by Elliott Kronenfeld

I play many roles in my life.  Partner, father, therapist, teacher, business owner to name a few.  These roles keep me very busy and I often feel the crushing weight of responsibility on me.  Normally I manage it well and focus on meaningful self-care and attachment to positive people (just as I tell my patients to do!).  I am intentional and mindful of what I need to do to ensure that I am meeting the many requirements that are put on me.

However, I have become acutely aware of late that I am feeling the pain of growing in all these sectors of my life.  As a father, my children are growing and becoming more independent.  They don’t need me in the same way and I have to learn to take a more hands off approach as they learn to take on more responsibility for their being.  I don’t want to do that.  It is painful. As a partner, I am aware that my relationship becomes more complicated as we take on greater responsibility for the future, retirement, aging parents, children that are preparing to launch.  We must learn to be different partners as our life changes.  This growth is often painful.  As a therapist and business owner, it is my responsibility to ensure that I am balancing the therapeutic and business aspects of my job.  Growing the practice to support the therapists and staff that work here, while maintaining a meaningful culture and desirable work place that translates into a desirable place for patients to come for comfort and insight is quite the balancing act.  Growing in this way is painful.  It is a lot to manage.  It is a lot to comprehend.  It is a lot of emotion and sometimes it just feels like too much.

I often find myself wanting the growing pains to go away, to just experience relaxation and respite.  This is when I have to remember to sit back and acknowledge that growth, while painful, is about transition.  The pain I feel during times of growth will not last forever.  It only lasts for a short period of time before things normalize again.  Remembering that change has a time-frame is helpful for me to stay focused and see things through to the end.  When I get to the end, I allow myself time to wallow in the glow of accomplishment, learning and insight that gained from the work.

What are the areas of growth where you feel the most pain?  Is it your work? Is it your relationship? Is it your own identity as a person?  Being able to identify the areas of growth that you desire…and the accompanying growing pain is important in being able to manage and be successful.

If you are facing growing pains, contact Elliott at

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