While individual therapy during residential treatment is focused on processing past patterns and learning new ways of coping, therapy in a transition program is about how to apply the skills they’ve learned to present-day scenarios and asking for help when it is needed. There’s a shift from “how do I manage life’s stresses as someone who struggles with their mental health” to “how do i manage life’s stresses as an adult with personal goals.” Many young adults in a similar position may choose to switch gears and look for a life coach to help them develop healthier habits and relationships. In a transition program for young adults who have already been in therapy, life coaching complements individual therapy, rather than replacing it.
Three major shifts occur when young adults choose a transition program after residential treatment:
Individual Therapy Becomes Less Formal
Aligned with a transition program’s individualized therapeutic model, young adults have the option to decide when and how they want to have therapy. They may choose to opt for a shorter check-in or therapy over coffee or while walking a trail instead of an hour-long session in an office. Young adults are encouraged to bring up personal goals and concerns as they collaborate with their therapist on a treatment plan. Therapy becomes more about how to utilize community resources and navigate interpersonal conflict rather than crisis intervention for mental health issues.
After a period of intensive individual therapy, many young adults have learned basic skills for how to manage their mental health issues. As a result, their needs in a therapeutic relationship change, as they look at the bigger picture of planning for the future.
One of the biggest shifts in clinical programming in a transition program is that instead of intensive family therapy, we offer parent coaching. This suggests that parents are less directly involved in their daughter’s therapeutic process. Instead, they are coached on how to support her in the goals she’s created for herself and how to establish healthy boundaries to encourage her independence.
Mentors Offer Guidance Rather Than Expectations
The power differential between staff and students narrow in a young adult transition program, compared to a residential setting. Mentors serve as a resource for young adults who have questions about practical skills, like cooking, creating a resume, applying for jobs or schools, or time management, rather than enforcers of rules.
They may also offer wisdom from their experience as navigating the social world as a young adult, including safe dating practices, building self-esteem, and exploring healthy social activities.
While therapists offer a variety of evidence-based strategies to help young adults cope with emotions, though often in a less formal session, mentors offer informal life coaching to help young adults create and stick to an individualized weekly schedule.
Young Adults Are Empowered to Make Independent Decisions
Ultimately, our goal is to help young adults shape their own life decisions without needing to seek approval or answers from others. This involves a natural shift in the nature of a therapeutic relationship with professionals. We believe that the young women we work with have the skills to be their own life coaches, but that until they develop the confidence to pursue their goals, they benefit from remaining in a supportive community after residential treatment.
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.