Are You Facing A Change?

Tips to make transitions easier

Volume CX, No. 9September, 2010

Cindy Green, LCSW

The office of the Musicians’ Assistance Program is your one-stop shop for musicians’ health. We offer counseling – both one-on-one and in groups – as well as information on all kinds of social services, including health insurance, food stamps and more. All services are free to Local 802 members. Contact us at (212) 245-4802, ext. 180 or

As the leaves start to fall and autumn is in the air, it makes us realize in our hearts that change is inevitable – even something as predictable as the change in seasons.

Change and transitions can be challenging. But we know that they can also be helpful, necessary and constructive.

This all sounds good and logical on paper, but when you find yourself facing change in your personal life, it can be complicated and intimidating.

A life as a professional musician can be filled with change – it is a part of our business.

This month, we’ll look at change, the difficulties it can present and how to manage it.

When our comfortable environment starts to shift, our established world view and everything that is familiar can get in the way of change.

For example, perhaps you have always worked as a studio musician but now the amount of work available has changed and you no longer have that security.

The loss of what is familiar is not necessarily a reflection on you or your abilities.

Suddenly not working as a studio musician does not represent failure.

The business changes and it becomes necessary to adapt.

Do not let an old routine stop you from securing other work that is available.

It’s important to periodically to explore within ourselves whether or not our thoughts are matching the reality of our personal and professional settings.

When going through change, thoughts such as “things will be different,” “I’m losing my way of thinking,” and “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” are common.

They are anxiety provoking to be sure but they are also not unusual.

Often individuals go through a grieving process while experiencing change.

This process is important and essential to moving in a strong new direction.

It’s hard to know how things will play out when we change a familiar aspect of our lives.

  • How will I cope with my sadness if I give up alcohol?
  • If I don’t have a cigarette, what will I do to calm down?

It can feel a bit out of control but that is because it is an unknown.

Remember, what is well-known to you now was, at one time, new.

Change generally happens after you’ve had an epiphany about your current situation.

When you deeply feel that you can no longer go down the road that you are now traveling, you are on your way towards change.

It takes courage to acknowledge fear and anxiety but becoming aware and taking ownership of your fear.

They can then become the motivation for change.

If you are ready to make a change, start by identifying the obstacles.

What is standing in the way of a new and necessary shift in your professional (or personal) life? This can be a layered and challenging process.

Psychotherapy can be an extremely useful tool in discovering some of these issues.

Once you understand your own processes, you can establish goals and begin the steps to take action.

When faced with a fork in the road, consider it carefully; try to keep old habits from informing your decision.

Be prepared, persistent and patient so you can stick with your plan and stay the course – not go back to where you started.

Keep aware of the payoff; why you’re bringing about this change.

With the desired results always in mind, it will be easier to follow the path to health change.

Bringing about change involves a challenge.

The hope of a healthier lifestyle can motivate someone to quit smoking, eat better, lose weight or stop drinking and drugging.

Financial strains and changes in the industry can trigger a search for alternative job opportunities or a career change.

Sadness, depression or general dissatisfaction can prompt people to leave unhealthy relationships and focus on building high-quality connections with others.

Whatever the case is for you, the MAP office is here to help.

For help considering changes in your life, please contact us at (212) 397-4802 or

We can take a look at your current situations, your obstacles and your options for change.

The MAP office can also offer you a referral to low cost therapy.

Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be devastating.

Some information in this article came from


The hours of the Musicians’ Assistance Program are reverting back to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’re eliminating the Tuesday hours.