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Compassion-Focused Therapy for Teen Anxiety

compassion focused therapy for teen anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health issue among teens, and it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Fortunately, there are many different forms of therapy available to help teens cope with their anxiety. One form of therapy that has been proven to be effective for treating teen anxiety is compassion-focused therapy (CFT). This type of therapy combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness meditation, which helps teens learn how to better understand and manage their anxiety. Let’s take a look at how CFT can help teenagers with anxiety.

How Does Compassion-Focused Therapy Help?

Compassion-focused therapy teaches teens skills to help them better understand and manage their feelings of anxiety. Through CFT, teens are taught how to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment, while also learning how to become more compassionate towards themselves. Additionally, CFT teaches teens strategies for regulating emotions and self-soothing techniques that can be used when they start feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

How Can CFT Help A Teenager With Anxiety?

The goal of CFT is to help teens recognize that their feelings of fear or worry are normal and not necessarily a sign of failure or weakness on their part. In addition, CFT encourages teens to focus on developing self-compassion in order to build resilience against future episodes of anxiety. Teens learn how to accept themselves for who they are, rather than focusing on trying to change themselves in order to meet certain expectations set by society or other people in their lives. CFT also emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others around them. This allows teens to develop empathy and gain a better understanding of what it means to be compassionate towards oneself and others. This skill can then be used when dealing with difficult situations or challenging people who may trigger an intense emotion in the teen such as anger or fear.

What Can A Teen With Anxiety Expect From CFT?

Compassion-focused therapy for teens with anxiety is psychotherapy that focuses on using the compassion of a therapist to help anxiety sufferers gently move through and resolve the symptoms associated with their anxiety. The goal of this approach to counselling is to provide guidance and support in a compassionate, non-judgmental space so that teens can learn how to better manage their symptoms, as well as develop skills for coping and self-care. During psychotherapy sessions, teens can expect the therapist to work collaboratively with them on developing an individual plan tailored specifically towards their needs; they will assess issues such as underlying patterns contributing to the anxiety, any kinds of unhelpful thinking or behaviour, and explore strategies for finding a better way forward. Ultimately, by providing compassionate psychotherapy, therapists offer support to empower teenage clients in managing their anxious feelings and improving their well-being over time.

How Long Will CFT Take To Start Working For A Teen Suffering/Dealing With Anxiety?

Compassion-focused psychotherapy can help teens suffering from anxiety achieve a healthier emotional state. It is typically a process that takes time, although the length will depend on various factors and the individual. Working with a trained psychotherapist, therapist or counselling professional can help identify existing unhealthy thought patterns and irrational beliefs that may fuel anxiety and replace them with more helpful methods of thinking. With an individualized approach and regular therapy sessions, the teen should start seeing results and feeling better in a matter of weeks or months depending on their situation.

What Are The Benefits of CFT For A Teen With Anxiety?

If you’re a parent of a teenager with anxiety, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment. To know if compassion-focused therapy is the right approach for your teen, speak to a therapist experienced in this type of psychotherapy. A psychotherapist can assess your teen’s condition and develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. They will additionally provide support and guidance over the course of counselling sessions that work through feelings of self-criticism, low self-esteem, and other issues associated with teenage anxiety. Compassion-focused psychotherapy offers an evidence-based technique proven to bring positive outcomes which teens can use to gain back control of their emotions as they navigate their adolescent years.

How Do I Know If CFT Is The Right Treatment For A Teen With Anxiety?

Compassion-focused therapy is an effective form of treatment for teenagers struggling with anxiety disorders. By teaching teens how to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings while also learning how to become more compassionate towards themselves, CFT can help them better understand and manage their anxiety symptoms in healthier ways. If you know a teenager who may benefit from this type of therapy, do not hesitate to reach out for professional help today!

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 one of the other psychotherapists at CARESPACE Health+Wellness in Kitchener and Waterloo. We are happy to listen and are here to help!

Josh Zettel

Josh Zettel

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.