After years of teaching graduate students and encountering young people in my practice, I have been both impressed with their innovate thinking and concerned about their problems. Unlike older and more established adults their struggles and those of the social world bind together in an inexorable knot. Being helpful meant combining the best of my professional training with their new realities.
Establishing Identity in Society
While he exact ages of young adulthood might be vague, the characteristics of this developmental stage revolve around the struggle to become one’s own person in a social context. Having settled on something of an identity during adolescence the twenty or thirty-something year old person now seeks success in the larger society, often desiring to create meaningful relationships in love and work. Young adults often find it hard to develop life strategies that feel personally relevant and successful in the new adult contexts that they now inhabit.
The Wasted and Bombed Syndrome
Young adults have grown up in the over-stimulated generation with rapidly expanding technological innovations, fluctuating boundaries and unpredictable economic trajectories. They often organize their lives around a fluidity of focus, moods, relationships and lifestyles. While the lack of constancy can generate exciting alternative lifetsyles, sometimes it can lead to ruts. Young people can become lost and unable to commit to work or relationships. Or they have been pushing so hard for so long that they have become cynical and fatigued, bored by psychotherapy. They suffer from wasted and bombed syndrome – a combination of substance misuse, anxiety, depression, ADD and outdated cognitive patterns that hinder the attainment of goals. This group struggles to reconcile their childhoods and temperaments with future aspirations.
While psychotherapy always helps, young adults have a special need for an active and collaborative connection with someone who has opinions, thoughts and ideas. In a world where anything goes, young adults often seek someone with a firm personality. They want to authentically engage even if that means disagreeing. Young adults thrive with professionals who can channel their training into genuine mentoring relationships.
Features of Young Adult Service
Sliding scale fees based on income, student loans, and other debts; Flexible scheduling; E-mail, texting, and social media tools; Cultural and historical analysis of family of origin; mental health practices that support people and the environment.