Failure To Launch Syndrome

Failure to Launch Syndrome is not a real diagnosis in the DSM-5. However, it incorporates traits we see in adult children often and we treat them. We most see failure to launch in male teenagers and young adult men. We also treat the parents of adult children who are experiencing failure to launch. The first sign we see that the client is struggling with failure to launch is their parent makes the initial phone call with the provider. We have parents trying to schedule for their adult child who might be 22 years old, close to age 30, or even already in their 30s!

We will not allow any parent of an adult child who has full cognitive functioning to schedule an appointment for their adult child.

Symptoms we see associated with failure to launch include: low distress tolerance, feelings of entitlement for others to help them, low motivation, avoidance of taking responsibilities, very little work ethic, easily quit tasks, and self-victimization.

Research has shown that younger generations are starting to drive later in life, leave their parents’ home later, and become financially independent later in life. Sometimes this is due to real circumstances and professional journeys. Other times, this is the result of clients struggling with direction in life, drive, and motivation. These clients tend to develop anxiety and can feel hopeless about their future. We are definitely not the kind of providers who believe parents should be blamed for everything and that’s even true with failure to launch cases. At the same time, we help parents in these cases (if the client allows) to help reduce their accommodations of the adult child and set expectations and responsibilities. Those with failure to launch become overwhelmed easily. Parents tend to problem solve for their adult children and reduce their responsibilities overtime. These kinds of accommodations ultimately only reinforce the adult child’s dependency on them and keep the adult child, well, child-like.

Parents of adult children, or even teenagers, who are exhibiting symptoms of failure to launch, get help now! Before you know it, you’ll have a 40-year-old child living in your house and still on your payroll!

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is used for the treatment of failure to launch for both adult children and parents.

For more information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), please click here.

We Are Ready To Help

Treatment is available in person, via video conference, and over the phone for patients in Florida and New York. In-person sessions are available in Tampa, Florida. 

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