Young Adult & Young Professional Issues
Young adulthood comprises the time period between establishing independence from parents or primary caretakers and establishing one’s own family and personal lifestyle. In many ways this developmental period is an invention of modern times with increased demands for higher education to make it in the job market, greater challenges in establishing a small business, and the combination of non-traditional gender roles and romantic partnerships defined by desires for deep personal meaning and intimacy. Commitment to career, relationship, and lifestyle are the primary goals of young adulthood.
Problems/challenges that can arise during this time period include:
- Difficulty maintaining a satisfying and committed romantic relationship including repeating painful patterns within relationships.
- Difficulty meeting a potential romantic partner due to social anxiety, lack of confidence, and/or shame about oneself as a sexual being. Loneliness, emptiness, and depression may compound these difficulties.
- Questions about your sexual orientation or struggles related to rejection and stigma can leave you feeling frightened, anxious, alone, and angry.
- A sense of not knowing who you are, what you value, and what your talents, skills, and ideals are can leave you feeling a lack of direction and meaning in life. These sorts of issues can interfere with establishing a coherent identity, self-confidence, and sense of future.
- Difficulty adjusting to major life changes such as marriage, parenthood, or new career/job. At times these transitions can leave you feeling overwhelmed by new responsibilities, trapped and frustrated, deeply disappointed that things aren’t going as you expected, and struggling with the reemergence of painful and problematic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving you thought you had resolved.
Short-term interventions for young adults/young professionals:
- We will work together to explore and define the extent to which your difficulty is related to a life transition issue or more long standing underlying patterns of thinking, feeling, and relating to others. Doing so will help us to determine whether a short-term intervention is likely to benefit you.
- Examples of life transition issues for which short-term interventions can help include: (a) as a young professional you might be struggling to manage stress as you pursue career/educational goals or adjust to a new career/job; (b) although you might have established yourself in financially stable employment, you might feel unfulfilled. You may be struggling to decide whether to risk your financial stability to pursue a career that more deeply resonates with your talents, skills, and ideals; (c) adjustment to married life and/or to parenthood even when you are secure with the decisions you’ve made can leave you struggling to balance the demands of work and family life while still finding time to take care of yourself. There might be other issues not listed here that can be appropriate for short-term interventions. The initial assessment process will help us to make that determination.
- Short-term intervention strategies can include: (a) we will work together to clearly define the obstacles that are getting in your way of adjusting successfully to life changes or to making difficult decisions and commitments; (b) we will devise a plan to help you identify and explore your options and to pursue your goals once you have made a decision; and (c) we will work on development of specific strategies to help you manage stress, resolve relationship conflict, deepen your emotional investment and satisfaction with the life changes you have chosen, and help you balance self-care with responsibilities to others.