Unwanted Change: How to Find Your Footing When Life Knocks You Down

Posted By: on September 06, 2017

Life changes in an instant and this is something that many people undergoing therapy or counseling know all too well. The monumental impact of loss feels crippling. It’s hard to know what to do when life knocks you down.

Four Steps in Responding to a Crisis

According to Psychology Today author, Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. there are four steps in responding to a crisis. They are Acknowledge, Accept, Allow, and Adapt. To “move towards the future,” one must accept the circumstances that they face.

It’s often easier said than done for some people because individual results vary. Not everyone becomes resilient quickly. Believing that one can move forward with their life into a “new normal” helps promote healing.

Acknowledging Change

The first step is crucial. It involves acknowledging that change has taken place. It also requires a person to admit that life is now different because of the unwanted change that occurred.

Accepting Change

Once change is acknowledged, it’s time to accept it. No matter how small or large a crisis may be, it’s important for a person to know that life is different or will be different because of it.

Allowing Change

After change has been accepted, it’s now time to allow space to prepare for the change. Each person has their own way of handling a crisis. If grief is involved, there is no set amount of time to prepare for change.

Adapting to Change

Seeking support through therapy or counseling services often helps expedite this step. Being able to adapt to change is “where resilience is nourished and forward movement begins-however it may take shape,” says Degges-White. A person isn’t stuck in the story of the event that changed their life.

Instead, they’re able to make sense of the crisis and how it shaped their story. How a person responds to the event after it occurs is what the author states shapes and defines character.

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