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    Emerging Adults

    Your late teens and 20-something years! The decade of optimism, newfound independence, and freedom, right? As you prepare for college, career opportunities, and gainful employment, you’re excited for what’s ahead. You put so much pressure on yourself and everything seems so important. You visualize a fulfilling job and stable career, a happy relationship with a partner, moving towards marriage and family, perhaps…

    What if your life has suddenly become full of uncertainty and instability? What if your carefully laid-out plans or dreams are going off course? What if you were excited to go off to school but are having a challenging time adjusting to a novel environment? Or… you experienced living on your own but now have had to move back home with your parent(s) and it’s been an adjustment – for all?

    Psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD, coined the term “Emerging Adulthood” to define young people, ages 18-29. He identified five features of emerging adults:

    + Identity-exploration

    + Instability

    + Self-focus

    + Feeling in-between

    + Optimism

    Emerging adulthood is a complex time. It can be fun and full of adventure but also confusing and disheartening. Responsibilities increase. Romantic relationships and employment may be unstable. Reckless behavior is not uncommon. Socioeconomic and cultural background as well as ethnic minority status can contribute to additional challenges. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can arise when faced with the stress of changes or transition.

    I can offer you an empathetic and nonjudgmental relationship in which I support and encourage you in working through your questions of identity and self-exploration. I can assist you to become more aware of your emotional responses to disappointments, and to see that setbacks can be a time of self-reflection and growth. I taught at the college-level for many years and truly enjoy working with young adults. I would love to help.

    Arnett, J. J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from late teens through the twenties. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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