John Souza, DMFT, and Mike Sullivan, LMHC recently presented at the Young Adult Transition Association (YATA) conference in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, speaking to the “Myth of Independence” within emerging adulthood and the need for relationship. After dispelling the common perception that young adults (and the rest of humankind really) are independent entities, and highlighting some of the shame and sense of failure that many emerging adults feel when they remain in-dependence with others, Dr. Souza focused on teaching attunement skills and empathy tools within a corrective relational experience. Dr. Souza and Mr. Sullivan identified strategies that Pacific Quest employs to create such experiences for emerging adults and their families.
The presentation was among many thought-provoking breakout sessions at the YATA conference, all focused on the challenges posing todays emerging adults, ages 18-29. Keynoting the event, Dr. Jeffery Arnett, set a positive tone for the conference. Despite the significant obstacles many emerging adults face today, Dr. Arnett’s research suggests a very high level of optimism. This was very welcome news, albeit, contrary to what many in the audience experience on a regular basis. Most conference attendees focus their careers on providing emerging adults with therapeutic services, helping them navigate the multitude of problems they are experiencing in their lives. The YATA conference continues to stimulate powerful conversations regarding the changing landscape for emerging adults.