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When mid-life (ages 40 to 60) meets up with changes and losses, including health challenges, retirement and unexpected responsibilities for adult children, grandchildren or aging parents, things can begin to unravel. This is true for women and men, though each gender tends to react to different stimuli.

Healing assisted by an Applied Symbiosis. My coaching practice is structured to share focus between three groups, each offering the possibilities for symbiotic interconnectedness: women, equestrians and veterinarians. In getting to know me professionally, and through my blogs, it is likely that you will recognize not only individual focus with these three groups, but also threads that run through them and land serendipitously in a place of underlying serenity and improved wellness.

At a certain point during mid-life, many women begin to feel invisible.

At mid-life, there is a phenomenon widely described as a “crisis,” though in real terms some of us may stop short of slapping on such a dramatic label to this life stage, opting instead for a gentler description of the period. Certainly, to people engaged in the throes of the thornier aspects of middle age, The Mid-Life Challenges may be a more palatable description. Either way, this period is surely the most well-known concept describing middle adulthood. Fairly or unfairly, Dr. Alexandra Freund of the University of Zurich Psychologisches Institut, wrote of the stereotypical male reaction to this stage of life in the journal, Gerentology (August, 2009):

Men – Mid-Life Reaction

Facing the limitation of the time until death, men in particular are believed to pause from actively pursuing their goals and review their achievements, taking stock of what they have and have not yet accomplished, at times taking drastic measures to fulfill their dreams.”

The above summary harkens to the classic allegory of the middle-aged man with a new sports car or a new, younger romantic partner.

While some men during mid-life may feel trapped in their lifestyle, women are more likely to respond to experience challenges during times of transition, such as during a relationship or hormonal change of life.

Dr. Susan Albers, PsyD, of the Cleveland Clinic relates:

Women – Mid-Life Reaction

As women enter menopause, estrogen and progesterone decrease and cause physiological changes, including fluctuations in sleep, mood and sex drive. Hormone disruption and the resulting feelings can make a woman tune in to herself, and because women are usually tending to everyone else’s feelings and needs, this self-reflection can be eye-opening.”

She continues:

“As mothers, they may be more visible in the community or have a stronger connection with their kids. But then their children start needing them less. And when women are no longer giving all their attention to their kids, they have time to reflect on their own needs and how those needs aren’t being fulfilled.”

Dr. Albers states that at this point women may start to feel more invisible in society. This feeling can occur when women experience the loss of a parent or a change in their career.

“Many of my coaching clients seek interactions with horses because we feel peace, serenity and relief around them.” – Donna Carlson

Methods toward healing.

Using coaching exercises through multi-modalities encompassing meditation, self-discovery, nutrition sessions and hormone balancing (including a 30-day detox and menu planning that make sense for you,) stress-reduction techniques, finding and creating your dreams and true happiness, and even invoking the healing magic through equine gestalt support (and, yes your horse can help with this), I am committed to bringing my clients through difficulties created at most any stage of their adult lives.

Where most of my new clients stand right now, I can most likely assure that I have also been there. So, the therapeutic techniques I employ in my work are not merely theoretical, they are genuine passages through which I have come, and it is on that strength that I give the assurance of true empathy and compassion.

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