Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Teens
Verywell Mind explains that “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of psychotherapy that involves a combination of cognitive therapy, meditation, and the cultivation of a present-oriented, non-judgmental attitude called ‘mindfulness.’” The goal of cognitive therapy is to help a young person grow in a healthy way by retiring outdated, negative, debilitating patterns, and creating new, heathier ways of thinking. Mindfulness is the conscious practice of being aware of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. MBCT is a specialized type of therapy that originated as a relapse prevention approach to primarily help treat depression.
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy works first by helping a teenager learn to recognize and understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and/ or patterns in his or her life. This is commonly done through talk therapy, with primary focus placed on the present moment. The MBCT method then encourages the teen, with the help of his or her clinician, to use the revealed negative thoughts, feelings, and/ or patterns, and adjust them to create more positive and successful patterns, feelings, and/ or thoughts. This is frequently done by using specific examples that have surfaced throughout one’s therapy sessions. After practicing this method repeatedly, using different examples, and applying the method to several different areas of one’s life, a young person can modify his or her dysfunctional thinking.
MBCT works by focusing on shifting intrinsic aspects of a teenager’s psyche that have allowed him or her to make damaging and, in some cases, dangerous choices. Through mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a teen can uncover the core of a problem, negative thought, unhelpful pattern, etc. and will be provided with the tools and insights needed to be able to change them at the root. The notion of being fully aware of one’s emotions, by being encouraged to live in the present can minimize some of the possible burdens and anxieties that can accompany adolescence. The regular practice of checking in with oneself and one’s true thoughts, feelings, and emotions can be very helpful to a young person’s maturation process and emotional development.
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