In recent years, the marked psychological and emotional difficulties that college students experience during this transitionary period have been revealed in academic research, magazine articles and blogs alike. This is real, and young people are suffering. Normalizing the struggle is an important step in recognizing the externality of the threat and hopefully connecting students with resources, but according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only 7% of parents reported their college students as experiencing mental health issues. What does this mean?
Firstly, parents need support just as much as students in handling this milestone, and many parents grew up in an era less friendly towards mental health needs (Some would argue this stigma has barely receded). As therapists who operate within a cognitive behavioral framework, when we see a very clear trend that effects a variety of individuals, we look at which tools and techniques could assist in changing one's thinking about the college experience. College does not directly cause you pain, but your beliefs and expectations just may. We can help you see that. Many kids think that college is supposed to be the best time of their lives, whether it's nonstop intellectual stimulation or nonstop partying. When that doesn't happen, they feel awful. Well, look at the evidence, you are not the only one feeling as badly as you do.