The Rachel Dolezal story has been all over the news recently. It has sparked controversy regarding a young woman who asserts that her experiences allow her to identify as African American. Although identifying as a different race is not the norm, people do go through processes of forming identity.
All people regardless of cultural, socioeconomic, or racial background struggle through identity at some point in their lives.
The most popular developmental Psychologist: Erik Erickson has said between the ages of 12-18, adolescents really start to explore and struggle with their identity. Towards the beginning there is some ‘role confusion’, in which, adolescents experiment with different ways to fit in with society. Towards the end there is a much clearer idea of who the person is, and if the way society perceives them, is the same as how they perceive themselves.
Much of the early to mid-twenties are used for exploration of the world, perfecting identity formation, and finding how that identity truly fits into the world. Teenagers use a big part of their time trying to answer the question ‘who am I?’, and once in the 20’s, use that information to answer the question ‘where do I belong?’
There maybe many obstacles and struggles that can impede someone’s identity formation. Therapy can help bring some of those obstacles to light, and start the road to the healing process.
Are you struggling with identity yourself? Feel free to call or email for a free consultation, and a chance to freely talk about your ideas and struggle with identity.