Adolescence and Middle Adulthood

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Adolescence and Middle Adulthood The two stages I chose to review for importance are Adolescence (identity vs. role confusion) and Middle Adulthood (generativity vs. stagnation). As this seems to be the area which my current counseling is focused, and I admit I may be prejudiced for that reason, I see these as vital stages of development towards the practice of mental health counseling. Within many family units these two stages reside under the same roof. Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development define adolescence as a time when identity is the paramount goal, with a negative result being confusion for future adult role (Erford, 2010). Anxiety can play a major affect here as the individual dives into social relationships, engages in risky behavior, and has a strong drive to be accepted as a contributing member of society, in other words, what they have to say or do is important … so notice! Peers form a safe port at this stage, and being accepted and feeling like they belong can take precedence over family. Physical attributes become every so pronounced and important, emotional advancement (intimate relationships), and mastering autonomy the daily goal (Erford, 2010). Though they strive for independence, often times they will cave into wishes of peers for acceptance, which can lead to additional confusion and anxiety. As they reach this formal operational stage, when deductive logic becomes important, it is easy to a picture gymnast trying out the balance beam for the first time. This is a period with trial and error, and if the adolescent has had coaching with encouragement and positive reinforcement, the falls will be minor. The adolescent will gain balance and experience independence and freedom. Those who are not as sure-footed in their beliefs, desires, or who struggle with insecurities, may find they lack the confidence to try again. And, who do we
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