Possible Selves in Emerging Adulthood: A Comparison of Two Group Interventions





The present study provides a pilot examination of two types of possible selves group interventions. The study evaluates emerging adults’ satisfaction with and outcome following participation in groups that were oriented on interpersonal-experiential and didactic-task interventions and that focused on possible selves. Analyses used data from 85 emerging adults who were randomly assigned to one of these intervention types and who completed pre- and post-intervention assessments. Overall, participants indicated a high level of satisfaction with both types of group intervention. Results indicate that significant improvement in personal growth initiative was achieved across both interventions, but only the interpersonal-experiential intervention was associated with an increase in participants’ efficacy to pursue relational possible selves. Change in hope across both interventions was not statistically significant, and participants did not improve in their efficacy to pursue vocational possible selves. Follow-up analysis found that group engagement was associated with improvement in participants’ efficacy to pursue relational possible selves through interpersonal-experiential intervention. While both interventions appear to be beneficial, interpersonal-experiential groups may be particularly useful in fostering emerging adults’ sense of future relational selves.

Author Biographies

Zarina A. Giannone, University of British Columbia

Zarina A. Giannone completed her PhD in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. She is currently an applicant to the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and works at the Vancouver Psychology Centre and the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport. Dr. Giannone’s research focuses on identity development and intervention among athletes and young adults.

Daniel W. Cox, University of British Columbia

Daniel W. Cox is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and holds the Myrne B. Nevison Professorship in Counselling Psychology. His research focuses on helping and change processes as they relate to suicide, depression, PTSD, and related areas.

David Kealy, University of British Columbia

David Kealy is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. His research is focused on understanding mental health issues related to identity, personality, and interpersonal relationships, and on the processes that influence psychotherapy.




How to Cite

Giannone, Z. A., Cox, D. W., & Kealy, D. (2021). Possible Selves in Emerging Adulthood: A Comparison of Two Group Interventions. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 55(2). https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v55i2.69122



Articles/ Articles