Life is always filled with the transitions, but the transitions seem to be unstopping for those in their 20s and 30s. While every person’s journey and situation is different, common life transitions for young adults are moving out of their family’s home, attending college, starting full-time work, changing careers, getting in and out of long-term relationships, becoming parents (or deciding not to have children), marriage, divorce, and taking care of aging parents. Mixed into these life events are often struggles to come to terms with one’s religious or faith background, sexuality, dynamics in one’s family of origin, and beliefs about how to have a meaningful life.

Oftentimes it is not until people are in their 20s or 30s that they begin to unravel how unhealthy family dynamics in their family-of-origin impacted them — sometimes this is not brought up until adults become new parents and are resolute to raise their own children differently, but find themselves slipping into patterns that are familiar. It is also common for young adults to begin processing how sexual, physical, or emotional abuse that they experienced as a child or a teen impacted them — sometimes this is brought up due to entering into an intimate relationship and discovering emotional or sexual barriers

An adult’s brain is not fully mature until around age 25 or 26. The most significant changes to the brain during the 10 years following puberty occur in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex. These regions are predominantly involved in higher-order cognitive functioning and emotional control and affect how a person controls impulses and develops long-term strategies. Given this information — along with the various stressors of stepping into adulthood, long-term relationships, and new parenting — it is not surprising that struggles with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse or other forms of addiction are especially common for adults in their 20s and 30s, even for very successful and accomplished individuals.

Benefits of Therapy for Adults in Their 20s and 30s

  • Learning how to manage stress in a healthy way and to increase productivity in both professional and personal life

  • Exploring fears or worries you have and then figuring out how to not let them control your life

  • Exploring and identifying your belief system, who you want to be, and how to get there

  • Learning more about vulnerability and how to have increased intimacy and openness in your close relationships

  • Life can be very overwhelming and feel meaningless at times, especially with added depression — go fully into this experience with a therapist, so you’re not alone, and find authentic ways to experience meaning and connection

  • Examining the negative relationship patterns you find yourself in and practicing healthier ways of connecting closely with partners

  • Processing trauma and toxic relationships you experienced while growing up, so they do not continue to follow you in your life and new relationships

  • Learn how to untangle the web of expectations you experience — and determine which expectations actually matter to you

  • Connect more deeply with your partner through couples therapy and understand both the pain cycles you find yourselves stuck in and how to connect deeply and authentically even in conflict

  • Preparing for parenthood by exploring family-of-origin parenting and childhood experiences and identifying the type of parents you and your partner want to be

  • Process issues you face in your work environment and explore and identify goals and desires for your professional life

  • Clarify and integrate who you are as a person in all of your different contexts — your family, your culture, your community, your friendships, your career

Next, read about Substance Abuse Therapy in Orange County.