Counseling for Young and Emerging Adults

Counseling For When You Need Help Navigating the World

Being an adult isn’t easy. Nor is it easy to become an adult. The world can be a complicated place. Depending on your life experiences, you may not have received much guidance from the adults in your life, or perhaps the adults from your life were overly involved in your life. The result of this involvement led to preventing you from making mistakes and learning from your challenges.

Counseling can help you as a young or emerging adult because you might not know what you want or what you need in order to make changes in your life. You feel like need help sorting it all out. At other times, the stress around having to make changes can be too much. The fear of the unknown might feel too great to face on your own and you need someone to walk with you at this time. If you’re nodding your head as you read this, read on to learn more about how I work with young and emerging adults wanting to create change in their lives.

The Changes You May Be Facing Right Now

But first, let’s take a closer look at the changes you may be facing right now. These changes may involve your job or significant relationships. These changes can be jarring as they impact your sense of stability or sense of identity. In these cases, you may be asking yourself whether you should stay or go. You could be feeling stuck as you weigh the pros and cons of what you need to do for yourself.

Counseling can help you when you can't manage alone what's going on in your life

As a result, this process may bring up feelings about how you “should be” or what you “should do.” Only, you don’t really identify with those “shoulds” anymore. Those “shoulds” are no longer part of your truth. Unfortunately, you’re unsure of what your full truth is.

Whereas you may otherwise be finding that the decision to stay or go has been made for you. This could leave you feeling shocked and in a state of disbelief. As a result, it can be hard to know how to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Factors That Can Affect How You Experience Transitions in Life

Likewise, there are a variety of factors that can affect your ability to create change. These factors can make it easier or harder for you to handle this life transition you now find yourself facing. For example, if you had a difficult childhood, you may already be primed to fear abandonment. Additionally, if you don’t have a strong sense of who you are, your self-identity might get shaken by change.

You need someone who can help you make sense out of what is going on. As well, you need someone who can hold space for you to grieve the loss of what was and what will no longer be.

You Don’t Need to Do This Alone

I know that change isn’t easy, but know that you don’t have to work through this alone. Joining you in the journey, the counseling services I provide can help you:

Move Beyond Your Past

Work through and Resolve Childhood Wounds

Many people have experienced some sort of trauma while growing up. Your family experience may not have been the quintessential loving family. Things may have happened to you during your childhood or adolescence which left you feeling damaged.

For whatever reason, at the time you weren’t able to confide in a trusted adult. Now, you’re ready to express, examine, and move through the pain. You’re ready to grow into your stronger, authentic self.

I’m here to help you in this growth.

Develop Resilience

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Nothing in life unfolds EXACTLY as you intend. While you can visualize what it is that you want and are striving to create, you can never be 100% sure of the end result. Things change. The constant flux of life can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, or confused.

Significant relationships may end. Challenging health conditions may need significant lifestyle changes. You’re confronted with reminders of your mortality. This may leave you feeling unsure of how to move forward.

Working together we can move you forward.

Improve Relationships

Have more meaningful, harmonious relationships

Healthy relationships take work. Healthy relationships take work. For a relationship to thrive, you need to be able to communicate effectively. Sometimes in the need to blow off steam, you may say things to someone that you don’t mean. Other times you may find yourself at a loss for words.

Until you can connect with your own needs, you’ll be unable to communicate them to others. At the same time, you can’t fully recognize the needs of others without knowing your own.

Through the counseling relationship you can discover what you need and learn how to communicate your needs to others.

Counseling can help with these things because the counseling relationship and the counseling process can support you in engaging in self-exploration and self-reflection. For example, incorporating mindfulness techniques can help you slow down and reconnect with yourself. Doing this can help you get in touch with your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present moment. From there, you can better understand yourself, examine other perspectives, and experiment with different ways of being better aligned with who you are and who you want to be.

Likewise, using music in our work together can help you go deeper into yourself and your feelings around situations in your life. That is because, by its nature, music is expressive and non-verbal, which can have a personally meaningful impact on people. As a result, you may come out of therapy with a new understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish.

Specific ways that you can benefit from integrating music therapy as part of your counseling work are:

Find Out What Is Important to You

Clarify values, boundaries, and needs

You may feel like you’re getting nowhere in life. If so, check in with yourself to see if you are in alignment with your values. Some questions you can ask are: What are your values? Are you allowing others to overstep your boundaries? What are your boundaries? How aware are you of what you’re creating in your life? Is your subconscious running the show?

Music provides a creative way for the exploration of these thoughts and feelings.

Improve Your Communication

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Bottling up your thoughts and feelings can make your life more difficult in the long run. You may find yourself in unwanted or undesirable situations. When you feel stuck or trapped, you can experience feeling resentment, which can negatively impact your relationships.

Music therapy can help you express what needs expressing. At the same time, the insights you can gain from therapy can help you to express yourself clearly and respectfully. One way we can use music to do this is through improvisation. Improvisation can include role-playing and voicework. Music listening, discussion, and even songwriting can also be helpful.

Reconnect with Your Feelings

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There is nothing inherently good or bad about feelings. Feelings are just natural responses to situations and experiences. Sometimes these responses have a basis on past experiences that can color your experience.

Your emotions have something deeply personal to tell you. Music therapy can help you hear them and receive the message. A few ways that music can do this is through improvisation, songwriting, or music discussion.

Gain New Perspectives

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There are no guarantees in life. Relationships end. Our carefully laid out plans can collapse. With this comes opportunities to learn and grow.
Maybe the experience is offering you an opportunity of some sort. Can you see what it is? Perhaps there are different perspectives at play. Is yours the only “right” one?

Music therapy provides a safe space for exploring these thoughts and ideas. At the same time, this safe space also fosters creativity. That is because engaging with music can lead to new awareness and insights. While at the same time, the therapeutic use of music through actively making it or listening to it allows for exploring different perspectives.

group of friends singing while sitting on beach sand
Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

How People Have Benefited: Snapshots From My Work With Young Adults

Below are vignettes highlighting the counseling work I have done. These stories are composites of client experiences within therapy. As such, they do not represent any particular client. Instead, they illustrate ways that emerging adults have benefited from working with me.

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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Trauma and Post-Traumatic Growth

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The focus of our work together was on helping them find their voice. My background in voice was a key reason they wanted to work with me. Yet, at the same time, they were reluctant to express themselves through their voice.

Initially, they would express themselves through improvising on the piano or percussion instruments. Sometimes they would ask me to play along, and other times they needed me to hold space and witness them playing. Eventually, they began to use their voice. In connecting with their voice and their breath, they reconnected with their body. Through our work together, they could identify a healthy, positive outlook for themselves.

Managing Feelings of Anxiety and Grief

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For clients experiencing anxiety, breathing activities and vocalizing or singing can be helpful. And this was especially true in this situation. These activities helped the client to express their grief and manage their anxiety. They could do this because they could reconnect with their breath and body in the present moment.

Selecting meaningful songs was also helpful for the client. These songs helped the client to be able to process the relationship. Additionally, musical improvisations and music listening explored themes of empowerment and growth. These experiences helped them to envision and create their new life.

Finding Self-Worth and Life Direction

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A client who had recently graduated from college had difficulties figuring out what they wanted to do with their life. They knew they didn’t want to pursue a career in their major. As a result, they were questioning what to do now.

Their sense of self was low because they were at a loss as to what they wanted to do. They needed to find a job, and up until that point, they had done what others had expected of them. Now they found themself having to make decisions for themself.

In therapy, we engaged in different music-based and mindfulness-based activities that helped them identify what they wanted for themself and where they wanted to go. Some of these activities included playing songs that were meaningful to them and discussing the meaning of those songs to them, as well as music-based mindfulness meditation. Because they could connect to themself, their interests, and their needs through these experiences, they found the courage to take the chance to pursue their dreams.

FAQs About The Counseling Services I Offer

I understand that you may still feel unsure and have more questions about counseling or music therapy. Because of this, here are some questions that people often ask me about my work with emerging adults:

Logistics About Therapy

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The length of therapy varies by person and different factors, including their unique situation of what they’re looking for help with and schedule. Usually, there is a period of a few months wherein weekly therapy sessions are necessary. That is because we need to establish rapport and develop a treatment plan for starting the work together. Once that is in place, and we’ve made some progress together, sessions can taper off to meeting every two weeks to once a month.

Eventually, sessions will no longer be necessary. Although sometimes people find occasional check-ins to be helpful. While at other times, they find reward in transitioning to music lessons.

Generally, we will need to work together longer if your situation is complicated. Regarding payment, if you don’t wish to use insurance, music therapy and counseling services are $130 an hour. If you want to use your insurance, I am in-network with Aetna, Anthem BCBS (HMO and PPO), Cigna, Friday, Kaiser, Medicaid (through CCHA and Colorado Access), Triwest, and United Healthcare. If you have Aetna, Cigna, Friday, or Triwest, I will need to set up an account for you with SonderMindthat you will need to complete with your insurance and payment information for any co-pays or coinsurance that are part of your insurance plan.

Why I Enjoy Working with Young Adults

Why do you do this work?

I especially feel called to work with young adults because I had a challenging adolescence that affected how I navigated my own young adulthood. I can appreciate that young adulthood can be a difficult time. One is changing into becoming their own individuated person, and as such, there are many transitions that are occurring at this time.

Through my own experiences as a young adult and beyond, I have come to embrace change and transitions. Although that is not to say that it’s not daunting at times. However, experience has shown me that finding ways to embrace change can lead to profound growth. I know it isn’t always easy to embrace change, and I recognize that it takes courage, but being able to live as one’s authentic self is worth it. Because of this, I honor the process my clients go through in our work together, and I love being able to help others get to the point where they can be their authentic selves.

Music Therapy

How could music make therapy more effective for me?

Music can “amplify” the skills and insights gained from therapy. That is because music impacts us in many different, multifaceted ways. We are neurologically and physiologically hard-wired to respond to music. Moreover, music can connect us to unrecognized thoughts and feelings. At the same time while also serves as a means of communication and self-expression. We can create and investigate new ways of being by engaging with music.

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Musical knowledge or ability isn’t necessary to benefit from music therapy. Therapy work focuses on the process rather than a final product, and music therapy isn’t necessarily about a performance. If needed, I will suggest accommodations or adaptations that make it easier for you to make music and embrace your creativity.

How is music therapy different from taking music lessons?

Music therapy and music lessons have very different goals and focus. The focus of music therapy is on achieving specific therapeutic goals unrelated to music. Music serves as a tool, a vehicle for personal exploration, growth, and development.

On the other hand, the focus of music lessons is musical development. Although, that isn’t to say that a person may not find music lessons therapeutic. Because of this, SoundWell provides adapted music lessons to those who may benefit from an adapted approach. See our Studio Policy for more information.

“Ok, I’m Convinced. I Want to Work With You. What Are the Next Steps?”

Congratulations on taking this first step in acknowledging that you might need help navigating your life right now. It takes courage and self-awareness to do so. Because of that, you deserve credit for getting to this point. I hope this information has been helpful, but you can contact me by email if you have more questions.

Otherwise, let’s schedule a time to talk. I offer a free 15-minute consultation by phone or online that you can schedule here. At this time, we’ll talk in more detail about your situation and how I might be able to help you.