Failure to Launch Programs: How Do They Work?

young adult contemplating entering into a failure to launch treatment center

Do you find yourself frustrated with an adult son or daughter who just can’t seem to make the leap to living independently? If so, they may be dealing with what’s called failure to launch. Many causes for this condition exist, but even more importantly, effective help is available. Tampa Bay Recovery Center offers failure to launch programs that identify why your adult child doesn’t have a proper interest in functioning in an adult capacity. From there, we teach them to stand on their own, create goals for moving forward, and accomplish them.

What Is Failure to Launch?

Failure to launch is a term used to describe young adults who have not successfully made the transition out of their family home and into adulthood. They struggle to become independent, make their own choices in life, work full-time to support themselves, or commit to a college career. Frustrated parents and caregivers often do not know how to handle the situation, allowing the child to rely on them for things like a place to live, spending money, making their decisions, and bailing them out of negative situations. 

Failure to launch programs help determine what may have contributed to a child developing this syndrome. From there, they can design a plan to lead the young person to fulfill their potential as a responsible, well-adjusted adult. 

Signs and Symptoms of Failure to Launch

Parents who know something is wrong with their young adult child may think it’s just laziness. This makes it important for them to understand how to identify if the real problem involves a failure to launch. Common signs and symptoms of failure to launch include:

  • Difficulty holding down a job or refusing to get one
  • Failed attempts at attending college, including bad grades, dropping out, or being suspended
  • Depending on others to cover all or most of their living expenses
  • No interest in or a refusal to move out of the family home
  • No real ambition in life
  • Lack of motivation for anything meaningful
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Symptoms of mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more
  • Believing they can develop an unrealistic career, such as an internet star
  • Often procrastinating when it comes to taking action
Common Factors That Contribute to Failure to Launch

Not every case of failure to launch can be traced to just one likely cause. For many people, several contributing factors may exist. Common ones include:

Mental Health Disorders: When a young person deals with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, it can make them hesitant to try to live independently. This holds especially true if the mental illness goes undiagnosed. Failure to launch programs typically provide treatment for mental illness because of how many people can benefit from it. 

Substance Use Disorders: When a young person struggle with addiction to alcohol or drugs, it can make it nearly impossible to be successful at living as a responsible adult. Continuing to live with their parents provides an opportunity to stay focused on their addiction without having to worry about things like a career or going to school.

Trauma: When someone has experienced trauma, whether recently or in the past, they may feel frightened to strike out on their own. Trauma can include sexual or physical assault, abuse, neglect, or other life-changing events. Staying reliant on their parents may feel like a safe choice. 

Helicopter Parenting: Well-meaning parents may cross the line into becoming over-involved in their young adult children’s lives, often after having done so for a great deal of their childhood. A child who has come to rely on their parents to make their decisions, pay their bills, and fight their battles may feel ill-equipped to take on these adult responsibilities. What may feel like just trying to help a child can end up crippling them emotionally, making them unable to move into the world on their own with confidence and the right skill set. 

How Do Failure to Launch Programs Work?

Failure to launch programs can consist of multiple approaches to helping a person heal and become independent. Various forms of therapy help a person discover who they are versus who they want to become and then make concrete goals to move forward. Outpatient programs for this can include intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization programs (PHP), and virtual outpatient. Each one of these programs includes multiple types of talk and behavioral therapy, as well as holistic therapy options. 

Do Failure to Launch Programs Include Substance Abuse Treatment?

Substance use disorders often play a part in a person developing failure to launch. For this reason, many failure to launch programs include treatment for substance abuse. A young person who has become addicted to alcohol or drugs often finds that they cannot successfully hold down a job or attend college. For this reason, either they never leave their parent’s home or they return after failing to maintain an independent life partly due to their addiction.

When an individual receives treatment for their addiction, it opens them up to understand how much more capable they can become at living on their own. They often learn to get excited about making plans for school or a career. A substance-free life also makes them better equipped to stay in school or keep a job.

Failure to Launch Programs in Tampa

Do you have an adult child who just doesn’t seem to be interested in or capable of living independently as a fully-functioning adult? If so, we can help you get them on their feet and prepared to live a fully autonomous life. Tampa Recovery Center provides a failure to launch program that can change your child’s life. We offer several outpatient programs, including virtual care, that teach young adults not only how to live independently but want to make that move. 

Visit our admissions page today and find out how to get started.