Launching Your Life — Counseling for Young Adults

counseling for young adultsThe challenges and obstacles for young adults — finding a successful path in life — are greater than ever. If you or someone you care about is struggling to create a path to a good life, then this page may be of help to you.

Young adults tend to struggle more intensely and over a greater period of time, than in past generations. You may be one of those people who have found it difficult to finish college, and struggle to take the necessary steps to start achieving independence. Maybe the whole thing has got you feeling down, anxious, overwhelmed, and unprepared to face the challenges that would help you have more in life.

I offer expert counseling for young adults, and bring decades of experience to the topic. Read on, and see if my approach is of value to you.

Many factors contribute to, and sometimes snowball, in creating seemingly insurmountable barriers to launching your life. You may have gone to competitive schools and been a decent student, but somehow now, lack the drive to do school work and go even further with your life.

Your parents may have created a standard of living for you in your childhood that may seem hard to come close to approximating. It may be more appealing to be absorbed in activities that are very satisfying like video games, social networking, soft drugs or pornography. While part of you feels trapped by the compulsive nature of these preoccupations, part of you gets it, that these things take you further away from independence.

Adding insult to injury in these scenarios, may be tension and conflict that may exist in your family between the young adult and your parents. Parents love their adult child and do not want to see you in despair or struggling to create a career development path. Young adults have enough conflict and pain from your sense of disappointing others, that you may recoil from the tension that your parent’s may bring to the crisis.

In the therapy I conduct I strive to create a context that offers tangible relief to young adults under these crisis conditions. First, the relationship itself tends to help you feel less alone, and less stuck inside yourself.

I work to help you see through the lens that creating a path to a good life is a developmental process. I offer young adults the frame that the predicament that you are in is a “hotbox.” On the one hand, much of how life has gone up until now has not given you the skill set to navigate the next level. On the other hand, you may be so self-critical and self-demanding that there is no room for failure. You may feel so overwhelmed that it is tempting to surrender.

I appreciate this trapped place and understand that the way out is to create a safe place in our therapy, for you to examine your relationship with yourself. I help young adults work through intense feelings of self-doubt, or worse, self-loathing.

The next step in the process involves addressing – with my support and expertise – issues within your family. You may feel very loved and nurtured, but you may also feel like you are disappointing and as a result have a sense of being misunderstood, feeling pressured and somehow, not fully able to take charge of your life. This is where you, as a young adult, can begin to sort through the parts of your upbringing that you might want to hold onto and even develop further, while there might be other parts you want to discard and get rid of.

As the work progresses I value the opportunity to slow the process down and examine where in your life these pressures come from. Undoubtedly, there are social and cultural pressures, like watching friends and acquaintances marry or climb the corporate ladder. More important, in this work I will help you discover the sources of self-imposed pressures or the harshly critical light of your own self-evaluation.

As the work progresses I offer you less severe, or softer ways to approach yourself and to handle the conflicting pulls you might feel in your life. Overall my young adult clients gain an appreciation for the developmental process of launching in life, that it’s like climbing a ladder, rung by rung to get to a place where you can begin to fashion an existence that more fully matches your values and your aspirations.

If you decide it’s time for a professional perspective to help you figure things out, please reach out to at (202) 421-3366. Or schedule a time to meet me at my Bethesda office or at my Annapolis office.