The Unfinished Adolescent: Exploring Constructivist Control Mastery Theory

The Unfinished Adolescent: Exploring Constructivist Control Mastery Theory
May 3, 2023
6:00PM - 7:30PM

Colleagues & Conversations @ Yellowbrick

The Unfinished Adolescent: Exploring Constructivist Control Mastery Theory

Wednesday May 3rd, 2023 | 6pm-7:30pm CST

with Dr. Robert Leib, PhD

Conference Description:

The Unfinished Adolescent: Exploring Constructivist Control Mastery Theory
The distinct time in life known as emerging adulthood presents its own unique developmental challenges, most centrally the creation of an adult identity. At the same time, many of these individuals are living with their family of origin rather than on their own. For some, but not all, co-residence is evidence of problems with the separation-individuation process. Assessing relational maturity and the development of autonomously valued goals is crucial in forming a treatment plan. Constructivist control mastery theory is a treatment approach that integrates psychodynamic and narrative paradigms and is especially well-suited for the treatment of this population, whether applied as a family therapy or individual therapy. This approach focuses on fostering mastery-oriented conversations that facilitate the emergence of adult identity.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of participation in this event, participants should be able to:
  1. Learn how to differentiate the emerging adult from the “unfinished adolescent” in terms of indicators of relational maturity, pursuit of self-defined value-based goals, and financial independence.
  2. Learn how to determine whether to use an individual, family, parent-focused or hybrid setting.
  3. Learn how to utilize a constructivist control-mastery model to facilitate adult-to-adult conversations by deconstructing pathogenic stories and constructing mastery stories.

Robert Leib, PhD
Clinical Psychologist Private Practice
San Mateo, California


Call Tracy Ashworth 847-869-1500 ext. 207

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Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.

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    Real-Time Treatment for Emerging Adults and their Families

    Bipolar Disorder

    A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.

    Major Depressive Disorder

    People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.

    Anxiety Disorders

    Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.

    Neuroatypical “Spectrum” Individuals and their Families

    These individuals often experience an extended period of anxiety and disruption as the young person ages out of the structured support settings available through the educational and social services systems.

    Thought Disorder

    A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.

    Personality Disorders

    Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.


    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.


    A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.

    Eating Disorders

    Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.


    A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.

    Adopted Individuals and Families

    We are committed to the developing specialized services for adopted emerging adults and their families.