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Family Therapy Still Useful for Independent Young Adults

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Even after they move out of the house, family therapy is still useful for young adults who want to be more independent. Many young adults feel that it is not necessary to resolve conflict with parents once they no longer see them on a daily basis, but family therapy can help families strengthen their relationship whether issues brought up are new or unresolved. As young adults are at a crossroads in their lives, repairing relationships with their family can offer lasting support that ensures a smoother transition to independence.

Why Choose Family Therapy As a Young Adult?

Having parents involved in one’s life does not necessarily undermine young adults’ independence. In an online survey, “Parents and Kids: Then and Now”, 31% of young adults reported that they communicate with one of their parents at least once a day, around 60% got together with their parents at least once a week, and 79% said they felt comfortable discussing emotional life events with their parents.

As young adults mature, their relationship with their parents becomes more about shared interests rather than safety and supervision, which can reduce tension between them. While young adults may believe they are more prepared to support themselves, parents can play a significant role as part of their support system. In a transitional living program, families can opt into parent coaching calls to stay involved in their child’s treatment process. 

These calls:

  • Provide oversight to monitor what’s going on in the young adult’s life
  • Help parents set boundaries to see that their child continues to stay invested in their personal goals 
  • Give support when some need for assistance arises. 

What Does Family Therapy Look Like For Young Adults?

Some elements of family therapy for young adults may include discussing old resentments, clearing up any miscommunications, sharing progress on individual goals, and reminding families of positive qualities about their relationship with each other.

 

  • Identifying what each individual hopes to get out of family therapy. It helps to clarify that family members are on a similar page or if they want to define that page together. Young adults may have a different expectation of how they want the process to go than they may have when they were younger. 
  • Discussing barriers to effective communication within the family. This is an essential step for family therapy because communication, even if not the defining issue that brought a family into treatment, is often a problem for struggling families. This may include not spending enough time together, interrupting each other, or making assumptions instead of asking open-ended questions.
  • Allowing young adults to take the lead. Many young adults are used to their parents making decisions for them or being hesitant to express themselves authentically around their parents. After residential treatment, many residents’ primary goal is to advocate for themselves and greater levels of independence from their parents. Family therapy may shift towards parent coaching, which encourages young adults to make autonomous decisions while maintaining positive, open conversations with their parents.
  • Setting boundaries. These calls are a safe space for young adults and parents to express what they need from the other and set appropriate boundaries that respect both sides. This may include discussions about financial support, frequency of visitation, and ways to offer emotional support. Outlining topics to avoid may also be important to discuss for families.

 

Journey Home East Can Help

Journey Home East is a transitional living program for young women ages 16-21. This program focuses on helping women transition from long-term treatment to the real world. While they are at our program, we help build confidence in young adults. The idea is to ween them off support systems of being in programs for many years and hone in on functional living skills they need to be independent. Journey Home East helps with scheduling for school, classes, work, internships. This program also provides health coaching, relationship building, dating safety and personal safety tips. Students have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills they need to lead healthy and successful lives post-treatment. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 855-290-9684 to learn more about our transitional living program.