Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive TherapyAt Paradigm Treatment Centers, we incorporate a wide range of therapeutic modalities, practices, and resources which support teens to recover, while also empowering them to reduce stress and improve their own overall well-being. One of the strategies we incorporate is Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which teaches teens meditative-like practices that helps them to gain relief from negative symptoms. Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is similar to a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, in its focus of teaching behaviors that will address problematic thoughts and feelings.

Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy originated as a treatment for Depression but has grown to be used in many different conditions, including things such as Teen Anxiety, Teen Eating Disorders, Teen Self Harm Disorders, and more.   The premise of Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is to teach teens to observe their thought patterns, feelings, beliefs, and experiences in a way that allows them to gain insight into their current struggles and goals. Therefore, as teens become more aware of their patterns, they can learn to avoid certain triggers, change their reactions, and change behaviors, which thereby empowers them to prevent relapse and to continue healing and recovering, even amidst potential struggles that may arise.

The value of Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teaching teens to avoid these “triggers” can’t be stressed enough, as this is a central factor in many different Teen Mental Health conditions, especially including Teen Mood Disorders and Teen Anxiety. In these instances, the triggers work as recurring causes for a cascade of other thoughts and symptoms, often which teens can’t control and may even be unconscious of. For instance, in cases of Teen Depression, a certain thought may trigger teens to imagine a whole narrative about their lives, characterized by hopeless, negative thoughts about their value, and their circumstances. This spiral of negative thinking can suddenly transport teens to an even lower emotional state, where they experience increased negative symptoms of depression. One of the reasons these triggers can be so problematic is often teens are unaware that this process has been originated, until they suddenly find themselves in this low point, and now it’s very difficult for them to escape.

Similar triggers occur in cases of Teen Substance Abuse Disorders, in which teens may experience a trigger that plunges them into a difficult emotional state, and causes them to feel an overwhelming urge to use, which they’re unable to overcome. The value of Teen Mindfulness Therapy is to create a moment of pause and recognition, between the trigger and the reaction. In these instances, even a moment of pause can be the difference in helping teens to maintain their state, rather than plunging into a difficult place.   At the same time, as teens learn to observe their thoughts and feeling as they arise, they will gradually feel more in control of their own experiences, at less helpless about the way they experience the world and their own lives.

Over time, Teen Mindfulness Therapy has even been shown to reduce the number of triggers teens experience, as teens’ brains gradually change and adjust to teens’ new behaviors. This even includes teens’ brains physically becoming less dependent upon substances, as the teens learn to consistently retrain their thoughts. This is incredibly powerful not only in helping teens achieve and sustain sobriety, but to heal on deep levels. Lastly, Teen Mindfulness Therapy is extremely helpful in teens being able to fully engage in their therapeutic process while at Paradigm Treatment Centers, as well as once they return home.