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News & Views - July, 2001 Issue #83

Life Designs Helps With Difficult Transitions
By Randy Russell, Founder/Director
Life Designs
Cusick, Washington

In the June issue of Woodbury Reports there was reference made to an “advertisement postcard” that Life Designs sent to “college placement” educational consultants. “SEEN N’HEARD’ summarized the message of the postcard to be that Life Designs “was designed not so much for young people with behavioral/emotional problems, but rather, was created to meet a need that much of Western Culture has neglected: elders actively and purposely mentoring and celebrating a young person’s entrance into meaningful and responsible adulthood.”

This summary does not fully reflect the intended message; Life Designs does assist young people with behavioral/emotional problems. The post card was sent to educational consultants specializing in college placement because we found that they tend to shy away from ‘therapeutic’ or ‘emotional growth’ programs for their clients. They feel we deal primarily with ‘troubled youth’. We wanted to clarify to them that most of our clients are ‘normal individuals’ experiencing an appropriate major life-shift of transitioning into adulthood.

The current thinking for many parents is “if we can only get our child through college he/she will be fine.” A recent book entitled Quarterlife Crisis indicates that a growing number of college graduates struggle with the transition into adulthood, finding themselves full of fear and unable to self-motivate. Oprah, in a program dealing with this issue, quoted a survey that indicated up to 60% of college graduates move back in with mom and dad.

Life Designs was specifically designed to assist young people through this identity crisis and to teach skills not normally taught in traditional high school or college. This includes: retraining your thinking for success, using your emotions as a healing tool and life enriching ally, developing habits and behaviors that build confidence in yourself and others (selling yourself), having realistic expectations about the work involved in reaching your life dreams, adopting a work ethic that compliments your genius, building healthy relationships, and honing fiscal and managerial savvy. Young people at Life Designs are encouraged to develop these skills while they explore questions about their life mission.

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