Speaking Inquiries

Meg Jay has had the pleasure of speaking with companies, universities, think tanks, associations and conference groups around the globe. Some of her clients have included: Sundance, Aspen Ideas Fest, Merrill Lynch, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Family Action Network, The New Yorker, Yale University, Fidelity Investments, University of Chicago, Young Presidents Organization, the Council of Independent Colleges, the How To Academy, and the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management. Her 2013 TED Talk, “Why 30 Is Not the New 20” is one of the most-watched to date, with more than 10 million views.

Have Dr. Jay engage with your organization about one of her books…

The Twentysomething Treatment: A Revolutionary Remedy for an Uncertain Age

There is a young adult mental health crisis in America, and it is a crisis of proportion and of perception too. So many twentysomethings are struggling—especially with anxiety, depression and substance use—yet, as a culture, we are not sure what to think or do. Perhaps, it is said, they are snowflakes who melt when life turns up the heat. Or maybe, some argue, they’re triggered for no reason at all. Yet, even as we trivialize twentysomething struggles, we are quick to pathologize them and to hand out diagnoses and medications to young adults whose brains and bodies and lives are still on the move.

In this talk, developmental clinical psychologist, Meg Jay, shares her age-specific approach to young adult mental health. Her work is a proven prescription that reveals what twenty-five years of work with young adults—and the latest research—can teach us about what works with this age group. It is a revolutionary remedy that upends the medicalization of young adult life and stands up instead for skills over pills.

This conversation outlines three key routes to better twentysomething mental health: education, experience and expectations. You’ll learn why our twenties are the most difficult time of life as well as what uncertainty has to do with mental health. You’ll find out why our mental health is most likely to improve outside of a doctor’s office—through skill-building—and why, for the young adult brain in particular, the time for skill-building is now. You’ll learn about the skills twentysomethings need—or what exactly they need to be practicing or doing—for better mental health in their twenties and beyond. You’ll find out why mental health gets better as we get older and why, in the meantime, embracing uncertainty may be the most life-changing skill of all.

Mental health has never been more in the zeitgeist as today’s youth are the most willing in history to talk openly about it and to seek help. Yet, what kind of help they find and what those conversations are matters, not just for twentysomethings today but for the thirtysomethings and fortysomethings and fiftysomethings they may become. It is time to take young adult mental health seriously, not because twentysomethings cannot get better but because they can.

The Defining Decade: Why 30 is Not the New 20

Did you know that 80% of life’s most defining moments take place before age 35? That the brain changes more in our 20s than at any other time in adulthood? That personality changes more in our 20s than at any other time in life? That over half of us are married or are dating or living with our future partner by the age of 30? That the first ten years of work have an exponential impact on success?

Our “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” culture tells us that the our 20s don’t matter. Some say they are an extended adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Meanwhile, Dr. Meg Jay argues, many twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation that has trivialized what is actually the most transformative period of our adult lives.

In this inspiring and practical talk, Dr. Jay makes clear just how much our 20s do matter and how you—or your twentysomething students, workers or children—can make the most of them now. With authority, humor and compassion, she shares the unique power of the twentysomething years and how they change our lives.

  • Why “Who am I?” is a question best answered not with a protracted identity crisis, but with one or two good pieces of something called identity capital
  • How joining the world of work can make us feel better, not worse
  • Why it’s the people we hardly know, and not our closest friends, who will change our lives for the better
  • How the twentysomething brain gives us our best chance to change who we are
  • Why living together may not be the best way to test a relationship
  • How we pick our families and not just our friends

The Defining Decade is a talk—and a developmental sweetspot—you don’t want to miss.

Supernormal: The Secret World of the Family Hero

Whether it is bullying, the loss of a parent to divorce or death, an alcoholic parent, a mentally ill parent or sibling, domestic violence or neglect, or emotional, physical or sexual abuse, early adversities are experienced by nearly 75% of us. Yet, often such experiences are kept secret, as are our courageous battles to overcome them.

In this compelling and compassionate talk, Dr. Jay reveals the secret world of the family hero: those who soar to unexpected heights after early adversity. These are “the strong ones” in families, the everyday superheroes who have made a life out of dodging bullets and leaping over obstacles, even as they hide in plain sight as students, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, artists, lawyers, actors, athletes, parents, and more. Naturally, we are amazed by those who rise above their pasts, yet as we have focused on “How do they do it?” we have forgotten also to ask, “How does it feel?”

These are some of the questions that Dr. Jay takes up:

  • What fear does to the brain, how this results in keeping secrets, and what secrets do to our health over time
  • How chronic stress leaves our fight-or-flight mechanisms switched on, how this contributes to determination and courage, and how this affects our health over time, too
  • How, as children, family heroes escape danger without leaving their homes or neighborhoods, and how, as adults, they use second-chance opportunities to get away for good
  • Why fighting for justice is good for us, and why putting down the cape is sometimes necessary too
  • Why love might be the strongest superpower of all, and why relationships can be the most difficult places to be brave

Hearing about Supernormal will change the way you think about yourself and those you love.

Meg Jay Speaks at UVA Commencement.

Meg Jay Speaks at UVA Commencement.

To inquire about a speaking engagement, please complete the form below.

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