Diagnosis and Treatment

Therapy for Adolescents and Young Adults

Navigating early adulthood in the digital age can be overwhelming.  Teens and young adults feel the pressure and competition to make something of themselves in a world that demands more education, more drive, and more focus. Many parents begin noticing that their teen or young adult son or daughter are facing complex feelings as they begin to think about their future and set off in navigating their own lives. They believe others to be “further ahead” than them and to have “found their passion”, leaving them frozen in fear and indecision.  Others take off and soon return home after finding that they are not yet equipped to fly the coop often called “Failure to Launch.” Parents begin to worry when they notice their adult child is anxious, depressed, withdrawn, and unmotivated.  In mounting despair, some even resorting to substances to deal with a sense of hopelessness and declining confidence.  Young adults may become frustrated when they see themselves as unable to meet the pace and catch their stride. They want to become adults but are afraid, feel they need more certainty in choosing a path than they really do, or have negative internalized concepts of what it means to become an adult in the world. It is a real challenge.

How does it work? The basis is an authentic relationship with another person, a psychologist. Without this, therapy never gets off the ground. You must search to find a team that really cares, is engaged, skillful, and is the kind pf person that has the ability to connect to another person on that level. This can’t be overstated.

As teen Psychologists, some of what we do is help teens and young adults find their voice, passion, and motivation to build a life worth living. We also help them to work through deeper emotional issues, depression, or anxiety that tend to be at the core and block their capacity to even create a fantasy of a life that seems worthwhile. They often leave therapy unburdened of the attentional struggles associated with many mental health conditions. For example, ADHD is in vogue as a neurological condition at the moment often remedied with amphetamines – many don’t want to acknowledge the social and emotional components involved, of which tend to be capitalized on pharmaceutically when in reality is treated extremely well with psychotherapy. We see these issues worked through regularly in our practice. 

In therapy, teens and young adults will often gain important insights into themselves, build confidence, assume responsibility, develop a vision, gain necessary skills, and create a realistic plan to move their lives in that direction. It often requires some ability to tolerate the unknown and take steps forward without certainty or a perfect plan. This frequently starts with treating underlying psychological issues (too much can be said here and is incredibly nuanced depending on the specifics – call us) before moving to articulating a broader vision, breaking it into smaller goals, and developing the tools necessary to navigate these challenges and embrace the next chapter. Most noticeable at the end of therapy is the pronounced ability to delay gratification and feel genuine self-esteem typically absent in the beginning of therapy when distress is blocking the better problems. When you are hurting, anxious, depressed, or lost you aren’t answering trying to answer the questions at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Research is clear that psychotherapy during teenage and young adults years creates a massive, lasting positive impact on adult functioning. It also establishes a therapeutic relationship with a mental health professional that you can return to again in the future.

We can help you get your son or daughter back and launch them into the exciting next chapter of life. If you are the teen or young adult looking for therapy, call or shoot us a text. We would love to answer any of the questions you might have.