Peer responses: Developmentally challenges in Middle adulthood

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Peer Response one K.M

The Crane Family

 Carol Crane is now 45 years old and has come in due to a court order for counseling. Carol has gotten two DUIs and doesn’t seem to think she has a problem. Although Carol only leaves her house when she is going to a bar. Carols children are both out of the house and Carol has been unable to hold down a romantic relationship. Furthermore, Carol was unable to fulfil her dreams as a youth and be a writer. 

Counseling Goals 

 It seems as though Carol’s psychological well-being is at stake. Scientists have discussed six elements that is necessary for an individual’s psychological well-being, these are: “autonomy, personal growth, self-acceptance, life purpose, mastery, and positive relatedness” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  Working with Carol, it will be important to help her gain resiliency through helping her integrate her self-representations (Diehl & Hays, 2010). This will help her to become more self-accepting. Furthermore, it seems as though Carol is facing an empty-nest (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Henning (2011), discusses enantiodromia; the presence of gains and losses simultaneously. During the losses that an individual experience, they lose the sense of self as well as the life that they had grown around that self (Henning, 2011). For Carol to grow she needs to learn how to leave her old self and embrace the new self that has grown around the losses of the old (Henning, 2011). Carol seems to have brought up a multitude of losses that she is and has experienced such as failures of romantic relationships, giving up her dream as a writer and having both of her kids out of the house. AT this point, it is important for Carol to embrace living alone again and being able to do things because she wants to. Therefore, another counseling goal will be to work on Carol embracing the new self.  

Counseling Interventions 

 It seems as though Carol has not embraced the new self’s that she has had to create well and will be needing help to gain a sense of purpose and resiliency in order for her to move forward. Therefore, I want to help Carol work through the developmental dilemmas that are unresolved from her past with her (Henning, 2011). This way she is able to work through them and learn from the past and help to be able to grow into the person that is trying to be created, this will mean that Carol and I will need to understand the specific stage of development, identify the dilemmas from the past and work through the dilemmas in a way that meets present and past requirements (Henning, 2011). 

 Another counseling intervention I would like to try with Carol is mindfulness through meditation. It seems as though Carol may be worrying about her children as she is dealing with the empty-nest syndrome and other past issues worrying her it is important to help her lower those stressors so that she is able to react differently to stressful scenarios. It is clear that the empty-nest is upsetting to her, furthermore, she brought up not accomplishing a past dream of being a writer. By practicing meditation with Carol, she will be able to clear her mind and be present in the moment (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). This is important as Carol seems to live in the past a lot. This will help Carol be able to reduce stress and be able to integrate her self-representations as we move further into counseling 

Summary 

 Overall, I think Carol has unresolved issues from her past that have made it hard for her to move on from. It seems as though Carols children for the most part kept her busy and able to focus on daily life. However, with having no children in the home anymore, Carol seems to be stressing about her own identity. This is evident through Carol bringing up her dream of being a writer. Furthermore, the losses that Carol experienced at a younger age were not fully worked through so that she could come to terms with the losses and gain something from the losses. This has helped her to create a grouped self-representations  system. Therefore, working through past losses with Carol and Mindfulness through mediation should help Carol to integrate self-representations and create a better cohesive view of herself and help her reduce stress so that she is able to work through the past issues and accept her new identity. 

Reference 

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping       professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Diehl, M., & Hay, E. L. (2010). Risk and resilience factors in coping with daily stress in   adulthood: The role of age, self-concept incoherence, and personal    control. Developmental Psychology, 46(5),1132–1146.Retrieved from the Walden            Library databases

Henning, P. B. (2011). Disequilibrium, development, and resilience through adult life. Systems    Research and Behavioral Science, 28(5),443–454.] Retrieved from the Walden Library      databases.

Peer Response two T.H

 Main Discussion Post: Reeves Family

Lucas Reeves

Lucas is 41 years old and a single father of three children. Lucas has come to counseling because over the past few years; his attention has been directed towards his children. This attention has resulted in Lucas putting his career aspirations on hold for his children, and now that the children are a bit older, Lucas has started to feel lonely, unsuccessful, and lost. Lucas explains that his friends are further ahead of him financially and because of this, he is unable to participate in recreational events due to his financial limits. Lucas seems to be unsatisfied with where he is in life, and his present situation is drastically different from the life he envisioned for himself.

Two developmental challenges associated with Lucas

Middle adulthood is a time where adults reevaluation their lives regarding their expected goals, legacy, fulfillment, and support. Lucas seems to be struggling to go through a period of regulation of loss. Much of Lucas’s life has not been meeting his needs and expectations he had for himself, and because he had to adapt to the change of his circumstances (being a single father of three), he is finding the acceptance of the losses difficult, thus resulting in distress and dissatisfaction (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Lucas explained how his financial obligations are occupied by his daughter who has fetal alcohol syndrome and putting his children first. Lucas may never be able to reach the level of success that his closest friends have achieved. For Lucas to find contentment, he would need to try and adjust his expectations and accept lower levels of functioning (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

Another developmental challenge occurring in Lucas’s case is Erikson’s theory of self-concept. Lucas’s stage of development is categorized by generativity vs. stagnation which is the primary focus of concern in middle adulthood (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Many areas of Lucas’s life compromise the security of this stage in Erikson’s theory. Adults often reevaluation and reflect on the imitate relationships they have, the legacy they have built, and the meaning their life brings to them which all bring fulfillment that contributes to a person’s identity and self-concept. Adulthood comes with many challenges all on its own, and to complete one’s life structure, adults have to address issues as arise to develop further. Depending on the challenge that occurs, how a person handles the issues determine whether some of the “aspects of oneself are lived out; or other aspects are inhibited or neglected’ (Henning, 2011, p. 1). Due to the many unfortunate circumstances that have occurred in Lucas’s life, he has had to raise three children independently which has caused him to sacrifice many aspects of himself that are now robbing him of a satisfying and fulfilling life and thus resulting in an undesirable identity and self-concept.

Two potential counseling goals and interventions

Potential counseling goals that would benefit Lucas and improve his quality of life are goals that focus on meeting his needs. Much of his dissatisfaction stems from the self-sacrifice he has made for the betterment of his children and his neglect for self-care has cost him a tremendous amount in his professional and personal life. Helping him answer the questions of how to improve his life and what steps to take may alleviate some fear and doubt he may have (Laureate Education, 2013h). One goal in helping Lucas may to improve his self-concept and find meaning in life by integrating personal goals that help him to advance in life (Laureate Education, 2013h). One particular goal may be to address his concerns professional by brainstorming ways in which to advance. Helping Lucas run through scenarios and what they may look like and feel to him could elicit hope that will drive him to take the step in the direction that provides him purpose. Some goals could be going back to school, taking on my work responsibility, or fundraise for a new project.

Another goal for counseling could be to increase personal control as a resilience factor to stress. Studies show that personal control is positively correlated to adjustment and well-being (Diehl & Hay, 2010). Considering the abundance of obligations, Lucas has, and the amount of distress he is experiencing, establishing personal control and healthy ways to implement personal control into his life may drastically improve his quality of life and physical and mental well-being. Healthier control will also contribute to a greater and more positive self-concept which may have a reciprocal effect on other domains of his life. 

Summary

Adulthood is undoubtedly marked by tremendous development challenges. A complete and holistic understanding of adult theories and developmental changes can improve case conceptualization when working with clients struggling with various issues that accompany adulthood. With greater knowledge comes greater and more effective approaches that will prove to be beneficial for clients in this stage of development.

References:

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Diehl, M., & Hay, E. L. (2010). Risk and resilience factors in coping with daily stress in adulthood: The role of age, self-concept incoherence, and personal control. Developmental Psychology, 46(5),1132–1146.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Henning, P. B. (2011). Disequilibrium, development, and resilience through adult life. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 28(5),443–454.Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013h). Perspectives: Middle adulthood [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu 

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