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    Failure to Launch From high School to Adulthood

    Failure to Launch from High School to Adulthood!

    What is Failure to Launch?

    Today, young adults are faced with many complex tasks and decisions. At times, this complexity can become overwhelming and may create a degree of uncertainty. This uncertainty can affect the young adult’s ability to make educational or career progress at the desirable rate. The transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency is never easy. At Waterford, we provide a unique Failure to Launch program to help young adults overcome the sense of being overwhelmed and move towards creating a more productive and meaningful life.

    What does failure to launch look like?

    When young adults engage in regressive and undesirable coping mechanisms or behaviors that stunt their attempts to launch into a more autonomous lifestyle.

    Some typical signs/symptoms
    • Substance use
    • Procrastination
    • Passive-aggressive behavior
    • Inappropriate sense of entitlement
    • High expectations of others without reciprocal self-investment
    • Inability to make decisions or fulfill commitments at school or work
    • Bouts of anxiety and/or depression
    Sources of these signs or symptoms
    • Low motivation
    • Low frustration tolerance
    • Lack of social skills
    • Emotional health issues
    • Lack of practical adults skills

    How can Waterford Make a Difference?

    Addressing Failure to Launch

    Waterford incorporates a unique and comprehensive solution-focused approach to address Failure to Launch.


    Assessment and diagnostics of substance use and any co-occurring emotional health issues are a fundamental foundation for providing appropriate and necessary services. Depression, social anxiety, and other mental illness are often unidentified and may the underlying cause of a young adult’s failure to launch. These emotional health issues must be treated as soon as possible. If the brain chemistry is unbalanced, it will negatively impact the young adults’ ability to maintain sobriety and master the skills necessary to progress in the therapy and life skills attainment.


    Proper Identification of the types and levels of substance use, abuse, or dependence is a crucial component of implementing a treatment plan that will assist our clients in acknowledging, addressing, and attempting to maintain abstinence during treatment. We offer a free evaluation and an onsite urine drug screen to determine what treatment approach is most suitable for each client. Because substance use is such an accessible, misunderstood, and unhealthy coping mechanism utilized by young people today, proper identification of the type and level of use is vital. During treatment, our clients will learn about the negative impact of this coping mechanism and be expected to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. Random drug screening and relapse prevention techniques are learned and practiced throughout the client’s treatment protocol.


    Education involves a two-prong approach that addresses both the client and the family and loved ones.

    Many young adults believe that marijuana is therapeutic; because it’s legal in several states and heavy drinking is associated with “part of the college life experience”, young adults to fail understand the true and dangerous nature of continuous of continuous engagement in usage of these substances. Abuse and/or addiction are often the result of prolonged exposure. The truth is that marijuana, along with other drugs and alcohol perpetuate the avoidance and procrastination that seemingly keep our young people “stuck.” Our clients will receive substance use, abuse, and addiction education. They will engage in multi-level self-discovery and process their usage during individual counseling to increase a sense of ownership in their recovery, reduce their sense of isolation, and increase relapse probability.

    Many parents and/or families adopt the belief that their young adults’ failure to launch is a product of faulty parenting or lack of a supportive upbringing. This belief is not always true and can lead to guilty parenting and enabling. Waterford is dedicated to educating and empowering parents to set appropriate limits and maintain realistic and enforceable expectations. Family education utilizes family therapy, process groups, role play, education and boundary setting. These tools equip the family in helping move the young adult into ownership of their own behaviors and set the stage for a solution-focused mindset. The young adult is no longer left with a platform or person upon which to lay blame. These tools and education also enables loved ones to recognize and discourage blame-placing behaviors. Although these young adults are moving into adulthood, parental and familial support is crucial.

    Once the young adult consistently exhibiting more self-sufficiency in the launching process, the family will be a source of support and positive social influence while integration into the societal, post-educational, and/or career world occurs.


    Mastery and application of important life skills are an important part of recovery and successful launching. Many of our young people are unsure about their future and this insecurity can become a disabling fear of failure. Waterford clinicians and support staff help promote client confidence with life skill mastery.

    Identifying, reframing, and addressing fears about oneself and the future (anxiety) is often best accomplished when the client is able to test his or her level of competency in a collaborative and productive manner. As self-confidence increases and successes are validated, dependency on substances and others for a sense of security is significantly reduced.

    At Waterford, our solution begins with a free comprehensive assessment, followed by an individualized treatment plan that identifies areas to be addressed, objectives and strategies which are identified and developed for each of the 4 dimensions of treatment with a view towards successfully launching our clients into the adult world.