Distinctives treating “Emerging Adults”
Emerging adulthood is often a season of transition and identity formation – encountering new environments, and figuring out who you are and how you fit in the world you live in. Learning how to relate to others professionally, moving out of the parental home, navigating romantic relationships, and beginning to understand how all the pieces of one’s life fit together are all issues that frequently come up at this age. The brain is also in it’s final stages of development. All this transition and change can cause significant distress for many emerging adults.
Reasons for seeking treatment
- “Launching” into adulthood
- Problems living at home with parents
- Career direction
- Changing roles from “student” to “employee”
- Problems in dating and friendships
- Drug and alcohol use and abuse
- Marriage and intimacy problems
- Navigating one’s sexual orientation
- Education problems and financial stress
- Process addictions: eating disorders, excessive video gaming
- Religious and faith concerns
- Maturing diagnoses: bipolar, depression, OCD, personality disorders
Demands on parenting “Emerging Adults”
For parents, this season is a difficult one where it can be challenging to know how much structure and support to provide their son or daughter as they head out into the world. It can be difficult to watch their emerging adult make sense of the world–often living by different perspectives and worldviews from the closely held values of the parents. Parents often feel disconnected or undervalued as they have less daily contact with their children. Parents must learn to adjust as previous patterns of relating to each other don’t work anymore.
How we work with “Emerging Adults” and their parents
Our work with emerging adults emphasizes personal responsibility–helping individuals make everyday choices that align with their forming and changing values and beliefs. Because this age is characterized by instability, as life is in constant change, we help emerging adults build a foundation upon which to make make healthy and informed decisions about their future that honor their past and present. We help emerging adults take steps to forge their own path apart from the once safe environment of their familiar past. As such, we encourage people at this age to develop and connect with supportive networks and people to help navigate their next steps.