“Why can’t he just get a job?” Focused services for stuck young adults

The Institute offers a special focus upon the challenges facing young adults individuating, or launching, into the extremely complex socio-economic climate here in Marin County, the Bay Area and the world at large. Social media demands, video gaming distractions, marijuana legalization, an uncertain environmental (climate) future, confusing political landscapes, the effects of helicopter parenting, all combine with intense media and familial pressure to succeed. For young adults with a preference for being altered chemically (alcohol, marijuana, Rx drugs) or behaviorally (food, gaming, shopping, cutting), launching into an independent or semi-independent lifestyle can seem a daunting or nearly impossible task.

Many young adults who work with the Institute and its staff have received treatment as teens: wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools, intensive outpatient programs, or similar. While this is not required for a young adult to work with us, these students are well-prepared to benefit from the combination of services we provide. At the same time, many an 18-to-30-plus year old may have received little or no prior treatment, nor necessarily have required it. We have young men and women returning from college, with or without degrees, who find themselves lost in their parents’ homes: isolated, drinking, video gaming, smoking marijuana, bouncing from meaningless job to the next, or caught in more serious patterns of destructive behavior. Most have depression, and anxiety, along with a personal or ancestral history of physical or relational trauma.

The Institute’s power to promote change in these young people lies with our ability to combine multiple services into a single package serving a young adult and the entire family. Our goal is to guide a young adult toward their goals. Most want one or more of the following:

  • Find and keep meaningful work while reducing financial dependence on parents
  • Develop classroom experience and the confidence to complete college
  • Learn a trade such as recording engineering or video production

We employ a cluster of services to guide our young adult clients to pursue one of these goals. Our service packages include:

  • Young adult skill-building group: “Pathways to Selfhood”
  • Mentoring or case management
  • Substance abuse or addiction counseling
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Coordination with outside medical providers including psychiatry
  • 12-step program or other peer support group attendance support (if indicated)