Life Transitions Therapist in Thousand Oaks, CA

Call Laura Thomas, Ph.D. when you are facing major changes in your life. I am a licensed and compassionate life transitions therapist in Thousand Oaks, CA. My areas of specialization include helping people formulate coping strategies in order to re-establish their equilibrium in life.

One thing we know is that we can count on change occurring throughout our lives. Despite this well-known fact, we seem to spend our lives operating under the illusion that “we are in control.” Much of our energy is spent trying to prevent change from happening so that things stay the same. Thus, we find ourselves resisting the naturally occurring changes in life that we can't prevent, which only leads to our suffering.

When we learn to quit fighting life and to “go with the flow,” even though the changes may be unwelcome, our emotional health quickly improves. You are not alone when you’re confronting major life adjustments. As your therapist, I’ll guide and support you through your difficult time. With perseverance, you will come to experience a sense of peace in the midst of your personal storm. Together, we will develop individualized strategies for restoring serenity and contentment to your life.

Divorce

The ending of a marriage doesn't always feel like a new beginning. It can leave one dazed and confused, and even quite depressed. Many people who emerge from divorce feel powerless and victimized by their ex-spouse. Many ask themselves, "Why can't I stop feeling so angry?" or "Why is he so happy, while I am still miserable?"

You are not wrong in feeling any of your negative post-divorce feelings. I will help you to map out a plan for divorce recovery.

Job

Are you the person who is asking, "Why was I laid off? Doesn't loyalty count for anything anymore?"

As your life transitions therapist, I will counsel you on ways to adjust to your loss, readying you to search for a new job and to derive happiness even while you are unemployed.

Two sad diverse women talking at home

Teenage Girl

Health

A change in health from a chronic illness, especially from a terminal illness, is one of life's most difficult transitions. Let me help you learn to be peaceful in the midst of a major health challenge. You can't deny the situation, but you can change your perception of it and adjust positively to this new stage in your life.

Finances

A loss of finances is like having the rug pulled out from under you. How can a person learn to live in times of financial insecurity?

It is possible to learn from this hardship and flow with this unwanted change. You can learn specific strategies about how to view finances from a different perspective, and free yourself so you can move forward in life, regardless of your income level.

Home

Are you feeling lonely and depressed in a new city? Relocating and making a home in a new city can involve isolation and homesickness. As your therapist, I will help you make this life transition by suggesting effective ways to adjust to your new community and make friends. You can learn that you are stronger and more flexible than you had previously envisioned yourself.

Grief and Loss

The loss of a loved one is the primary causes of grief. Grief is normal and must be worked through naturally. Talk to me for assistance while working through this difficult process.

Caring For Aging Parents

More and more are going through this transition at a certain point, but very few people know exactly how to get through it. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me when you need a life transitions therapist to help you through this difficult time.

Boomerang Children

More adult children are moving back home with their parents. Sometimes this is the result of a divorce or maybe because of job loss. The boomerang adult child transition does not have to be permanent nor intensely stressful. I’ll help you in setting boundaries and encouraging your adult child’s independence.

Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents who suddenly must take charge of their grandchildren can feel resentment and anger. If you are in this position, please let me help you adjust.

STAGES IN OUR LIVES:

Adolescents

The teen and adolescent years are extremely difficult. Emotional and behavioral problems may surface during this stage in life. Today’s teens live in a fast-paced, increasingly demanding world. They are required to deal with pressure and stress that did not confront previous generations. Parents often struggle to understand their teen’s behavioral and emotional problems. But as a youth psychologist, I believe in working collaboratively with families and teens that are experiencing emotional or psychological distress. Together, we can achieve positive, healthy change.

Adolescents may be struggling with many concerns and problems in their day-to-day lives. While most experience ups and downs, some struggle with serious, long-term issues, such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Behavioral problems that may be manifested in the classroom or at home
  • Hyperactivity and/or problems paying attention
  • Shyness, withdrawal, or social anxiety
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth problems
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Separation anxiety

Additionally, many teens demonstrate signs of emotional or psychological distress when affected by the following stressors:

  • Boyfriends and Girlfriends
  • Divorce or separation of parents
  • Loss of a family member, friend, or pet
  • Moving to a new neighborhood or city
  • Pressure at school, whether academic or caused by bullies
  • Rejection by peers and classmates
  • Breakups
  • Illnesses and injuries

None of these issues are insurmountable. With guidance from a skilled professional, teens can overcome the problems that they are facing. It is essential to seek help for a teen who demonstrates signs of psychological or emotional distress. I am dedicated to improving the lives of troubled teens in your family.

Adolescents are under a lot of pressure as they are caught in the awkward phase that fills the gap between childhood and adulthood. The pressure of making decisions such as where to attend college, what classes to take in high school, and even learning to drive can all prompt anxiety. Turn to me when you need to consult with a youth psychologist who can help adolescents to develop proper coping mechanisms to overcome these stressors and adequately deal with their anxiety levels.

Education Students People Knowledge Concept

My approach combines traditional therapeutic methods with alternative techniques to help teens and young adults find balance and overcome their struggles. It is particularly important that teens and young adults learn coping methods that can help them in their daily lives. By working collaboratively with my clients, I am able to understand how they deal with stressors and can identify effective tactics to deal with stress.

In many ways, teens and young adults are ideal clients. Their minds are agile and are able to accept new challenges. Targeting psychological and emotional problems at the youngest age possible is key in preventing long-term emotional and psychological struggles. Teens and young adults who develop excellent coping skills can enjoy fruitful, fulfilling lives. They are able to confront challenges and adjust to new stages of life.

Young Adults

Today’s young adults entering the adult world for the first time are particularly vulnerable to depression and anxiety. They are under much stress to prove themselves for the first time as adults. They don’t want to fail either themselves or their family’s perceived expectations. Often, they may be afraid to ask their families for help, fearing either rejection or criticism. Today’s young adults are facing a highly competitive job market, a changing economic situation, unaffordable housing, and many internal fears of failure. Isolation from their friends and family make them particularly vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed and alone.

Helpful Suggestions for Parents

  • Stay in touch with your young adult child
  • Inquire as to their feelings
  • Be aware of any increase in isolation
  • Ask about feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Encourage them to speak with you and their friends freely
  • Convey that you believe in their abilities to find their own way in the world
  • Support their dreams

Anxiety is a common feeling that is often associated with stress, nervousness, and embarrassment. While many adults suffer from anxiety on a regular or casual basis, it is often a common condition among teens and young adults. Many teens and young adults do not realize what anxiety is and have trouble recognizing the triggers that prompt their stress. I work closely with teens and young adults to develop healthy coping strategies to overcome their anxiety before it becomes a lifelong problem.

Seniors

As baby boomers continue to age, the need for caring psychologists who work with seniors is ever expanding. Psychologists who offer elderly services are there to assist seniors in understanding, coping with, and accepting the health- and life-related issues which specifically occur due to aging.

Seniors can be particularly vulnerable to depression. Receiving a diagnosis of depression is difficult for anyone. A life transitions therapist who works with seniors can be of great benefit in assisting in the treatment and management of this diagnosis. Experiencing the many physical and mental changes which accompany aging can be traumatic. Seniors often experience the loss of a spouse or friends and reductions in their ability to care for themselves properly. Seeking my therapy services can be the start of positive change for seniors with depression.

Multi generation black family talking together

Nearly one-quarter of all people over the age of 65 will suffer from depression at some point. Emotional distress is a factor cited in more than half of all senior visits. Twenty percent of all suicides in the USA involve senior citizens. Having depression can contribute to an overall decline in health in any individual, but seniors are more susceptible due to the other changes they are experiencing in connection with the aging process. If left untreated, depression can linger or deepen. Family members often struggle to cope with multiple new responsibilities while trying to help an aging parent with their life stage adjustments. That’s why I offer my counseling services: to help seniors and their family live happier lives.

Contact Laura Thomas, Ph.D. to schedule your appointment. I provide a personalized approach to therapy for clients in Thousand Oaks, California.

Receive support during major adjustments in your life.
Call (805) 371-1825