Support for emerging adults

 

Article first published in Cornwall Today.

Growing up has never been easy, and now more than ever the pressures of managing life online and off are taking a toll on young people. Working alongside people to inspire healthy behaviours and thoughts, can be beneficial whatever our age.

This month I am grateful for the opportunity to introduce a friend, colleague and exceptional counsellor. Louise Turvey is a person-centred therapist who has worked in private practice and with the NHS for 20 years. A qualified BACP psychotherapist, Louise's Relate training and her work with Drug & Alcohol Services, Eating Disorder Service, Primary Care and Young People's counselling mean she is highly skilled in supporting people at all life stages across different forms of psychological distress.  

At Lifetime we have seen a rise in young people coming to our wellbeing centre for support with difficulties they experience as emerging adults. We understand that this period of transition is a time of new experience, adventure and excitement for many, but can also be a time of uncertainty, identity formation and challenge with the many options our world presents.

Young adulthood can be characterised by rapid physiological, sexual, cognitive, and emotional changes and supporting young people through this developmental stage is about harnessing the essence of their authentic values and beliefs while guiding them through the many changes and pressures they face.

Young people’s concerns may relate to specified gender stereotyping or assumptions related to gender but also encompass other matters unrelated to gender. Many issues can leave emerging adults vulnerable to developing mental health concerns and we often work with young people who face difficulties with body image and eating.

While eating disorders can develop in any gender and at any age, research suggests peak onset is under the age of twenty-five. Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses and seeking help as soon as possible allows the best chance of a full recovery.

At Lifetime we understand the stigma attached to seeking help. Young people can feel bewildered, confused, lost and unclear about where to go or who to turn to. Our approach at Lifetime is to work alongside the people who come to see us and to explore the difficulties they face with care and compassion. In this way, we develop the potential to change.

We recognise that eating disorders interrupt where young people need to be developmentally and aim to guide and support change before longer-term consequences are established, getting them back on track with their developmental journey, sometimes working in collaboration with GP’s, NHS services and family members and sometimes in groups or one-to-one.  Our person-centred approach means that we adapt to the needs of each individually, working the ways that will most serve them as they grow.

Louise Turvey & Malachy Dunne

Find out more about wellness.