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It is easy for people in this stage of life to get caught up in comparing themselves to peers who post photos or messages related to career success, romantic adventures or starting a family.
“What does that mean for an individual who doesn’t have those things yet? One key is for counselors to talk with these clients about how social media rarely shows the day-to-day reality of people’s lives, Williams says.
“I think having your therapeutic antennae up is one of the most important things,” says Hermann, who adds that the client’s presenting problem isn’t always the real problem.
Get to know these clients and work on the issues they present with, she says, but also be open and attentive to exploring other issues of which they may not even be aware.
When things don’t fall into place that seamlessly, Williams says, these young adults feel lied to.
In such cases, Williams says, it can be helpful if counselors talk through those feelings of betrayal with clients, allowing them to express why things feel unfair and then working together to move forward past those feelings.
Many of these individuals have grown up being told by parents, teachers and others that if they follow the rules and check all the boxes they’re instructed to, life will work out as it is supposed to.
There are choices and changes swirling around them in almost every major area of life.
They are deciding where to live, whether moving to their own apartment (or a shared living space) in a new city or back into their parents’ home.
“We really need to acknowledge and not minimize this time period,” he emphasizes.
Decisions, decisions, decisions In their early 20s, many young adults are graduating from college and find themselves faced with a deluge of life transitions, Williams explains.