Counselling and therapy for mature couples and individuals

Couple in their sixties in an affectionate pose

by upper beaches psychotherapist Beth Mares

Midlife brings new challenges and new possibilities to our lives and relationships. I help mature people to meet challenges, make choices, and enjoy new opportunities.

Most of my mid-life and older clients have wanted to discuss one or more of the following, via individual psychotherapy, marital therapy or a combination:

Transitioning and rebalancing one's life: children leaving home, bereavement, retirement, divorce, adapting to health problems and physical changes--or to having more choices because you have "made it". Those who get stuck in a transition typically feel dissatisfied but unclear about what they want. If this continues long enough it can cause, depending on the person, depression, withdrawal, anxiety, sleep disturbance, a habit problem, relationship problems, or just seeming "not oneself". I help people to handle such symptoms and to get past them by getting unstuck.

Reviewing one's marriage after the children have grown up: This is often a time of renewal, as couples discuss interests, values, family, and plans for the future. Some couples have only related to each other around parenting and maintaining the home for years; some of these have stayed together for the children, and are deciding what to do next. Some go their separate ways; others find that they now have the time and energy to rebuild their marriage, have a lot more fun, and truly enjoy each other again.

Family issues--such as ageing parents who need help, and who may have unrealistic expectations; a son or daughter failing to fledge; or the intersection of time constraints, family politics, and the cottage.

Infidelity: In my experience this less likely to be an issue for a mature couple. However, some people are vulnerable to temptation when one or both partners have been so busy with their numerous obligations that they have not had the energy for maintaining a deep connexion. Also, if someone is having difficulty with a transition their malaise can result in poor choices. Most of the couples who have come to me bcause of infidelity successfully rebuilt their marriages. (See also my answers to two letters on infidelity.)

Many of my mature clients already know most of what I need to teach young people; I find the subtle and thought-provoking work both stimulating and satisfying.

Researchers agree: notwithstanding the cult of youth, for most people the years of maturity are the most rewarding. If you are missing out, let's talk.

Mature interracial gay couple arem-in-arm

Beth Mares Registered Psychotherapist (Ontario), an older psychotherapist with 30 years experience, has personally experienced transitions of the middle years and the years when many people retire.

 

Copyright © 2011 Beth Mares

Beth Mares Counselling