Professional Application of Lifespan Development

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Introduction
Adolescence. The mysterious age that can be effected by so much and provide the necessary transition into adulthood. Because there is an infinite number of factors that could change the span of adolescence, we may never be able to map out exactly how someone will end up just by analyzing things like their current environment, childhood, what child rearing practice was used, etc, but we are getting closer and making stronger predictions based on specific categories in those areas. I chose to focus on this area of lifespan development because I feel like there is still so much to discover and learn. Children and teens are amazing the way that they shape and mold themselves into adulthood and I would love to gain more information into that process. My ultimate goal for the future is to work in or run a private practice that specializes in child and adolescent psychology and counseling but also services marriage, couple and grief counseling as well. I feel like I can relate to children/adolescents very well and find that sometimes it’s easier communicating with them than adults because they are so willing to absorb information if it is presented in the right way. There are many children out there who sometimes just need someone to talk to. Other times, it’s more than that but I would love the chance to help them grow into the amazing people that each of them has the potential to be. I’m excited for what the future holds and I hope to achieve my goals by finishing my B.A. in General Psychology and then going on to pursue my M.S. in Child/Adolescent psychology. You will see that talking to Suzanne Johnson from Johnson Counseling was a great experience for me to see how she runs her practice and some of the issues she encounters most. You will also continue to read about major events or milestones that I find important when looking at an adolescent’s life. There are many things that can affect a young person that sometimes we never even realize. Lastly, you will see how the interview with Suzanne is integrated into what I have learned from this course. Synopsis of the Lifespan Professional Interview

When I went to interview Suzanne for my lifespan development interview I found it a very eye opening experience. There were some things that I did expect to see and hear and others were the complete opposite than what I would have expected. I found her through a general local search online so we had not had any contact at all prior to our interview. I learned online before meeting her that she specializes in child/adolescent counseling but also does other types such as independent adult, couple, and marital counseling which was perfect because that’s exactly the field that I would like to go into in the future. All of my questions to her were pretty general and more centered around her observations of her clients and patients instead of questions about her specific practice and the way it functioned. I started out by asking her what she found to be some of the most harmful environmental factors to a teen or adolescent. She said that by far, the most harmful factor is the friends or associations the subject has on a regular basis. This also included parents. Depending on how attached (consciously or subconsciously) the teen is to the parent, they can have the greatest influence on a child. I then asked what one of the biggest initial reasons that an adolescent starts going to counseling in the first place was. I wanted to know if most kids saw her because of stress, anger, depression or something else entirely. Her response was something I didn’t expect. She said that she would categorize this answer as “confused”. She said that many kids seek help either voluntarily or because of family for one reason or another whether it is that they’re depressed or withdrawn or acting out when really the reason is sometimes the opposite or just something completely different. Taking a look around her office I could tell that she...
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