The Big Move

Someone called my attention to a recent New York Times article about the concept of relocation therapy. It seems more and more people who experience a major life change, such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, are deciding to move to different neighborhood or another part of the country as a way of coping and to get a fresh start.

I think it’s an interesting topic because at one time or another most people have probably felt the urge to pack up their belongings and make a new home somewhere else. Place is important for our sense of wellbeing and where we live can influence how we feel.

Window with Lace Curtains. Photo by Francis DiClemente.

At the same time, I’ve discovered—in the process of moving several times—that you can’t outrun yourself and your problems follow you wherever you go.

Ken Torrino, a web relations specialist for Elliman, brokers for New York City real estate, shares some information about RT:

What is Relocation Therapy and How Can It Help?

You might have heard the term relocation therapy being tossed around, but what does it really mean? It’s a concept that seems contradictory to most people. The contradiction lies in the fact that moving is considered one of the stressful events of a person’s life. Therapists suggest relocation for overcoming a stressful event such as job loss, a loss in the family, a mid-life crisis or a divorce. While adding the stress of moving to another life stressor seems to be counterintuitive, it may be effective. Here are some reasons why relocation therapy works.

It Offers a Chance to Start Over

Starting over after a divorce, job loss, or a death in the family can be easier in a new location. There are fewer reminders of the person or job you are mourning, and thus, it may be easier to heal. Even if you are just going through a mid-life crisis, moving can help you establish a new identity in a new location. You can buy a new car, a new house, and a new wardrobe. You can even find new friends. This could give you a more youthful feeling and help you get over your mid-life crisis.

Better Networking Opportunities

There are often better networking opportunities in other locations. When the networking circles are fresh, you can try a new and more effective approach that may not work in social circles that are already familiar with you and your style. A change of scenery may help you meet more people for work or for other tasks in your life that you are trying to complete. Moving to a high volume city could maximize your potential to get more job leads and interviews.

A New Home  

A new home can prevent you from mourning or crying every time you look at a room or a common place that you and a deceased loved one shared or that you and a former mate shared. This may help the healing process go faster and easier. Experts, however, do not recommend this strategy until one year after a major split or the loss of a loved one.

If you are finding yourself in a rut or simply down in life, relocation therapy has been proven to be effective. Speak to your therapist to learn more about the concept.

Follow-Up Questions

Why is relocation therapy gaining popularity? Is the rising interest tied in any way to the growth of technology?

The reason that relocation therapy is gaining so much popularity is because it is now, more than ever before, easier to pack up and move to another city. The opportunities and options are endless throughout the world.

The growth of technology has absolutely tied into the rising growth. In a simple Google search those that are interested can find a number of communities and areas, along with job opportunities, that will make a transition in a new city extremely simple.

Are we seeing this trend played out across the U.S., in small towns and cities, or just in major metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles?

While this trend can certainly be seen throughout cities and towns both small and large, it seems as though the most popular options are large cities. The reason behind this trend seems to be the endless amount of possibilities and activities that lie within a larger city.

What are some things people should think about before they decide to go through with a move like this?

The most important thing that readers need to know before making a move like this is that it will not instantly eliminate the pain. Whatever your reason that caused the move, it will always lie within you. Relocation therapy is a solution to block out these painful feelings and memories and help you to move on from these sorrows but not eliminate them altogether. For this reason, it is very important to consider your options heavily before you pack up and make a life-changing decision such as this.

Thanks Ken. I would be interested in hearing any stories from people who may have moved after a life-changing event. Did it work out for you? Were you happier before or after the move?