Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Identity in young adults’ mental health: Understanding and intervening

September 20, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


David Kealy, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

Identity, the continuity and cohesiveness of the self, is salient throughout the lifespan but particularly important for young adults’ psychosocial wellbeing. Young adults typically explore and consolidate their personal beliefs and values, social and vocational roles, and ways of relating to others — aspects of identity which for some may go awry. Identity-related distress and impairment may interfere with adaptive trajectories and elevate risk for longer lasting mental health difficulties.

This presentation will provide an overview of efforts aimed at understanding and addressing identity-related mental health difficulties, particularly among young adults. The presentation will highlight basic research regarding identity in mental health, outline a conceptual framework for identity-focused intervention, and report on research in progress concerning brief psychotherapy for young adults with identity distress. Given the highly individual nature of identity, it is argued that intervention be guided by an individualized formulation of the young adult’s goals, obstructions, and traumas — along with an understanding of the kind of insights (new learning) and corrective experiences the client could benefit from.

David Kealy is an Associate Professor in the Psychotherapy Program at the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia. He has a background in social work and clinical leadership in public mental health services. At UBC, he conducts research on psychotherapy, personality- and identity-related mental health difficulties, including a focus on young adults and individuals with adverse childhood experiences. His work has received funding support through a Scholar Award from Michael Smith Health Research BC and grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. David has published widely in academic journals and is co-editor of the book Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. In addition to research he teaches, supervises, and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy.

This is a hybrid event, you may attend in person or virtually. Attendees must register and indicate their preference.

In-person event will take place at St. Paul’s Hospital in Room 1500.
Register at: bit.ly/kealy_wip


September 20, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hybrid Online/Virtual and In-Person – See Description
Event Information
Event Categories:
, , , ,


Centre for Advancing Health Outcomes
View Organizer Website