Adults at home – Failure to Launch

Help, my adult child is stuck at home!

More and more parents, and their grown up kids are reaching out for help with coping as young adults in a rapidly changing world. It is not uncommon for top A students, who thrived socially and on the sports field to battle with depression and general stuckness as they get older. Failure to launch is a growing phenomenon on an unprecedented scale.

Adult children in their twenties and thirties are often stuck at home and feel resentful to their parents and the world for it. Imagine sitting with all the capability in the world, a heap of fresh childhood dreams and perhaps even the opportunities to build a career, but being stuck emotionally drowning in metamorphically created mud. Failure to launch is an inability to leave home and support oneself, regardless of the underlying cause. Young adults struggling with failure to launch (or failure to thrive) may appear to be “stuck” or not maturing in an age appropriate way. Failure to Launch syndrome is characterized by low levels of motivation, poor work ethic, lack of vision for the future, inability or unwillingness to take responsibility when appropriate, and an inability to manage daily household chores or tasks of daily living.

Many of these kids don’t get the right help with failure to launch issues and inevitably end up withdrawn and at home. Some start to use drugs and others become depressed and angry. Parents are torn with the many options of what to do to help them. Do you send them to a psychologist or therapist and try and motivate them, or do you use tough love tactics? Oftentimes both of these methods don’t work at first, leaving both the adult child and parent even more frustrated. Depression treatment in South Africa can be hard to come by if it is not a psychiatric clinic you are after. A lot of parents find out their child may be smoking weed or drinking too much and send them off to rehabs rather than universities and collages as originally intended.

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More often than not this makes matters worse, before they get better. Drug Rehabilitation Centres are filled with failure to launch clients suffering emotionally on a deep level, but are being treated as addicts who need to join Alcoholics Anonymous for the remainder of their lives and go to meetings. There are many ways to skin a cat. This works for many, but far from all. Many parents tell of how their failure to launch child got to know about using drugs in a psychiatric facility whilst being treated for anxiety or depression. The valleys are deep and the right roads are not yet clear, amidst much argument the professionals don’t agree on much, while the problems often get worse.

Origins of Failure to Launch

At the bottom of failure to launch we tend to find emotions, worry, self esteem and terror in an inner world is masked by a sense of grandiosity, anger and a carefree attitude that wears thin fast! Fear of failing is one of the leading causes of failure to launch.  That sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.  Anxiety about an uncertain world, that offers so many chances to fail, can cause a fragile young adult to retreat to the security of the family nest.  Under the right circumstances, failure teaches us better ways of doing things and helps build character.  However, a feeling of constant failure without success can lead to loss of self-confidence, discouragement, and even depression.  The challenge for emerging adults with failure to launch is in finding the right balance between the two.

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On the flip side of emerging addictions and crappy behaviour are entitlement, isolation, and unhealthy family systems are common symptoms of both failure to launch syndrome and addiction. That means that when an addiction is present, failure to launch may go unnoticed. Regardless of the addiction type, everyone suffering from an addiction lives an unmanageable life. The increased anxiety and emotional turmoil these young adults experience lead to a decrease in commitments to education, career, personal health, and social activities.

What we do recommend for failure to launch is starting with a doctor and therapy. Mark L Lockwood and the Course In recovery helps a couple of handfuls of people every year who are blessed enough to be able to have the means and the familial support to turn their lives around. Young person retreats to courses in personal transformation help many people move out of stuckness fast. Parents need to learn about codependency, boundaries, self esteem and addictions before deciding on a course of action on dealing with failure to launch. The good news is we see lives turning around often!! It often seems overwhelming for parents to have adult children at home, sitting on so much potential. But there is no need to get stuck and desperate. They say it takes 21 days to change a habit and 90 days to change a lifestyle – and we have seen this happen over and over again. Like all things personal transformation takes a lot of hard, hard work. You need two primary things to begin. Effort and then a belief that change is possible.

Getting past the Failure to Launch

We have relationships with dozens of families from around the world since we began our work a couple of decades ago in the dark ages of rehab. Since then our courses are known as an alternative to rehab. We prefer to look at our courses in recovery as modern means to an epidemic end to a new kind of suffering. Things are faster than ever today. They are super technological and schools are just not equipping young adults for the giant gap they can fall into. It is often an emotional void that sets the limbic brain itself into a panic of fight, flight or freeze. Creativity in this state is soon lost, along with hope, innovation and motivation. Good adult children need good, modern help. You can find it with us at our center in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The courses are 4 – 12 weeks long (recommended). Whether it is depression, stuckness, bitterness and anger or the start of addictive behaviours we can help.

Mark and his team do things very differently, and achieve a different kind of result for the adult children and their families. Everything is personalized and worked out to help achieve the required level of transformation. Registered counsellors with decades of specialised expertise in this area make all the difference in leading people through the incredible and extraordinary life changing courses on offer. Call 0824424779 or email for further information and to book your healing experience with us. For more help with failure to launch, addictions, depression, stuckness or personal transformation strategies for you or your loved ones get in touch today.

failure to launch



“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” 
― Steve Maraboli

That good old Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous calls resentments ‘the number-one offender’. Resentment is the greatest enemy chemically dependent people face and the biggest contributor to relapse. In fact, resentments pose a considerable problem for many people, not just those who are chemically dependent. If you examine almost any problem that comes between people, you will probably find a resentment lurking near the heart of the matter. Resentment is a common human problem – and often a severe one. Mark L Lockwood simply describes resentment as “a circle of doing your anger over and over again to the point where you start kicking your own butt in confusion. Like a dog chasing it’s own tale. It always takes you down, keeps you stuck and distracts you from moving forward…it is not known in therapy as the biggest single cause of relapse for nothing!” Recovering from resentments means getting over it, and stopping being pissed off at someone else all the time. You don’t need a life coach to tell you that!

The word resent means to “re-sense” or “re-feel.” It is one thing to feel a feeling, such as anger. It is another thing to replay a scene or a conversation in your mind, dredging up the hurt and the anger again and again.

Recovering from resentments

Certainly anger has its place in the emotional makeup of a healthy human being. Anger can be an honest and appropriate response in certain situations for sure. But there is nothing good to be said for “old anger,” or resentment. Resentment has no positive side; it is simply a destructive emotion.

Have you ever thought of resentment in terms of a drug? Dwelling on your resentment can simulate a “high” of sorts. You might recall what someone said or did to you in the past, and it was not fair! It gets the obsessive mind of ours ticking, and it can be as intoxicating as real revenge may appear. The recollection of that scene can offer a certain rush. Recalling past injustices can make you “feel good”. Recovering from resentments means at a very basic level that we have to wake up and see what the hell is really going on in our heads.

Carrying a resentment is also a way in which people can justify their actions. It is a way people vindicate themselves in their own minds and boost their self-esteem. Resentful people like to think of themselves as “in the right.” By training their attention on the wrong someone has done, they can get the voice in the back of their minds to whisper; I would never do anything like that. By holding someone else beneath the weight of their judgement, they place themselves on a self-made pedestal. By focusing their attention on someone else’s faults (real or imagined), they keep the focus off their own shortcomings and don’t even begin recovering from resentments. Learning how to heal from addictions means you need to be aware of what you do.

Recovering from resentments

When we are resentful we are reluctant to let go of hurt or anger. Resentment is our unwillingness to accept someone who has harmed us or some system or institution that has treated us unjustly. Our fight against acceptance is at the core of our resentments. Our refusal to accept people for who they are, just as they are, our refusal to leave the past alone – these things keep our resentments alive, and continually threaten our serenity, peace and progress. It just ain’t worth it. Recovering from resentments is.


Once upon a time, two Japanese monks were walking along a road together. The rain the evening before had left large puddles in their path, so they made their way with care. When they came upon an intersection covered by an especially large puddle of mud, they noticed a young woman who had stopped at the edge of the puddle. She was dressed in a white silk kimono, and her dilemma was obvious: there was no way she could cross the intersection without spoiling her gown.

The first of the two monks asked the woman if she would like some help. She answered yes. The monk then scooped her up in his arms, walked straight through the mud, and put her down on the other side. The woman thanked him and continued on her way.

The monks resumed their journey, but a rift had developed between them. The second monk refused to speak to the first. They walked together in an uneasy silence until that evening when they reached their destination, the lodging temple. It was there that the second monk turned to the first, pointed his finger, and demanded, “Why did you do it?”

The first monk was taken by surprise. “Do what?” he asked.

“Don’t play dumb with me!” snapped the second monk. “You know what I’m talking about. You know very well we monks are not supposed to have anything to do with women, especially shapely young women such as the one you carried across the puddle back at the intersection. Tell me, why did you do it? Why did you pick her up?”

The first monk paused for a moment, shrugged, and then replied, “I put her down a long time ago. Maybe you’re the one still carrying her.”

The story raises what may seem an obvious question: What (or whom) are you still carrying after all these miles? It is the question of resentment.

“At the heart of all anger, all grudges, and all resentment, you’ll always find a fear that hopes to stay anonymous.

For more help with how to heal from addictions or recovering from resentments, letting go of obsessive thoughts and flights of ideas that serve no one, start A Course in Recovery today with us. It is therapy that will help you each week to just focus on what you should focus on. Each person needs to spend time hearing, reading, listening and talking to people about their goals, aspirations and life journeys. This is what we do here. We keep people connected to the work, to the goals and the journey. Weekly therapy podcasts, emails and of course the book are all yours when you sign up.  Call +27824424779


A Course In Recovery

Challenging our drinking and thinking

The world is changing. So are we. are overworked, overloaded and afraid we won’t be able to hack it. People are stretched for time and for money. We are stretched for true, intimate and vulnerable connections to one another as we distance ourselves from each other. We no longer witness births or deaths other than from behind closed doors. Our bonds are weakening along with our confidence and convictions in life and ourselves. We are all becoming addicted to our own way of thinking. An issue like over drinking alcohol can effect anyone these days. Old and young. Male and female. Regardless of your historical record. A Course In Recovery research shows that stress doesn’t help one to stop drinking, in fact it does quite the opposite at first. Controlled drinking can work for you on your own, but oftentimes goes out the window when stress comes to town.

The consequence of not learning how to drink less and handle stress more is that we are prisoners and worse still, most of us don’t even know it! Today, we undoubtedly have more comfort and technology available than any other generation before us. Yet, we are also the most miserable, addicted and negatively stressed generation of all time. Never have addictions, depression and burn-out been such commonplace. Despite all the wars, famines and floods in times gone by, we seem to be the most stuck and the most hopeless. Despite being the most greedy, arrogant, egoic generation we can still see that suffering has come our way, wearing new personas and under the guide of new masks.


Addiction has been around for centuries. Smart drinking has not been much of a need until the last hundred years. Remember, we used to have a ‘village drunk’, yes one in every town. Today, half the towns are drunk! Biblical too, the crazy one who throws himself in the fire, or was labelled demon possessed may have thought, felt and acted like some of the addicts of today. Possessed by a need for more of what doesn’t work. The younger generation saw what didn’t work of course. In the 50’s and 60’s they witnessed people, probably some of our parents, who were labelled as successful and living the dream in the public eye, who were utterly miserable, angry, bitter and discontented behind the thin veil of closed doors. Two cars, wife, kids and misery all rapped up in one unhappy package. No wonder it was then that they started to rebel against this system of success. No wonder drugs and alcohol looked like the answer to the unhappiness we were doomed to endure as adults. Little did we know until having done something like A Course In Recovery, that pleasure would be disguised as even more pain than one could imagine. Little did we know what awaited us, as we walked down a seemingly different road to freedom.

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Today in some countries it is said that more people are addicted and depressed than not. We have not only lost our way but our minds too. How to drink less has never been such a forefront issue as it is now. A Course In Recovery shows us that controlled drinking, smart drinking and even stopping drinking are becoming necessary for many people battling with anxiety, stress and depression.

We have become drunk on our thinking rather than just our drinking alone. Triggers and the stresses of modern day life can lead to an emotional depletion of dopamine and serotonin. A small motivation to get out into the real world spikes these chemicals. Add to that addictive substances like drugs or alcohol and the effects go through the floor. The peak is swiftly followed by a trough. Yo-yoing through life we wonder why the wheels eventually fall off. This stimulus recovered from our five senses is followed by our thinking, also a chemical process. With bad diet and bad chemicals in the body our glucose gets affected and even sugars turn to fats to help the depletion’s we are experience become more real.

For more help with controlled drinking or information on how to stop drinking or drink smart contact us today. Do the 21 day challenge and then start a course in recovery with us, depending on where you are on your journey. CALL 0824424779 or email for further information.

The Journey Begins

Welcome to A Course In Recovery where lasting spiritual healing from addictions, stress, burnout, health-issues and depression will transform your life.



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