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The Benefits of Compassion-Focused Therapy for Children with Depression

compassion focused therapy for children with depression

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is a relatively new form of psychotherapy. It combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy to help individuals develop a compassionate attitude toward themselves and their emotions. This type of psychotherapy can be particularly beneficial for children and adolescents who are struggling with depression. Let’s take a closer look at how CFT can help children with depression.

What Is Compassion-Focused Therapy?

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) is an approach to psychotherapy that seeks to help individuals identify and understand their emotions in a non-judgmental way. The goal is to foster empathy and understanding towards oneself, as well as towards others. CFT also helps the individual learn how to cope with difficult emotions by developing strategies that are based on self-compassion rather than self-criticism or avoidance. By practicing self-compassion, individuals can develop healthier relationships with themselves and learn to better manage their emotions.

How Can Compassion-Focused Therapy Help Kids With Depression?

Depression can be especially difficult for children and adolescents because they may not have the same coping skills as adults. They may struggle to process their feelings or know how to express them in a healthy manner. CFT provides children with an outlet for their feelings so that they can begin to build healthy coping mechanisms that will serve them throughout their lives. It also helps them recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed so that they can take steps to address it before it spirals into something more serious such as anxiety or depression. Finally, CFT teaches children how to practice self-compassion instead of self-blame, which is essential for long-term mental health and well-being.

What Can A Child With Depression Expect From CFT?

Compassion-focused psychotherapy is an effective psychotherapeutic treatment for children and teens with depression. It seeks to equip children and adolescents with strategies to cope with mental health struggles related to depression in a safe, healing environment. During sessions, the therapist helps the child understand and express their internal experience through compassionate listening; this encourages them to think reflectively about themselves. In addition, the psychotherapist provides guidance in developing new skills that focus on accepting one’s self while caring for and nurturing oneself. Ultimately, compassion-focused therapy seeks to foster increased self-awareness and understanding of emotions, thoughts, and goals with the help of supportive guidance from an experienced psychotherapist or counsellor.

How Long Will CFT Take To Work For A Child Suffering/Dealing With Depression?

Compassion-focused psychotherapy is an effective treatment for children suffering from depression, although the duration of the therapy required often depends on the individual and their circumstances. Generally, a child will attend regular counselling and psychotherapy sessions with their therapist over a period of weeks or months. By working with a psychotherapist, the child will gain insight into his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and learn actionable steps to begin their healing journey. Depending on the severity of symptoms presented by the child, compassion-focused psychotherapy can take some time to be effective as it focuses on reframing thoughts and seeking to develop more self-compassion over time. Ultimately, how long it takes to work is down to each individual’s experience but with appropriate guidance from an experienced psychotherapist, it can provide relief in a positive way.

What Are The Benefits Of CFT For A Child With Depression?

Compassion-focused therapy is psychotherapy used to help / by teaching them how to develop a compassionate relationship with themselves. This type of counselling helps children build resilience, self-worth, and self-esteem so that life’s difficulties are easier to manage. Through regular counselling sessions, the therapist and child build their own compassionate relationship which focuses on building awareness of the child’s individual needs in order to create coping strategies that are meaningful and effective for them. A compassionate therapist guides the child through this process, nurturing them as they make progress toward greater mental health and stability. By focusing on compassion, therapists empower children with depression to view themselves more positively and overcome difficult feelings, leading to improved mental health outcomes.

How Do I Know If CFT Is The Right Treatment For A Child With Depression?

If a child is displaying signs of depression, one potential therapy treatment is compassion-focused therapy. When looking for the right therapist for a child undergoing this type of counselling, it’s important to choose someone who is experienced and specialized in this area; they should have lots of support based on evidence and research. This means they should be up to date with techniques and focused on understanding the present emotions and creating positive coping strategies. Together, you can discuss approaches with the child that will allow them to gain deeper insight into their emotions and develop their self-compassion. At the end of the day, if both you as parents/guardians and your psychotherapist feel compassion-focused therapy is right for your child, then that could be a great starting point in supporting them through their depression.

Compassion-focused therapy is an effective form of psychotherapy that can be beneficial for children and adolescents who are struggling with depression. It provides an outlet for feelings while teaching children how to practice self-compassion instead of self-blame or avoidance tactics when confronting difficult emotions. By learning these skills early on, children will be better equipped to deal with similar issues in the future, thus improving their overall mental health and well-being throughout life’s journey. If you think your child could benefit from compassion-focused therapy, reach out today to find out more about this valuable tool for helping kids deal with challenging feelings associated with depression.

If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself, Sarah Jackson, BBA, MACP, RP (Qualifying), or another Kitchener psychotherapist at CARESPACE. We are happy to listen and are here to help!

Picture of Sarah Jackson, BBA, MACP, RP (Qualifying)

Sarah Jackson, BBA, MACP, RP (Qualifying)

Sarah is a natural empathetic listener who focuses on the critical components of the therapeutic relationship by providing an unbiased and safe environment to explore your issues. Using techniques such as CBT and a strength-based focus, Sarah holds a collaborative client-centred approach to therapy where you are truly guided to be the expert in your journey and healing process. Sarah places the therapeutic alliance at the centre of her system and focuses on building and maintaining that relationship throughout the process. Sarah earned a master’s degree in counselling psychotherapy from Yorkville University, as well as a unique background in hospitality, real estate services and fashion, which have helped her realize her strengths in building relationships. Her passion for mental health and wellness emerged through her diverse life experiences and interest in helping others achieve their goals. Together, Sarah will work with you on approaches that let you deal with the underlying issues causing your problems and create deep relationships.

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