“Nothing matters if I can’t get a girlfriend,” HF ASD Young Adult
Erik Erikson, with regard to his stages of psychosocial development, explained that when one life stage falters, the proceeding ones are all affected negatively. Experiencing the things typical teens have experienced isn’t just a nice thought; for young, neurodiverse adults who have missed out, it is everything.
Young adults with different brains often take longer to arrive at life’s milestones than their peers, but they are no less excited about their first job or getting their driver’s licenses. Missing those milestones is hard on developing atypical adults, and reaching them is key to sustainable independence. It’s not magic or earth shattering clinically, and yet every young adult we work with stagnates until we go back, pick up the pieces, and fill in the loss of their teen years. We will discuss how to have healthy “firsts:” romance, jobs, fun, friend groups, leadership, identity, ownership, etc. and why these experiences are so critical to effective, sustainable adulting. We will show that gaining evidence that they are enough through these experiences makes them able to move forward.
1. Gather awareness of how neurodiverse development occurs.
2. Learn what secondary issues arise for neurodiverse young adults due to primary diagnosis.
3. Discuss how to prepare an environment to provide fill in lost life experiences.
4. Hear ideas for adding avocation for critical growth.
While talking with young people about their college experience, you’re likely to spend lots of time hearing about being stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. That is normal—college is hard and there is an inherent vulnerability in learning that makes many people feel uncomfortable. Additionally, this normal stress can be exacerbated by mental health struggles. About 30% of undergraduate students live with some kind of mental health problem, complicating the transition, and most mental health issues begin at the same time of life as college, with 75% of mental health problems developing by the age of 24. In this workshop, we will explore the impact of the commonly discussed “mental health crisis” on college campuses and how that national dialogue may lead to improved on-campus supports, while also exacerbating the mental health stigma students experience in higher education. In addition, participants will learn the skills and good habits any student needs to successfully navigate the collegiate transition.
1. Participants will become familiar with the existing supports (and limitations) on college campuses, with the awareness that some are well-suited to support students in recovery and managing mental health conditions.
2. Participants will learn how to manage common fears students have when entering college with mental health problems, including tools to destigmatize the experience of living with a mental health problem in the context of the “mental health crisis on college campuses”.
3. Participants learn the skills and good habits any student needs for a successful adjustment to the collegiate environment.
Depression, anxiety, trauma and compassion fatigue are real issues that come with the intensity of working with young adults in crisis. The body stores stress and trauma below the level of cognition, in the nervous system, so it can feel difficult to treat and manage, both in our clients and in ourselves. Through somatic practices, mindful movement, clinically-informed aromatherapy and grounding meditations, we can start to inhabit our bodies in a different way. The more we know and connect with our bodies in this new way, the more capacity we have for ourselves and our clients, free of burnout, stress and the physiological impacts of trauma and everyday stressors. From this more healed and integrated state, we have increased resilience in our systems to hold space for the healing of others. This workshop is for clinicians, program directors, direct care staff and consultants whose clients (or they themselves) have been experiencing or have
experienced any of the following: tension in any areas of the body, digestive problems or recurring illnesses, anxiety or a sense of being overwhelmed by life, panic attacks, difficulties relaxing or getting or staying active, mild to strong irritability, difficulty connecting with others, moments or situations where you involuntarily “freeze”, difficulty sensing subtle sensation in your body, desire to self-medicate with food/alcohol, drugs, or other behaviors to feel better, low tone of voice, inability to speak up, and difficulty setting limits and saying no.
1. Explore somatic principles of movement, mindfulness, dyad, and personal work as we move deeper into our internal world, fostering deeper understanding of ourselves, and our young adult clients who are often distinctly disconnected from their bodies and internal compass.
2. Learn and practice tangible tools to soothe our nervous system, mind, and emotions in the face of vicarious trauma and stress for greater resilience, spaciousness and presence. Being able to do so directly impacts the sustainability of our careers and lives as healers and facilitators and also better equips us to support young adults through the same process.
3. Deepen understanding of how stress and trauma show up in our clients and in ourselves.
4. Expand the definition of trauma and therefore our lens and ability to treat the root causes of mental illness in today’s young adults even with the unique challenges they face.
The days of courtship are dwindling. From ‘hanging out,’ explorations of polyamory, open-relationships, and monogamy; Gen Z is shifting the relationship paradigm. Technology, media, and culture are impacting intimacy and identity development. This presentation is aimed to support providers in developing understanding and competency in how to support clients’ healthy and responsible sexual exploration in a shifting landscape. During this session, we will review how to integrate exploration of consent, boundaries, kink, sexual trauma, porn, gender development, online relationships, hook-up culture, and inclusive sexual education into transitional treatment through a holistic and person-centered approach. Participants will be able to: 1) Describe 5 aspects that impact sexual and identity development in the 21st Century; 2) Understand neurobiological implications; 3) Acquire strategies to improve holistic treatment practices.
1. Summarize how evolving trends with technology impact relationships with the 18+ year old.
2. Examine the challenges that young adult transition programs face when engaging with this topic.
3. Collaborate with the presenters and each other to identify treatment methods and program protocols for supporting 18+ year-olds in identity exploration.