Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is a cognitive-behavioral type of therapy, which focuses on gaining relief from negative mental health and substance abuse condition conditions, through practices and strategies of mindfulness and meditation. While Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy began as a therapy to treat Depression, it’s now expanded to be used in treatment for numerous different mental health conditions. Generally speaking, the practice of mindfulness in treatment refers to the practice of teens learning to be intentionally aware of their thought patterns, triggers, and experiences, as related to their current symptoms and conditions. The goal of mindfulness practice is for this awareness to assist teens in gaining relief and recovery, as well as equipping them to better navigate challenges and behaviors, moving forward.
One of the great benefits of Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is it teaches teens the ability to become more mindful and aware of their experiences, which is an invaluable skill, both throughout the treatment process and in life, in general. This awareness helps teens to learn to observe their thoughts and feelings, without judging or reacting to them. As teens practice this with the guidance of their therapists, they can gradually become more able to understand what they’re experiencing, and take time to make an intentional decision as to what action they might take, as a result. This act of pausing, which Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teaches and promotes can be instrumental in a number of different respects, for teens in treatment.
As teens learn different meditation and mindfulness skills, they become directly translatable to succeeding in their greater recovery and treatment goals. Much of this is due to the nature of teens’ struggles being closely related to the things that trigger them and feel out of their control. In this way, teens becoming mindful and able to pause before acting is an extremely powerful force in their lives. Just a few of the ways in which this mindfulness can help them in their current struggles include: not feeling at the whim of things that trigger them; overcoming substance abuse challenges; learning better communication skills; learning how to protect themselves in healthy ways; and learning to how to set themselves up to succeed. This mindfulness can also, in turn, help teens to gain relief from symptoms because, in this time of pausing, the teens are able to catch themselves before moving from a triggering thought to a resulting symptom (be it a feeling or a physical sensation.) For instance in the case of substance abuse, a teen can learn to resist the triggers that lead them to using, which in turn will help them to experience positive effects of continuing and building upon their sobriety. Over time, it’s possible not only for teens to build resistance to these triggers, but to overcome them, as they also learn valuable skills of self-control, awareness, and regulation.
At Paradigm New York, we implement Teen Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy as part of our overall treatment programs for teens struggling with mental health and substance abuse conditions. Paradigm New York is a holistic treatment facility for adolescents, located in Westchester, New York.