Successful Member Moves at Onward Transitions
Many emerging adults utilize the fall as a time of transition. For some, it is a return to school or a move into the workforce. Others move on to new cities or countries, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found an increase in emerging adults moving back out of their parents’ homes and into the world at large.
Onward Transitions (OT), a community-based mental health program in Portland, Maine for highly intelligent and anxious emerging adults experienced a number of moves among their clients. Co-Founder and Lead Clinician Darrell Fraize reported that a number of clients (referred to as members) completed their therapeutic course of treatment, and were moving on to new, independent opportunities. Additionally, Fraize stated that a number of emerging adults were enrolling in the program after leaving their families’ homes. He provided a number of examples of the types of opportunities the members were exploring.
- A 19-year-old young man used his time with OT to regain his study skills and enter the workforce, and has transitioned to a prestigious civil engineering program this fall.
- A 19-year-old young woman used her time with OT to better manage her wellness routine and maintain her first job, and will now enroll in a service project abroad prior to going to college.
- A 25-year-old man worked to increase his emotional intelligence, executive functioning skills, and healthy coping mechanisms and has now obtained his first professional position in the service industry.
- A 21-year-old man arrived in Portland last month to explore career opportunities while living in and managing his first apartment.
- A 23-year-old young person is exploring new work and volunteer opportunities while developing a healthier wellness routine before returning to college for their senior year.
- A 22-year-old woman is investigating alternative learning opportunities while working and honing her independent living skills.
Fraize reported that OT helps emerging adults and their families actively work on individuation, a process where a person achieves a sense of individuality apart from the identity of others (typically parents). “After living in their own spaces for a while, the members begin to really believe and trust in their own abilities and mastery over challenges that were previously paralyzing and often only resolved by their parents,” Fraize said. “After some ups and downs, they have the confidence to go chase down a new dream or enduring life goal–away from the nest.”
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members’ challenges include anxiety, depression, and executive functioning.