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Adults at Mid-Life or “Middlescence”
Both adolescence and mid-life are times for exploration. Teens and “middlescent” adults re-evaluate their ideals, beliefs and behaviors. While adolescents turn from the values of their parents to their own and their peers’, adults at mid-life turn from the roles they performed in their “first adulthood” (i.e. pleasing others to seek rewards at home and at work) to exploring the parts of themselves that still desire expression. Thanks to advancements in health and technology, Baby Boomers are living longer. They are therefore in the unique position of experiencing not just one adulthood, but two!
”Having satisfied the requirements of First Adulthood, now what? Surprise! Look at all the time left. Today there is not only life after youth, but life after empty next. There is life after layoff and early retirement. There is life after menopause. There is life after widowhood. There is life after coronary. There is likely to be life after cancer. Another life to find a dream for, to plan for, to train for, to invest in, to anticipate now.” (Gail Sheehy, New Passages)
According to Sheehy adults reach mid-life in their mid-forties. They then travel through a passage called “middlescence” that brings them to their second adulthood. Within this second phase of development, adults seek meaning, fulfillment and spiritual growth over performance. Sheehy adds, “If we can stop trying so hard to produce, we might awaken to the playfulness parked back in preadolescence.” These are the years of possibilities…for the “harvest of life…of love, purpose, fun, sexual pleasure, spiritual companionship and sustained well-being.”
New questions arise to guide us through this passage. We wonder what the performance and production of the First Adulthood means, and what our purpose is from this point on; whether we like who we’ve become and whether we can still change; exploring new sources of love and ways to love; expressing our creativity, finding spiritual comfort, seeking a “real” sense of community; and finally, embracing and affirming our wisdom along with our age (Sheehy).
As someone who loves working with transformation, i.e. the process of creating possibilities then realizing them, and a proponent of living fully, I am uniquely inspired to guide you through your middlescence.
I can help you in the following ways: • Safe Exploration and Guidance during this Mid-Life Passage • Understanding of normal, mid-life development, and ways to shift from crisis to opportunity • Getting “unstuck” from prolonged, mid-life rebellion and moving forward • Working collaboratively with professional colleagues to help you create a cohesive life-plan (i.e. career, health, spirituality, community) • Working collaboratively with your personal community (i.e. family, friends, employer, church/temple, etc.) to increase support and planning during this time of change • Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills to reduce marital or family tension • Marriage Enrichment to increase feelings of closeness with your partner • Anger and Stress Management • Assessment and treatment of any pre-existing conditions (i.e. depression, anxiety, past trauma, bipolar disorder) • Resources to find meaning and live fully (for ideas, please visit www.ithrive.us) • Spirit of Camaraderie! We will work together to craft this next phase of your life, to help you find your passion and pursue it!