I am thrilled to be joining Lindsey Hoskins & Associates the second week of August. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I have been helping families, couples, and individuals improve their relationships for over twelve years. I have a wide range of experience that I will be bringing to the practice, and I look forward to bringing my expertise to the Bethesda area! My bio will be coming soon with additional information about me. Starting a new job reminds me of the difficulties that change can bring. New homes, new jobs, new babies – loss of loved ones, an empty nest – these are all huge challenges for couples and families even if the change was desired. In reality, whether the change is welcome or not, transition often means saying difficult goodbyes, altering routines, and stepping out into the great unknown. In order to be prepared for change, make sure you have a support system around you that remains steadfast and supportive. Our families, our spouses, and our friends can be the constant in our lives when the rest of life seems uncertain. When they are not (or don’t seem to be) supportive, perhaps it is important to look closely at why and then work to strengthen your network! Could it be that you not asking for what you need? Many times it is our own difficulty in recognizing and expressing what we are going through that prevents a support system from “showing up.” Maybe they don’t even know how difficult the experience has been for you! In fact, so many people see a new job, a new house, a new baby as such a positive experience, they forget that these are some of the greatest stresses in life! In addition, not only should you let your support system know that you are overwhelmed or hurting, let them know what they can do to help you. I find that people often want to help but really don’t want to step on your toes or do/say the wrong thing. You also may have to give yourself permission to admit that the change has been difficult – many moms, for example, feel guilty for saying they are having a hard time adjusting to life with their newborn. Feeling alone or frustrated does not mean you love the baby any less; new babies completely change a family system as well as your identity as a person! Confide in partners, friends, family – many of them have experienced the same challenges but may also be ashamed to admit their frustrations. Could it be that someone is not responding to your requests for support? Again, look closely at why this might be happening. Perhaps your loved ones are struggling more than you know with the change. When an entire family or a couple is coping with change, many people find it difficult to reach out to others because they are experiencing their own pain, stress and frustrations. Come together as a couple or family unit and discuss how difficult the change has been (validate each other) and come up with a plan together to ease the adjustment process. Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that your loved one really just isn’t or can’t be there for you when you need them — despite your efforts. Couples and families can’t always figure out how to navigate change on their own and need to reach out for support. Asking for professional help is a brave and beneficial step to making a difficult transition turn out much better. I look forward to working with you, your spouse, and/or your family on issues like this and any other challenge that we all face during the journey of life! Lindsey Hoskins & Associates provides individual, couple, and family therapy services in downtown Bethesda, MD. Call us at (301) 200-5290 to schedule an appointment.