Young adults face many unique challenges these days.
While many thrive away at college, it is not uncommon for some young adults to struggle out of high school in finding their footing. The transition from home life to independence can be swift and surprising for some. Our young adult counselors take an empathic yet practical approach with these 18-25 year-olds.
Many of our young adults are still living full-time (or when home from college) with their parents. Many times, it is the parent who has initiated and encouraged their young adult to talk with a counselor. We know it can be tricky waters when talking with our young adult clients and their parents. We have heard many stories of parents experiencing being closed out of the counseling process when they have sought help in the past. We also know that it is critical to respect the confidentiality of our young adult client. There needs to be a balance of communication between the client, parent and counselor.
To help navigate this legitimate tension, we address confidentiality up front with both the parent and young adult so as to strike a comfortable balance for all of us. We are intentional about building trust and safety with our clients so they can disclose anything on their mind and heart in the session—and we are intentional to build safety and trust with our parents so they know we have their young adult’s best interest at heart. Our goal is to support as much communication between the young adult and parent in their relationship with one another.
Many of our clients and their parents are hesitant about using medications. Our counselors are sensitive and responsive to this legitimate concern. We offer natural approaches, medications, and other treatment options—all of which will be fully discussed with our client and parents. We work with trusted professionals locally when we need to lean into their speciality. Please check out our Alternative Treatments page that addresses using alternative, more natural approaches to anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc.
Transitioning out of the house can be overwhelming. The multiple responsibilities of adulthood can turn into internal chaos for some young adults. We know that anxiety can paralyze, which is not good timing for someone expected to function in independence.
Typically, anxiety causes us to hide and avoid our problems until they grow too big to ignore. We self-medicate as a means to get through the day, hoping that our responsibilities (homework, bills, conflictual relationships, work) might take care of themselves or go away. Yet, they usually do not and we are left with a bigger mess.
Our first step in addressing anxiety is to come alongside the young adult and assure them that life is long and they have many great years ahead of them. They don’t have to figure it all out immediately.
Then we attempt to tease apart the underlying issues that are feeding their anxiety. Many times, the young adult is not even aware of what is causing them to be overwhelmed. When the challenges feel accomplishable, the young adult senses their own competence to take on adult responsibilities, and anxiety tends to wane.
Believe it or not, attention issues very commonly reveal themselves when the young adult leaves the structure provided by their parents. In Middle School and High School, teachers are very willing to handhold and flex to accommodate the student. College, on the other hand, tends to throw the young adult into the deep end to see if they can swim on their own.
NPS specializes in pulling apart attention issues and treating them in a tailored way that fits the young adult. Here is a link to more explanation of our diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
Depression for a young adult is especially frustrating. Right as life’s possibilities are opening up, depression tells the young adult that life is going to be long, arduous, and painful. Our therapists at NPS are here to go through the peaks and valleys.
Hope is hard to come by when depressed. We will hold the young adult’s hope until they are able to believe in it again. We believe in all types of treatment, ranging from talk therapy to medication to natural approaches. Collaboratively, we tailor our treatment plans to the wishes and values of our clients.
It is developmentally normal for young adults to want to explore their likes, dislikes, opinions, sexual interests, and identity during this stage. Yet, when that exploration delves into drugs or alcohol use, it can throw a wrench into their development.
For young adults that are significantly dependent on substances, we recommend treatment centers where competent supports and care can be found. When counseling is appropriate, we know that substances are usually the band-aid to deeper issues. When the true issue can be addressed, the use of substances become less appealing.