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  • Writer's pictureGretchen Seefried

The Turbulent Twenties

Although most of my practice is focused on children and teens, I also like working with people in their twenties. I think this age gets short shrift too much of the time. Think about how much happens during this decade. Even during my era, when there was no internet, no cell phones, and no GPS... between the ages of 19 and 29: I lived in six different states; worked at 10 different jobs; attended two colleges and one grad school; had a string of best friends; got fired once; took and passed a lie detector test; lived with nine different roommates; lost my favorite grandfather; had one apartment broken into and the next one rat-infested; fell in love twice; drove across half the country by myself; got married; had surgery... then a C-Section... then a VBAC; became a homeowner; bought, named and sold three cars (one of them wheedled for a not-bad price from a former boyfriend who I didn’t really like very much); and traveled to four different countries after having never left the states before. Whew, that’s a lot, and doesn’t even count all the little daily things ~like handing out resumes outside Rockefeller Center, seeing my first Off-Broadway and first On-Broadway shows, taking the GMATs, going on my first overnight business trip, paying rent and filing taxes on my own, getting introduced to Indian food, and running over a bunny on the way to my engagement party.

Now with two kids newly out of their twenties, three more in the midst of them, and a plethora of nephews, nieces, and kids’ friends in my life, I feel a deep compassion for twenty-somethings. During this defining much happens! And, so much is expected, by them, and of them.

Some of these kids came of age just as the world was beginning to recover from the ravages of 2008. The others just as the world began shutting down in the face of this pandemic. When I hear people my age, and older, lamenting the attitude of Millennials and members of Gen Z, I kind of want to shake them. Obviously every generation has its challenges, but I think a little validation and empathy go a much longer way than comparing or shaming. Not only are their brains still in the process of putting those final puzzle pieces in place, but they are trying to do it in between earthquakes that we had a hand in creating.

The young adults I work with are figuring out who they are, and what their future looks like, in a world that feels increasingly hostile, vulnerable, and precarious, all at the same time. There are lots of big things we can’t change for these young adults, many of whom are, or will be, raising the next generation. One thing that I am trying to change, however, is their access to curious, nonjudgmental, supportive mental health support. I have the same message for my twenty-somethings as for my school-age kids: I’m here, I see you, I understand, I care.

I wanted to focus on this population today, but also have some news for parents of younger kids. I’m excited to announce I recently began partnering with Kristen Sandine LPC, RPT and Courageous Counseling Colorado to bring play therapy to clients not just in the Denver Metro area, but also in the northern suburbs. We have a wonderful playroom in Westminster, and are looking forward to serving more children from preschool through the tween years. I also will continue to be available for those older teens who, like their future twenty-something selves, could use some support during challenging times! Please email me for more information.

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