“We’re all different…. But there’s something kind of fantastic about that, isn’t there?” – Felicity Fox, The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Since beginning private practice work in 2013, I have had the privilege of working primarily with teens and young adults, developing my niches with these groups. While I believe that growing and becoming who you are is a life-long endeavor, these transitional phases in particular involve intense pressures with many questions.
Adolescence: Just as the quote above states, there is something pretty fantastic about being your true, unique self. However, this is rarely easy to do. A few of the topics I often explore with teens in therapy include: gaining independence & responsibility, forming healthy friendships, managing schoolwork & other demands, romantic interests, questions about sexuality and gender, external appearance, drugs & alcohol, conflict with parents, social media & cyberbullying, considering college and career, creativity and self-exploration, and coping with heightened emotions. In the safety of the counseling room, teens are allowed the space to be honest about any thoughts, feelings, and questions related to these topics. In the confidence of the therapeutic relationship, teens are provided the opportunity to get more in touch with who they are while also attending to boundaries that can protect their health and wellbeing. Further, when appropriate, family sessions are encouraged to strengthen positive communication and understanding between clients and their parents. I feel honored to have walked alongside many teenagers and witness them harness their individuality as they mature into adulthood.
“You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling unsure & lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.” – Louis C.K.
Young Adulthood: I love this quote by comedian Louis C.K. above which perfectly hits on the reality of being a twenty-something. Journeying through young adulthood means navigating many firsts. Firsts, such as moving away from home, going to college, finding & starting one’s career path, and developing new relationships brings excitement and joy as well as stress and confusion. More often than not, young adults feel enormous pressure to succeed by way of “achieving the American dream”. Yet, the reality is one’s path is rarely without bumps and detours. The process of becoming an adult involves individuating, or separating oneself as a distinct person with distinct values, beliefs, and goals. Therapy provides an intentional space to expand awareness and get in touch with these values by increasing understanding of what brings meaning to an individual’s life. I have enjoyed working with young adults as they venture out into new territory, face challenges, and dig into who they are as they discover passions and purposes.