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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Children with Anxiety

mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children with anxiety

Anxiety affects millions of children and teens, yet many do not receive the help they need to manage their symptoms. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based treatment approach that helps children cope with anxiety and stress by teaching them how to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment. Let’s explore how MBCT can help you or your child manage anxiety.

What is MBCT?

MBCT combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness techniques in order to help identify, understand, and modify thinking patterns that lead to anxiety. It focuses on helping children learn how to observe their thoughts without judgment and recognize when they are feeling anxious or stressed. The goal of MBCT is to reduce anxiety while increasing self-awareness, acceptance, and resilience.

How Does MBCT Work?

The primary goal of MBCT is to teach children how to become mindful of their own thoughts and feelings in order to better control their reactions in stressful situations. This is done through a variety of activities such as mindful breathing, guided imagery, body scans, yoga poses, journaling, art therapy, relaxation exercises, etc. Additionally, cognitive restructuring techniques are used to help children identify irrational beliefs that may be contributing to their anxiety and replace them with more positive ones. Through a combination of these approaches, MBCT can help children gain greater insight into their emotions and learn healthier ways of coping with them.

Is MBCT Effective for Children With Anxiety?

Research shows that MBCT is effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety in children as young as five years old. It has also been found to improve mood regulation skills in adolescents suffering from depression or other mental health issues. Additionally, it can help improve overall well-being by teaching children healthy habits for managing stress such as deep breathing exercises or guided imagery techniques. Moreover, it can be tailored specifically for each individual child depending on his or her needs and preferences so that it can be highly effective at treating a variety of different types of anxieties.

What Are The Benefits Of MBCT For Children With Anxiety?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has become a popular approach to helping children with anxiety. In this form of psychotherapy, the therapist works very closely with the child and their family to teach the child mindfulness skills, such as calming techniques and distraction strategies. Through this process of counselling, the child can learn to identify negative thought processes and emotions in order to make better decisions about how to react in response. The MBCT approach aims to foster a healthy balance between awareness of feelings, thoughts, and behavior – allowing children with anxiety to manage their feelings more effectively over time. As an integrative therapeutic method, it emphasizes working together with other psychological therapies for increased efficacy and lasting results when treating anxiety in children.

What Can A Child With Anxiety Expect From MBCT?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a form of therapy used to help children with anxiety. The goal of an MBCT program is to teach children mindful techniques to make them more aware of their emotions and how these related to their thoughts, physical sensations, and behavior. During sessions with the therapist, children learn to recognize and respond appropriately to difficult experiences as well as gain skills for dealing with anxiety triggers in the future. The therapist also provides support, counseling, and guidance while developing coping strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation, distraction techniques, and thought-stopping exercises. By taking advantage of MBCT therapy, children can learn how to control their anxious thoughts, feelings and behaviors in both positive and practical ways.

How Long Will MBCT Take To Work For A Child Suffering/Dealing With Anxiety?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a type of psychotherapy that can be extremely effective when working with children suffering from anxiety. MBCT relies on building a supportive relationship between the counsellor and the child to establish trust. The sessions can vary in length but generally consist of different kinds of counseling and mindfulness activities structured around helping the child develop an understanding of their thoughts and feelings, as well as practice methods for emotional self-regulation. Although there is no set time frame for the therapy, results can often be seen after a few weeks; however, it can take numerous sessions with the right psychotherapist over an extended period of time to fully work through the child’s anxieties.

How Do I Know If MBCT Is The Right Treatment For A Child With Anxiety?

Parents of children with anxiety may be uncertain about the best course of action in order to help their child. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an option they should consider. MBCT is a form of psychotherapy that can help children recognize warning signs and lessen the severity of anxious thoughts or behaviours. An experienced therapist knowledgeable in MBCT can provide guidance by assessing the underlying difficulties and offering tailored strategies for addressing them. Counselling sessions will develop ways to safely explore triggers and teach skills such as mindful breathing, grounding techniques, and visualizations that can help younger clients manage their anxiety long-term. Through this process, parents will gain confidence in knowing they are making informed decisions regarding the treatment that could benefit their child from a safe, supportive place.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) offers an evidence-based approach to helping children cope with anxiety by providing them with tools they can use to better understand themselves and manage stressful situations more effectively. Through various activities such as mindful breathing exercises or journaling practices combined with cognitive restructuring techniques like identifying irrational beliefs and replacing them with positive ones, this type of therapy has been proven effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety in both young children and adolescents alike. If you think your child could benefit from this type of therapy, it’s important to speak with a qualified mental health professional who specializes in working with kids about the potential benefits of this treatment approach for him or her specifically.

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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