Our Philosophy on Young Adult Therapy

Our clients aged 17-25 are going through huge life transitions and have some very specific challenges needing specific approaches.

We learn coping strategies early in life, ways to get ourselves through feelings and challenges. When we are young, we may not have all the facts to understand what’s going on in our families, and may not have the cognitive capacity to reflect on long term goals or the minds and intentions of others.

Such coping strategies can come at a significant cost – anxiety, impulsivity, inattentive, anger or a difficulty regulating and using our emotions. Emerging adults may be deeply worried about how acceptable they are as people. They may turn to alcohol and drugs as ways to help them cope and feel closer to people. As young adults, they be more black-and-white, impulsive and easily influenced by peers.

But right at that time, they are going through enormous shifts. They may be moving far away from friends and family, starting and ending relationships, discovering sex and sexuality, building and rebuilding identity, questioning assumptions. There are high expectations for success – financially, physically, academically – in an ever more competitive world; disrupted sleep cycles, and exposure to new drugs and alcohol.

They may be subjected to physical or sexual trauma, often made worse by drugs or alcohol.

And yet this period sets the stage for the rest of our lives. We hope to emerge in relationships, a career, psychological and physical stability and hope.

Is it any wonder that this is when disorders first show themselves? This is when paranoia and psychosis, anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorders, eating disorders, self-harm and addictions all start showing up. It can be frightening. With the right kind of care these issues will be remembered as flare-ups in a difficult phase of life. With the wrong treatment they can become entrenched and sow the seeds for long-term challenges.

Psych Garden understands the developmental context of emerging adulthood, including the neurobiological, psychological, and social sensitivities. We can sift out the dangerous from the challenging. We keep clients on track in their lives with the minimal disruption possible, and teach them coping skills alongside therapies that can help them discover their strengths and differentiate and handle emotions with wisdom. They will emerge from this period and we need to facilitate a natural process, keeping them safe through that.

Specific therapies may be necessary for specific disorders. We use talk therapies, gentle psychopharmacology, mindfulness, group and relational work. Sometimes we need to work with the family to help them let go, talk to their children as emerging adults, and reinforce positive change. Other times they may need coaching for sleep, self-care, budgeting and attentional issues. Addictions work is common.

We are committed to compassionately engaging individuals who identify as LGBTQ.