You’ve probably heard the term “identity crisis.” You might even wonder if you’re having one. But you can be experiencing issues with your identity, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a crisis. Identity challenges of all types can benefit from psychotherapy.
Identity—who you are, your sense of self, how you understand yourself as a human being and how others understand you—is composed of many elements. Some traits, such as skin colour, are determined genetically. Some, such as gender, are assigned at birth. Some are tied into privilege or disadvantage. Many traits are imposed by the family, the culture, the country you are born into or grow up in: language, religion, values, beliefs, etc. Still others are the result of lifestyle choices and experiences you may or may not control. All these things and more, in combination, create each person’s unique identity.
Although it may not always seem like it, most aspects of identity are actually not static or fixed; they can be fluid, they can change, and they can be responsive to your circumstances. They often intersect in complex ways. And if you are not happy with your identity, there is a lot you can do about that, and I can support you.
Developing your identity is a crucial task in becoming a mature and integrated individual. Without a secure and authentic sense of self, you could struggle with anxiety, insecurity, confusion, or depression. You may find it difficult to develop, communicate, and maintain healthy boundaries for yourself, or to form safe, supportive relationships. You could find you are more susceptible to substance abuse, exploitation, or hopelessness.
Even when you have established a strong sense of your own identity, life events can sometimes undermine you…experiences like divorce, estrangement, trauma , becoming a parent, losing a loved one, terminal illness, disability, job loss, moving, or major life transitions, can commonly affect identity. You can end up feeling disconnected from yourself.
There is frequently overlap between identity issues and various forms of mental health problems, including bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, codependence, and depression. These conditions can contribute to a distorted sense of identity.
Psychotherapy can be incredibly helpful when life challenges your stability and sense of self. I offer you a safe space—a sanctuary—to explore who you are, to support your concerns with compassion and insight, and help you figure out who you want to be and how to become that person.
I enjoy working with clients who are having identity concerns or identity crises. If you are struggling, I can help you develop—or recover—a secure, integrated, and authentic sense of self. If this information about identity challenges resonates for you, please contact me today for a free, confidential 20-minute video or phone consultation. Don’t wait any longer to start feeling better.
Copyright 2022 Deborah Birkett