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Center for Optimal Adult Development (COAD) Bridges Gaps Between Theory and Practice, and Science and Spirituality


DENVER, CO – JULY 27, 2010 - The Center for Optimal Adult Development (COAD) set to launch in August 2010 seeks to become an active agent in narrowing the gap between the rich discourse of academic and scientific theory and those practices & techniques which truly assist in an adult’s development.

Adult development is a field of evidence-based study within Developmental Psychology. It comprises development in several areas including: emotions, creativity, ego, intellect, spiritual, cognitive, personality, and several others. The development of an adult man or woman can occur in a multitude of different forms and patterns. These may include development as a result of life changes, learning, transitions, occupation or role-related development, traumatic growth, volitional self-development, organic development, among others.

The challenges among professionals who study and work in adult development disciplines are multifold: 1) there is no universal definition of the term and little consistency as to how to study and practice adult development; 2) adult development studies conducted by academia and psychology professionals may not evolve from theory to application; 3) various disciplines of psychologists, coaches, counselors, educators, social workers, and clergy who are involved in applied adult development practice do not collaborate or share information; and 4) information on adult development is fragmented across various institutional silos and not easily accessible.

“Adult development has long been a subject reserved for academia and psychological professions; although in recent years, it has become an integral part of coaching, adult learning, and leadership development,” states Timothy Wachtel, COAD’s founder and executive director. “Volumes of research are now available to practitioners to assist in the development of adults cross-culturally and for application across a multitude of domains.” Wachtel says further, “COAD will provide a forum for information sharing among Adult Development professionals and provide them, and the general public, the necessary tools to assist in their own development and those for whom they love, teach, and serve.”

The Center for Optimal Adult Development (COAD) ( is an international community of evidence-based professionals utilizing adult development methods and the single largest resource for optimal adult development knowledge and sharing.

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