Nancy Newport LPC, LMFT

I have a great affinity for the age group of young adults. This is a developmental stage that requires a transition into more independent living. Most of us at this age feel somewhat reluctant to seek family guidance and support, as it makes us feel more dependent rather than more of the independence we seek. Yet, we’re not ready to launch ourselves without some sound guidance to help us stay focused on our own “True North”.

Young adults leaving home for the first time notice issues surfacing that come to their attention in a bigger way now that they are on their own. Common issues that surface are about self-esteem, relationships, safety, decision making, problem solving, spirituality, and getting along with family.

We tend to all need guidance about relationships, particularly romantic relationships. We in this society still have a tendency to lose ourselves in relationship and this is particularly true in the early romantic relationship we form. Young adults can benefit from an increased awareness of the dynamics of their relationship and communication tools to enhance them. Identification of problematic patterns that evolve in relationship and ways to interrupt and eliminate those patterns set us up for more relationship success in the future. An investment in counseling at this life stage may even serve to prevent a poor marriage choice down the road. The more aware we are of our worth, the higher our self-esteem, we more we attract people into our lives who value us and respect us and see that worthiness. This can go a long way toward contributing to our greater happiness in our future.

There is much to master in life, including learning how to negotiate our way in a larger world with rules and hidden agendas that we may not fully appreciate or understand. Successful independence includes keeping ourselves safe, not being vulnerable to situations that could compromise our autonomy, our control over ourselves. Many young people leave home not fully equipped to accomplish this. An excellent book is The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker available at

Another area of interest to this age group is exploring spirituality. Most young people in their twenties are on a spiritual quest. It is part of figuring out “Who am I? Why am I here?” Supporting young folks in that exploration is very gratifying work as it is at the core of who we are and who we are becoming as human beings.

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