The Essence of Adolescence
A Different Paradigm to Appreciate Adolescents
In his book Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Daniel Siegel, M.D., shares insights about the adolescent years based on studies of the neuroscience of the brain. Adolescence is considered running roughly from age twelve to mid-20′s — between childhood and adulthood.
Siegel says there are false beliefs and myths about the adolescent years. It is not about raging hormones, a time of immaturity, or a drive for independence that leads to the “madness” of adolescence. Rather (and with respect to a multitude of influences), he states, “The essential features of adolescence emerge because of healthy, natural changes in the brain.”
The essence of adolescence based on the changes in the brain are:
- increased emotional intensity — living with passion and vitality,
- social engagement — connecting and collaborating with their peers,
- novelty seeking — seeking rewards in trying new things, and
- creative exploration — creating new ways of being in the world.
Siegel goes on to say, “The view that adolescence is something we all just need to endure is very limiting. To the contrary, adolescents don’t just need to survive adolescence; they can thrive because of this important period of their lives.”
Touch Point Connection believes that the process of coaching conversations is an excellent essential adjunct to generate opportunities for youth to “thrive”.