As a young adult, life can be very stressful. You might be juggling work and college responsibilities, living on your own for the first time, or experiencing your first serious relationships.
In this guide, we’ve explained how to find a therapist who specializes in helping young adults.
After, we’ve explained more about the types of mental health struggles you might face at this stage of your life, and how to choose the right therapist to support you.
Note: we may receive compensation if you become a paying customer of a therapy service we link to.
Therapy for young adults
Here are some online platforms, services, and therapist directories you can use to find a therapist who specializes in helping young adults.
BetterHelp is an online platform that can help connect you with a licensed professional therapist.
On this website, the therapists don’t all specialize in helping young adults. However, plenty of their counselors do, and to connect with one, all you need to do is mention your preference when signing up. Then, the people at BetterHelp will match you with the right therapist or counselor – meaning, you don’t need to spend ages searching for the right professional.
The cost of BetterHelp therapy is also very transparent – it’s billed weekly, and the prices are very reasonable. Also, if you’re facing financial difficulties at the moment, you can get access to additional discounts, based on the level of hardship you’re facing.
Each therapist on this platform is a licensed professional, with at least three years of practical experience. You get a live video session each week, at a time that works for you, as well as the ability to message your therapist in between each scheduled session.
Teen Counseling helps those aged 13-19 get professional help from a licensed therapist.
This online platform makes affordable, discreet, professional therapy available through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You will benefit from having a therapist with extensive experience at your fingertips to discuss coping skills, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, depression, bullying, anger, eating disorders, and any other mental health challenges.
Therapists on Teen Counseling are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (Ph.D./PsyD), licensed clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW) or licensed professional therapists (LPC).
Each therapist has a Master’s Degree or a Doctoral Degree in their field, and is experienced at helping teenagers and young adults improve their mental health (many in fact specialize in helping young adults and adolescents).
Therapy on Teen Counseling is done in four ways:
- Exchanging messages with the therapist.
- Chatting live with the therapist (text chat).
- Speaking over the phone with the therapist.
- Video conferencing with the therapist.
You can use each different method at any time, based on your needs, availability, and convenience.
Typically, you will have a scheduled video chat each week, and you can message your counselor in between sessions as much as you’d like. This makes therapy on Teen Counseling very accessible, no matter which communication medium you’d prefer to use.
3. Inclusive Therapists
Inclusive Therapists is a free-to-use directory that provides the contact information of therapists for young adults near you.
To search specifically for the right therapist, you just have to select “Specialities”, followed by “Adolescents/teens” in the second field. Later, you have to put your zip code. Once you do this, a number of counselors who provide young adult therapy will be listed.
On each therapist’s profile, all the information about the practice and psychological methods used by that therapist are also given. You can also message the therapist directly from the website, and they will let you know their availability, as well as their fees.
The process of getting started is a bit more tricky with this option, since you’ll need to message a few different therapists, to find someone who’s available. However, this directory is a great choice if you’re looking for in-person help as a young adult.
Common mental health issues faced by young adults
Our senior high school and college-age years are sometimes described as the best years of our lives, but in reality, the transition from adolescence to adulthood can be very challenging.
It is not uncommon for 16-25(+) year olds to feel confused, overwhelmed, and emotionally stuck during this time.
Many young adults struggle with one or more of the following issues:
School or work
School and work can be very demanding on their own, and in many cases, young adults juggle both at the same time.
When obligations at work and school increase, sleep and wellbeing often take the backseat, and you may begin to feel anxiety and/or exhaustion. Staying afloat in the academic and work arena is particularly challenging for young adults that have difficulty focusing, especially if you have an issue such as ADHD.
Young adulthood is often a time when we develop many new relationships, and our existing relationships change dramatically.
Friends from adolescence may split up, and new associations may grow. Family ties may be tested or strengthened. Dating, intimate relationships, and breakups can be an emotional roller coaster.
Young adults often desire a sense of community and belonging, but striking a social balance that is fulfilling and worthwhile can be a challenge. If you’re feeling stressed or depressed as a result of relationship challenges, therapists can help with this, especially those who specialize in helping with relationship issues, such as the counselors on ReGain.
Once you stop living at home, or make your first large purchase (such as a car), you’ll soon realize that life can be surprisingly expensive.
After rent, utilities, groceries, gas, phone bills, and car payments (and perhaps health insurance and student loans), many young adults are left with quite a tight budget. Establishing financial independence and stability is undoubtedly stressful for young people, and therapists can help you to deal with the mental challenges associated with financial stress.
Difficulty making major life decisions
During your young adult years, you’ll have a lot of major decisions to make surrounding your studying, career, relationships, finances, and where you live in the world.
Should you apply for a four-year degree, a three-year degree, join the workforce, or apply for the military? Accept an internship, study abroad, or take a gap year? Continue to wait tables to save money, or begin college immediately to pursue a more fulfilling profession?
On top of immediate academic, work, social, and financial stress, many young adults also battle uncertainty about the future, no matter which decisions you make. This is perfectly normal, and mental health professionals know how to overcome these types of challenges.
Other psychological issues
Many young adults experience at least one mental illness. Approximately one in five teens (aged 12 to 18) currently experience at least one mental health issue, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, or an eating disorder.
Unfortunately, young adults are more likely than older adults to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, and are less likely to seek mental health help. This trend is alarming, since early detection and intervention are vital in preventing mental illnesses from persisting and worsening later in life.
Benefits of therapy for young adults
Young adults can set themselves up for success by opening up, expressing their emotions, and coming to terms with past trauma.
Even if you are unsure about attending therapy sessions, it can be worth trying, at least for a few weeks, to see if talking can help you overcome the issues that you’re facing.
Resolving relationship issues
Your counselor can help you find answers to questions related to your relationships and make you feel more secure about your relationship problems. Moreover, therapists can also help learn how to manage the emotions you may feel as a part of different relationships.
For example, online dating apps are currently very popular, and therapists can help teens and young adults be more aware of the emotional and mental health dangers of using these types of apps.
As we forge new relationships, there are also breakups and heartbreaks that many of us will face. Therapy can be an excellent space to explore and work through these issues, especially the airing out of feelings that comes after a breakup.
Relationships with family may also change during this time. For example, you may have differing feelings about religion when compared with your parents, especially as an older teenager.
Additionally, therapy can also help young adults communicate what they need during these difficult situations, as they heal and continue on their journey.
Alleviating symptoms of past mental traumas
By the time you reach young adulthood, you’ve had your fair share of bad experiences, heartbreak, and possibly trauma which may lead to the risk of unhealthy behaviors, such as substance abuse.
Through different psychological methods, a therapist can alleviate the symptoms of previous mental traumas. They can help you work through your mental scars, allowing you to overcome issues such as depression and anxiety.
Improving self-esteem and confidence
During our young adult years, we have to make many decisions about our goals in life, and who we are as a person, while simultaneously juggling work, study, and relationship commitments.
It’s human nature to compare ourselves with our peers, especially when faced with the expectations of others, such as parents and other close family members. As a result, the beginning of our adulthood can be a very trying time for our self-confidence and self-esteem.
Therapy can help restore and uplift your self-confidence. A counselor can help you recognize and reduce negative self-talk, and also help you with self-compassion and goal-setting, both of which are linked to improved self-esteem.
What can I expect from my first time visiting therapist?
On your first meeting with the therapist, they will ask questions about your presenting complaints or issues, and the reasons you’ve sought out their help.
Depending on the information you provide, the therapist might ask about your family history, any past traumatic events, and/or your current emotional state.
Next, your therapist may want to know your goals for therapy, and they might work with you in the initial session to form a treatment plan. This plan will include how often you will meet, what you will work on, and some ideas about how to help you reach your goals.
In addition, pricing and modes of payment may also be discussed on your first meeting with the therapist, if you have not already talked about this in your prior discussions with them.
Therapies used to help young adults
Suppose you feel that you are having trouble adjusting to life as a young adult, and would like to find new ways of managing the challenges you’re facing as they arise.
Here are some of the therapies that might be used to make meaningful and positive changes in your life, when you seek help from a licensed therapist.
Note: this is not a complete list – some therapists who specialize in helping young adults will use other therapy methods.
Insight-Oriented Therapy (Psychodynamic Therapy)
Insight-Oriented Therapy is based on the belief that we can create new life experiences through increased consciousness.
This therapeutic process involves the therapist and client exploring and understanding how feelings, thoughts, actions, and events from the past may influence our current mindset and circumstances. The goal of Insight-Oriented Therapy is to empower you with a sense of clarity so that you have the freedom to make new, adaptive, and healthier choices that support your continual growth, while upholding your mental health.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This process is focused on addressing thought patterns, physical symptoms, and behaviors. Research shows that CBT is a very effective form of treating various mental health issues, especially social anxiety.
A CBT professional will create a safe space for you to feel comfortable starting the process towards personal growth, and help to reduce the feelings of depression and anxiety you are facing. CBT can be used alone, or combined with mindfulness/meditation.
Through consistent practice, like meditation, we can become more focused on the present, and better understand our experience in the here-and-now.
Mindfulness teaches us to shift our attention away from negative thought patterns that lead to displeasing and problematic thoughts and behaviors, and move toward positive and meaningful growth. Mindfulness can be used alone or combined with insight-oriented therapy and/or CBT.
Young adults face many unique challenges in their life, which may lead to problems such as eating disorders, substance abuse, self-esteem issues, depression, and mood disorders. You can seek support from a licensed professional counselor who has experience helping young adults, to you cope with these issues.
BetterHelp and Teen Counseling are two renowned online platforms that offer you the ability to easily connect with a licensed therapist, from the comfort of your own home. However, if you prefer in-person therapy, a physical directory like inclusivetherapists.com can help you find a nearby therapist, who has extensive experience in helping people in similar situations to you.
If you’re not sure how to find the right therapist, feel free to leave a blog comment below, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
About the author
When people experience mental trauma or face severe stress, their lives can unravel. My job is to help begin the healing process. I help my patients improve their mental health, strengthen relationships with others, and begin to overcome past traumas. I practice a large range of psycho-behavioral therapies, and have more than three years’ experience in clinical psychology and counseling.
In my spare time, I’m also a professional writer who spreads awareness about mental health issues. I have written many articles on this topic over the years for numerous different publications.
My educational background includes an M.B.B.S from the University of Health and Sciences, Lahore, majoring in Behavioral Sciences, and a Bachelors from G.C University, Faisalabad.