Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Teens suffering from mental health or substance addiction difficulties may think they have no control over their emotions. Many teens experience anxiety, depression, or a combination of the three, and these emotions often overwhelm them. They have difficulty calming down or controlling their emotions.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines cognitive therapy ideas with mindfulness techniques. Using this research-based strategy, teens learn to be more attentive and reduce their emotional reactions. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teaches young people how to detect and cope with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions by watching and naming them inwardly, disrupting their habitual thinking patterns, and reacting constructively.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Teens suffering from mental health or substance addiction difficulties may think they have no control over their emotions. Many teens experience anxiety, depression, or a combination of the three, and these emotions often overwhelm them. They have difficulty calming down or controlling their emotions.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines cognitive therapy ideas with mindfulness techniques. Using this research-based strategy, teens learn to be more attentive and reduce their emotional reactions. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teaches young people how to detect and cope with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions by watching and naming them inwardly, disrupting their habitual thinking patterns, and reacting constructively.

What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a kind of cognitive treatment that includes meditation and the practice of “mindfulness.” Mindfulness requires one to slow down and pay attention to the activities and sensations that are happening in the present. It is important to live entirely in the present moment. Counselors provide mindfulness classes to help young people learn to live in the present moment without passing judgment on what occurs. Being aware of emotional dysregulation(a common sign of many mental health conditions) is a critical first step in treating it. However, it is critical to stop making any conclusions at this point.

MBCT was created by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale and is based on cognitive therapy ideas. Cognitive therapy and Jon Kabat’s 1979 mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) method were the two techniques that cognitive therapists and other mental health practitioners intended to utilize to get greater outcomes. Since its inception, this strategy has shown to be very effective in the treatment of teenagers.

MBCT-California

Techniques Used by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Experts

Meditation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy use methods like mindfulness meditation to educate individuals to pay attention to their thoughts and emotions without making any judgments about them. MBCT incorporates a variety of mindfulness methods and activities. There are a few of these:

Meditation

Meditative practices may help teens become more aware of their bodies and thoughts and how they affect their breathing.

A body scanning exercise

This entails resting on your back and focusing your attention on various body parts. Starting at the bottom of the body and working up to the top is a common approach.

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present. When practicing meditation, it’s possible to combine these activities into your daily routine.

Mindfulness Stretching

Practicing mindful stretching may help you become more aware of your body and thoughts.

Yoga

Additionally, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy may inspire participants to engage in a variety of yoga postures that might aid in the practice of mindful stretching.

The “three-minute breathing space method,” consisting of three phases lasting one minute each, might be taught to teenagers. This entails:

  • Observing what they’re doing in the present moment. 
  • drawing their attention to their breath
  • Mindfulness of their body and its many experiences

Other MBCT approaches include walking and sitting meditations and sitting with thoughts and sounds.

Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

MBCT integrates both mindfulness and cognitive therapy modalities which accounts for its success. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy aids teenagers in the following ways:

  • Mindfulness teaches teenagers to recognize when their emotions begin to degrade and better understand how their thoughts impact their conduct. Consequently, we may eradicate the mental health problem far sooner than previously thought feasible.
  • Meditation may assist teenagers in breaking the natural relationship between low mood, bad thoughts, and feelings of weariness and lethargy, which often create or repeat a downward mood cycle.
  • Mindfulness teaches young people how to shift from a critical and judgemental thinking style (which may create and worsen low mood spirals) to an alternate thought process where they experience their surroundings immediately, non-conceptually, and without judgment.
  • Mindfulness offers a different technique for teens to deal with difficult emotions and moods.
  • Teens may get a fresh perspective on their suffering by practicing mindfulness. With this new perspective, they may watch their unpleasant thoughts and feelings with greater warmth and compassion.
  • Through mindfulness practice, teenagers may learn to appreciate the simple pleasures of everyday life, connect with themselves, and experience the joy of being alive.

How Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Works

Meditation and mindfulness techniques are taught in MBCT to teenagers in a practical and applicable manner. To begin with, students practice mindfulness in the simplest of daily tasks, such as eating, breathing, strolling, and sitting down.

By practicing mindfulness in a moderate, neutral atmosphere, participants learn how to be aware when unpleasant emotions arise. They discover that they don’t have to succumb to depressive or anxious thoughts and sensations but instead may let them pass through them. Adolescents benefit from mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and guided imagery because they learn to remain calm and collected. Teenagers have a far greater chance of responding to negative ideas and patterns of thinking if they are in control of their emotions.

Even the tiniest triggers may send them spiraling into a deep depression and self-doubt for many teens. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) helps patients cope better in these situations.

Originally, the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy design comprised a formal group intervention lasting eight weeks, with one two-hour weekly session. However, MBCT is often modified to meet specific requirements for teens receiving treatment for various mental health and drug use issues in facilities such as teen residential treatment centers, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs. You can reach out to Hillside Horizon for Teens to learn more about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for teens in Southern California.