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ACT Therapy: A Solution for Teenagers with Depression?

act therapy for teenagers with depression

All teenagers experience moments of sadness throughout their teenage years, but when does this sadness become a more serious issue such as depression? Learning about effective treatments for depression can help teens who are struggling. One such treatment is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This article will discuss how ACT therapy can be used to help teenagers with depression.

What is ACT Therapy?

ACT therapy is a type of psychotherapy that teaches individuals to know their values and use them in order to make positive changes in their lives. The goal of this type of therapy is to teach individuals to accept their feelings, thoughts, and sensations without judgment or resistance. By doing so, they are able to focus on the most important aspects of their lives.

The Benefits of ACT Therapy for Teens

ACT therapy has been shown to be particularly beneficial for teens suffering from depression because it focuses on acceptance rather than avoidance or resistance. It also helps individuals recognize and work through any irrational beliefs they may have about themselves or the world around them. Additionally, it encourages teens to become aware of unhealthy behaviors and habits that may be contributing to their depression. Finally, it provides teens with tools they can use to cope with difficult emotions and situations by allowing them to focus on what matters most in life instead of avoiding the pain associated with difficult emotions or situations.

How ACT Can Help Teens With Depression?

ACT can be used as an effective tool for helping teenagers manage their depression by teaching them how to accept their feelings without judgment or resistance. It also encourages teens to recognize any irrational beliefs they might have about themselves or the world around them and replace these beliefs with healthier ones. Additionally, it helps teens identify any unhealthy behaviors that may be contributing to their depression and teaches them how to replace these behaviors with healthier ones. Finally, ACT provides teens with strategies they can use when faced with difficult emotions or situations so that they are better equipped to cope in a healthy manner.

What Can A Teenager With Depression Expect From ACT?

ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is a psychotherapy approach based on mindfulness meditation that offers teenagers struggling with depression some relief. Divided into six different components, ACT focuses on helping teens accept their internal struggles and commit to behaviour that promotes personal well-being. The first two components involve building awareness of the present moment, moment-to-moment thoughts, and feelings. Through this psychotherapeutic process, teens can tackle their internal suffering as well as work on improving relationships, communication skills, and anxiety. This isn’t done alone; a specialized psychotherapist helps the teen understand how to take action toward recovery from depression. During the counselling sessions, psychotherapists illuminates any barriers or obstacles preventing the teen from pursuing meaningful activities such as hobbies or interests outside of schoolwork and social interactions. In time, this therapeutic approach helps teens reclaim ownership of their lives by engaging in activities and pursuits that bring meaning rather than avoiding them due to fear and anxiety.

How Long Does ACT Take To Work For A Teen Suffering/Dealing With Depression?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that has been used in many countries to help teens suffering from depression. ACT helps teens learn to manage their mental health condition by recognizing difficult thoughts, emotions, and memories while also allowing them to focus on what matters most to them. Through the ACT process, teens work with a therapist or counsellor to identify important values and pursue meaningful inner goals. While results with ACT vary greatly depending on the individual, it’s generally believed that someone with depression can begin seeing positive changes after as little as five sessions with a qualified psychotherapist. It is also possible for individuals who take more time may experience more noticeable benefits in terms of improved mood and outlook than those who took less time.

How Do I Know If ACT Is The Right Treatment For A Teenager With Depression?

Deciding if Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the right psychotherapy treatment for a teenager with depression can be difficult. It’s important to consult a counsellor experienced in this type of psychotherapy. When talking with the counselor, it’s crucial to discuss any potential obstacles that the teenager faces such as learning ability, scheduling issues, or reluctance to go through counselling sessions. Before making a decision on whether ACT is the right treatment, it is recommended that the teen and their family have an initial appointment with the psychotherapist or counsellor in order to discuss available options for psychotherapy.

In summary, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an effective tool for helping teenagers manage their depression by teaching them how to accept their feelings without judgment or resistance, recognize irrational beliefs, identify unhealthy behaviors that may contribute to the problem, and provide strategies for dealing with difficult emotions or situations in a healthy manner. If you know a teen who is struggling with depression, encourage them to consider exploring this therapeutic approach before turning to medication as a solution.

If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself, Josh Zettel, Certified Counsellor, or another Kitchener psychotherapist at CARESPACE. We are happy to listen and are here to help!

Picture of Josh Zettel, BA (Hons), MA, RP (Qualifying) CCC

Josh Zettel, BA (Hons), MA, RP (Qualifying) CCC

Psychotherapist, Clinic Director
Life can be hard at times. Do you feel like you could use some extra support to manage the moments that life can bring? Josh is available to provide a space that offers trust, psychological safety, and evidence-based strategies to help you manage your mental health. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, burnout, career stress, grief, having difficulties with self-regulation, self-esteem, life transitions, and relationships; Josh is here for you. With a BA Honours in Psychology and Philosophy from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MA in Counselling with a Specialization in Sport and Health Psychology from Adler University in Chicago, Josh brings his strong theoretical background from the fields of counselling and sport psychology to help you understand how the brain and body works, how you can improve self-awareness, and how to develop tools to move forward towards healthier habits both mentally and physically. Josh is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CSPA) and has earned certificates in Narrative Therapy and as a HeartMath® Certified Practitioner. He incorporates narrative strategies into his counselling approach along with HeartMath techniques and biofeedback technology for client’s looking for support with stress, anxiety, and self-regulation.

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