlife crisis, their view of aging is unpleasant and unhealthy. CBT can help these people grasp an understanding of their emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. He, with the assistance of the therapist, will be able to identify the negative thoughts that are stopping him from being happy and replace these thoughts with positive ones.
- Trauma-Focused Therapy. Those who are dealing with traumas in the past or present may well benefit from going through trauma-focused therapy. The process involves opening up to the therapist about their suppressed emotions and working with the therapist to face these emotions and deal with them without breaking down.
- Family Therapy. When a person with a midlife crisis also suffers from severe depression, the whole family is affected. The parents may become negligent of their obligations with their children. Their children’s behavior while growing up, on the other hand, won’t be corrected, and they might go on with their lives not knowing what is right from wrong. Families can better handle their differences by talking it out with a counselor and striving to make their family dynamics work for their good. “The goal of family therapy is to help family members improve communication, solve family problems, understand and handle special family situations, and create a better functioning home environment. ” Dave Kaplowitz, LMFT, CGP emphasizes.
My Loved One Has Midlife Crisis
If someone you love is suffering from the crisis, you know that sooner or later, his family and significant others will suffer too. And ultimately, his marriage may be severely damaged. Here are some effective tips to help a loved one who has a midlife crisis.
- Listen to your loved one without judgment. Allow them to express how they feel and remember that you can’t fix these feelings. They are only to be understood.
- If he is not ready to go to counseling alone, accompany him.
- If he doesn’t want to be asked about the situation, then give him enough space for himself. Just be there when you are needed.
- Encourage him to go through individual therapy. This is one of the best ways to help him recognize his weaknesses as well as his strengths as a person who can age gracefully and with purpose in his life.