Quarterlife The Search for Self in Early Adulthood
A pioneering psychotherapist tackles the overlooked stage of Quarterlife, the critical developmental years between adolescence and midlife, and provides a roadmap to navigate its struggles and find joy and understanding in adulthood. I feel so stuck. What’s wrong with me? Is this all there is? Satya Doyle Byock hears these refrains regularly in her psychotherapy practice, where she works with “Quarterlifers,” individuals between the ages of sixteen to thirty-six. She understands their frustration. Some clients have seemingly done everything “right”: earn a degree, get a job, meet a partner, settle down. Yet, even after checking these boxes, they are left unfulfilled and unclear on what to do next. Byock calls those clients “Stability Types.” Others are uninterested in following this prescribed path, but often feel unmoored as a result. She refers to them as “Meaning Types.” While society is quick to label the emotions and behavior of this age group as traits of generations like millennials or Gen-Z, Byock sees things differently. She believes these struggles are a natural part of the developmental journey of Quarterlife, a distinct stage of life like adolescence or midlife that every person goes through and which has been virtually ignored by popular culture and psychology. In Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood, Byock utilizes personal storytelling, mythology, Jungian psychology, pop culture, literature, and client case studies to provide guideposts for this period of life. Readers will be able to gain a sense for where they exist on the spectrum between Stability Types and Meaning Types, as well as context for what Byock calls the four pillars of Quarterlife development: • Separate: Gaining independence from the individuals, relationships, and expectations that no longer serve you • Listen: Paying close attention to your own wants and needs • Build: Creating, cultivating, and constructing tools and practices for your development • Integrate: Taking what you’ve learned and manifesting something new Quarterlife is a defining work that offers a compassionate roadmap towards finding understanding, happiness, fulfillment, and wholeness in adulthood.