This developmental phase which starts around age 16 and continues through rapid developmental changes through the 20s is a time of notable transitions and unique challenges. Emerging adulthood is a time when most people are taking steps to live more independently and to depend less on family support. These steps may involve completing high school, college and training, launching work lives, and developing relationships with others and is stage of life that lays the foundation for facing future adult challenges and responsibilities.
Counseling during this time can help establish where young adults are in the separation process from parents and take a close look at how much autonomy they are feeling, and what plans they want to make for their future. Many questions arise at this time that we can address including:
What should my relationship with my parents look like right now? I know I still need them emotionally and somewhat depend on them financially so how do I establish my independence, my own identity?
Sometimes my parents seem to expect too much of me and other times, they still treat me like a kid, how do I figure out what kind of relationship I want with them?
This should be such an exciting time, I was always looking forward to being independent, so
why do I feel so stressed? So alone? So confused?
Am I even ready to be on my own?
What do I want to do with my life?
What if I mess up now, does that mean I’ve totally messed up my future?
Should I get into a serious relationship yet? How do I know when I’m ready?
Counseling can help the young adult consider all of these issues and whatever else comes up that poses a challenge in this second “tween” stage of life. For clients over 18, their therapy is their own, their confidentiality is guaranteed and they consent to their own treatment but if they choose, they are welcome to include their parents in sessions to help navigate their changing relationship and allow everyone to come to a better understanding of this stage of life.
For all stages of adulthood, here are some areas of life you might be struggling with and where I can help.