I’m one of those unusual people who likes teenagers. I like their developing personalities, their budding ideas, their growing world views. I even like the mixed signals, the intense moods, and the often dramatic reactions. This is passion.
Young adulthood is the perfect time to put some effort and care into making decisions that will determine life paths. You can always make life changes, but it’s much easier to start off from a young age in the direction you want to go.
When I taught middle and high school, I developed a little theory:
Middle school students are generally oblivious to the differences they experience in their families.
High school age students start to recognize more and more what makes their upbringing different from their friends. They may recognize that the alcoholism of their parent isn’t “normal” or that the poverty they experience is not what their friends worry about.
After high school is when people start to process their family differences. They start understanding what affect their upbringing had on them. They can start making decisions about how they are going to live their life similar or different than what they experienced growing up.
I’m passionate about working with young adults as they figure out the next steps in their lives. Oftentimes, this is also about processing past difficulties, understanding how they have been shaped by their experiences. Given a supportive counseling environment, young adults can have the opportunity to explore their goals, expand their identity, and build confidence.
For more information on teens, young adults, and mental health, check out these resources: