What is Schlossberg’s Transition Theory?

The transition framework based on Schlossberg’s theory is a model that helps to understand and manage the process of change or transition that individuals go through when they experience a significant life event.

The framework was developed by Nancy Schlossberg, a counselling psychologist and professor emerita at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues.

The transition framework is based on four key elements that influence the experience of a transition:

  1. Situation refers to the external event or circumstance that triggers the transition. It could be a positive event, such as a new job or a marriage, or a negative event, such as a divorce or losing a loved one.
  2. Self: This refers to the internal factors influencing how an individual experiences the transition. It includes their beliefs, values, personality, coping skills, and past experiences.
  3. Support refers to the resources and social networks an individual can draw on during the transition. It includes friends, family, colleagues, and professionals such as counsellors or therapists.
  4. Strategy: This refers to an individual’s actions to cope with the transition. It includes problem-solving, seeking information, and emotional regulation.

The transition framework emphasizes that individuals can actively manage their transitions by leveraging their strengths, seeking support, and adopting effective coping strategies. It also acknowledges that transitions can be challenging and require time, patience, and resilience.

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