Dr Shelagh.com
Dr Shelagh Wright - Systemic and Family Psychotherapist and Family Mediator

I've Been Thinking - Dr Shelagh's Blog


A mid-life crisis is an emotional state of doubt and anxiety in which a person becomes uncomfortable with the realization that life is halfway over. It commonly involves reflection on what the individual has done with his or her life up to that point, often with feelings that not enough was accomplished. The individuals experiencing such may feel boredom with their lives, jobs, or their partners, and may feel a strong desire to make changes in these areas. The condition is also called the beginning of individuation, a process of self-actualization that continues on to death. The condition is most common ranging from the ages of 35-45, and affects men and women differently. During middle-age, many changing factors can affect personality development. These factors include:

When experiencing stress it is never a good time to make major changes in life. It is at times like these that talking through your feelings and dissatisfactions with a qualified professional can help work out what is actually needed to help a feeling of greater satisfaction with life develop. By doing this then any changes that are made can be done with the confidence that these changes are the ones that need to be made.


Our experiences are what go into making us who we are and the meaning that we apply to our experiences can determine how easily we negotiate our lives. One Greek philosopher claimed it was not ‘things' that caused us problems but the way we think about them.

When we have difficulties in our lives we tend to view all things quite negatively and ‘block out' the positive feedback that we get consistently from those around us. This can exacerbate our negative view at any specific point in our lives.

Talking to someone not emotionally involved in your life can help to put the difficulties into perspective and build on the positives you have using your own strengths and resources.


Below are some ideas about the term 'experience' generally with some ideas for further reading.

Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event. The history of the word experience aligns it closely with the concept of experiment.

The concept of experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge. Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience 'empirical knowledge' or 'a posteriori knowledge'.

A person with considerable experience in a certain field can gain a reputation as an expert.

Types Of Experience

The word 'experience' may refer (somewhat ambiguously) both to mentally unprocessed immediately-perceived events as well as to the purported wisdom gained in subsequent reflection on those events or interpretation of them.

Most wisdom-experience accumulates over a period of time, though one can also experience (and gain general wisdom-experience from) a single specific momentary event.

One may also differentiate between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience(s).

Immediacy Of Experience

Someone able to recount an event they witnessed or took part has 'first-hand experience'. First-hand experience of the 'you had to be there' variety can seem especially valuable and privileged, but it often remains potentially subject to errors in sense-perception and in personal interpretation.

Second-hand experience can offer richer resources: recorded and/or summarised from first-hand observers or experiencers or from instruments and potentially expressing multiple points of view.

Third-hand experience, based on indirect and possibly unreliable rumour or hearsay, can potentially stray perilously close to blind honoring of authority.


'Only the foolish learn from experience — the wise learn from the experience of others.' — Attributed to Romanian folk wisdom by Rolf Hochhuth

'Experience is just what old fools call their mistakes.' - Author Unknown.