What’s holding YOU back?
Do you have a mental health condition?
Struggling to manage an untreated emotional issue can paralyze attempts to progress through life milestones. High levels of anxiety, low moods, little excitement, and “feel good” in the metaphorical gas tank result in “snail speed” movement. Mental health issues are very treatable – effective management results in faster progress toward goals.
Was there chaos in your home growing up?
Unresolved resentment, poor modeling, witnessing instability, and blurred boundaries in the home can result in young people adopting unhealthy beliefs and expectations about life. The familial environment and experiences growing up form a culture that influences decision-making.
An example is “Affluenza” – a term coined after a young boy was given an exceedingly light sentence for a serious crime. The defense lawyer in the case argued that the boy could not be held fully liable due to never being taught responsibility. Essentially, poor parenting results in the child not knowing the difference between right and wrong. The term has been broadly adopted to describe the negative consequences of entitlement.
Do you battle chemical dependency?
Dependence on substances and other behaviors can slam the brakes on life. It creates a reality where a person’s substance use takes precedence over all other obligations. It isn’t difficult to understand how this prevents movement. Issues with substances usually require extensive therapy, 12-step meetings, stabilization at a residential treatment program, etc. – all of which are highly disruptive to meeting milestones.
Are social issues giving you trouble?
Being bullied, struggling to make friends, awkward social interactions, and consistent rejection after attempts to form relationships. We are social beings! When relationship issues are a problem, mental health and roadblocks in life reveal themselves. Feelings of loneliness, fear of social situations, and rejection can lead to an extended sabbatical from life.
Have you struggled with learning disabilities?
Low self-esteem and confidence are some consequences of under-treated learning disabilities. Being different from peers and struggling when peers succeed easily can morph into negative core beliefs that prevent growth. It may require more creativity in finding appropriate educational/vocational placements that seem reasonably exciting versus trying to fit into the cookie-cutter mold of the traditional school system.
Have you encountered other false starts, detours, or delays along the way?
Sometimes, we get into the wrong profession, choose the wrong major, or don’t complete the probationary period at a new job. These issues can create crises and lead to hopelessness. It may feel like, “I put all this effort into this profession, and it’s useless to me – I can’t do this type of work… It was a dumb idea to take that program.” It’s important to avoid “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”
Sometimes, therapy can help a person get back on track and avoid the pitfalls of self-pity and resignation to failure.
This is what we mean by “failure to launch”…
Stunted maturity can occur when there aren’t enough incentives to mature. This can occur when an individual is bailed out of growth opportunities too much, ultimately robbing them of opportunities for maturation. This happens most, in my experience, when parents do things for their children that they could do for themselves. These can include calling into work for their child, waking them up for school or work, preparing all their meals, doing laundry, paying off their debts and traffic tickets, and not intervening on vegetative behavior in the home.
It’s important to note that this is not a “black and white” concept – there are instances where helping is beneficial. Therefore, please don’t feel ashamed if you may have ventured into these examples. If you notice age-inappropriate dependency, it may be a sign that excessive helping may hinder growth and progression into adulthood. Missed milestones include failure to complete college, living at home long-term due to inability to sustain employment, and inability to function in society without parental intervention – to name a few.
Self-discovery is one of the most challenging and important milestones.
Who am I? One of the most important questions one can ask. Self-discovery is an arduous and confusing task. It’s multi-faceted and complicated. It includes values, interests, relationships, vocation, personality, likes, desires, hopes, dreams, and much more. Most people don’t really know who they are until they go through several trials and tribulations in life – from broken hearts, disloyal friends, financial struggles, completing training programs, working through difficult issues at work, and more. Life experience facilitates the development of identity.
Therapy can assist with reducing frustration and disappointment that may end or postpone the venture of self-discovery. There aren’t any easy solutions in this area. However, intuition and getting to know the individual can be most helpful, especially when I witness the client light up when talking about certain ideas, activities, and skills.
Finding your unique way forward…
As a therapist, I’ll wear many hats as we make this journey together. Here are some of the things we’ll do:
Getting everyone on board can be difficult, especially when everyone is steering in a different direction. Coordinating with family can assist in progressing forward. Sometimes, there isn’t agreement on priorities and expectations, which can increase the confusion and negatively impact the process.
Identifying vocational strengths and career trajectories is central to maturation. Identifying and taking steps toward a fulfilling career can change everything. Discussing interests, talents, growth points, and subjects that elicit excitement are most helpful in the process. When there’s confusion about questions like “Now what?” growing up gets placed on hold. Don’t let frustration get in the way. Most importantly, never give up.
Negative emotions are common enemies to moving forward. Having someone cheering for success and assisting with guidance can make things more manageable. This is where we work together and apply the principles learned in therapy to real-life situations. Recording difficult situations during the week for review in session provides case studies for practicing effective skills.
“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur
Sitting down together to talk through the issues, plan, build resiliency fosters efficacy. Several different modalities can guide this element. However, talk therapy typically involves talking through difficult situations to understand what’s going on and identify how to move forward and cope.
Hands-on case management…
Sometimes, life skills can be a barrier. Case management can effectively teach these and work one on one to get things done – from coordinating appointments, touring schools, preparing resumes, interview skills, assisting with managing schoolwork, money management, and more.
“One of the most valuable assets a person can have is their ability to manage people.” – Dale Carnegie.
Developing an effective communication style results in profound life changes. Therapy assists with assertive communication, empathy, active listening, and tactful methods to improve relationships. Role-playing skills can assist. Furthermore, witnessing interactions can provide me with more insight into where things may be going wrong in your relationships.
Let’s get this right… once and for all!
Asking for help is the hardest part!
Once a problem has been identified, it becomes tempting to put it on the “back burner” and justify and rationalize it away.
Psychologically, this tricks the mind into thinking that nothing is wrong, just a little longer. However, it doesn’t solve anything – it just creates more problems to accumulate that need to be addressed down the road.
Most people are shocked by how much gets resolved by addressing issues head-on.
Consultations are always free: (561) 717-3227. Please, reach out – you can always change your mind!