Are You Struggling To Feel And Act Like An Adult?
Are you feeling confused – wondering what you’re doing, where you’re headed and how you fit into the world? Does it seem like your friends have it all figured out, while you’re feeling stuck and struggling to find the right path? Have your parents or other people close to you expressed concern about choices you’re making, or are they pressuring you to go to college get a real job or move out on your own? Is the transition into adulthood not as exciting as you thought it would be? Alternatively, is this transition making you feel anxious, depressed, overwhelmed or even scared? Do you often think that you’d feel much better if you could find some inspiration and motivation and figure out what to do with your life?
Making the transition into adulthood can be a frustrating, self-doubting, and even painful experience. With the structure of you parent’s home, high school or even college gone, the “real world” may be staring you down. And, the pressures to figure out who you are, what you want to do with the rest of your life and new adult demands and responsibilities can feel very overwhelming. You may be struggling with relationships and friendships. You could be feeling challenged at school or at work or be struggling to find and maintain a job. You may be sleeping too much or distracting yourself with partying, video games or other activities. Regardless of how you’re spending your time, you’re likely feeling pressured to figure it all out and do something meaningful with your life.
Many Young Adults Struggle With The Transition From Teen To Adult
Making the transition into adulthood is not easy. Most young adults grapple with some level of confusion as they try to figure out who they are and how to be as an adult. It takes time to learn the best ways to handle increased responsibilities, more complex stressors, and a bigger, broader world. While some young adults seem to handle this transition with greater ease, others can struggle. If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or just feeling really confused and stuck, some outside expert help can be extremely useful as you figure out how to navigate this tricky transition.
Therapy Can Be An Extremely Effective Way To Help You Figure Out Next Steps
Your BPS therapist can help you determine what’s getting in the way of you moving forward. Your therapist can offer you guidance and non-judgmental support as you do the important and challenging work of figuring out who you are, how you exist in the world, what inspires you and how to develop your personal strengths. As you develop a greater self-awareness, you can identify patterns, thoughts and behaviors that are no longer serving you, and learn how to shift your thoughts and make more empowering choices.
Your BPS therapist can also help you really look at your life, set goals, and break down the pressures you may be feeling to reach your goals into more manageable steps. As you make positive changes and take small steps forward, you can develop more confidence and experience less self-doubt. In therapy, you can also learn how to better communicate with your parents and others in your life. You can learn concrete, practical life skills and apply them, which can lead to feeling more empowered by your newfound freedom and the responsibilities it carries.
Learning who we are and how we fit into the world doesn’t happen overnight, but with time, a commitment to try new things, and the right therapist, you can feel better about moving forward and more confident in your choices. It’s totally normal to feel challenged at this stage in life. A BPS therapist can help you navigate this major life transition with more ease, help you develop greater self-awareness, and offer you guidance as you move forward into the person you want to be.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
I’m afraid of what I might learn about myself in therapy and that I’ll feel pressured to make changes that I may not be ready to make.
Learning who you are, what you want and how you fit into the world takes time. You are not going to uncover the full depth of who you are in a session or two, nor will you be expected or pressured to make immediate and drastic changes.
You BPS therapist will meet you where you are emotionally and set a comfortable pace for your work together. Your therapist will help you set goals – your goals – and create manageable steps to reach them. In therapy, there is no pressure or judgment. The experience is about self-empowerment for you and where you want to go in your life.
I’m struggling a bit trying to find my way, but I’m not sure that therapy will teach me anything new or actually help me.
Therapy isn’t like a self-help book or a class or even a support group. In therapy, you are given the personal space to honestly and safely explore who you are and what your life experience has been, is, and what you’d like it to be. You are able to talk about feelings, thoughts and issues that you may not be able to talk about easily with others in your daily life. You can talk through the fears and concerns that may be keeping you from moving forward. Working through these issues and feelings with a non-judgmental and supportive therapist can lead to better self-awareness, more confidence and a real sense of personal empowerment.
I think that therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.
This is your life and wellbeing. Addressing your transition issues, developing better self-awareness and gaining clarity about who you are, what you’re good at, and how you want to be in the world can prevent a host of problems from occurring due to remaining stuck. Investing in your self now may not only address these issues, but also prevent you from developing unhealthy distractions, coping mechanisms or self-medicating.
Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with young adults and transition and growth issues or who they couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced in young adult transition and growth issues and whose personality is a good match for you. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine getting your life on track and feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.
If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.
We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.
You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and with a therapist who has expertise working with young adults on transition and growth issues.
BPS therapist Harmony Barrett Isaacs, LPC, helped create the content for this page. Harmony is a licensed professional counselor whose practice focuses on helping young adults navigate many of the tough issues that can arise during these transitional years. She has been working with young adults struggling with transition and growth isues since 2006.