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Understanding the Benefits of ACT for Adolescents Struggling with Depression

Understanding the Benefits of ACT for Adolescents Struggling with Depression

Adolescence can be a difficult time of life, and depression can be an especially heavy burden to carry. But there is hope! Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help adolescents with depression learn how to cope with their emotions in healthy ways, develop personal resilience, and make meaningful changes in their lives. Let’s take a look at what ACT is and how it can benefit adolescents struggling with depression.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on understanding the underlying thoughts and feelings that drive an individual’s behavior. The goal of ACT is to help individuals accept their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors while still maintaining a sense of commitment to making positive changes in their lives. The approach emphasizes mindfulness techniques such as meditation and yoga as well as acceptance strategies such as cognitive restructuring and self-compassion.

How Can ACT Help Adolescents Struggling with Depression?

ACT helps adolescents struggling with depression by focusing on developing skills for navigating difficult emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them. This includes teaching adolescents how to identify the underlying causes of their negative emotions, learning how to cope with those emotions in healthy ways, and developing strategies for managing stress more effectively. It also teaches adolescents how to develop self-compassion when faced with difficult circumstances. Additionally, ACT encourages adolescents to take proactive steps toward achieving goals that bring meaning into their lives. These goals focus on living life according to personal values rather than pursuing external rewards or validation from others.

What Can An Adolescent With Depression Expect From ACT?

Adolescents suffering from depression can expect psychotherapy, a type of counselling that focuses on modifying dysfunctional behaviour or thinking, to be the primary treatment approach used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT will provide adolescents with a unique psychotherapeutic framework that combines mindfulness, values-oriented behavioural strategies, and cognitive defusion. Within this psychotherapy, psychotherapists will guide their adolescent clients through an evidence-based individualized therapeutic program known as ‘functional contextualism’. Through this process, an adolescent can begin to unlearn patterns of behaviour and thoughts that reinforce their suffering by connecting with the client’s true values on a deeper level. Ultimately, it is up to the adolescent to apply what they learn in session with their therapist in order to make life-altering changes.

What Are The Benefits Of ACT For An Adolescent With Depression?

ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is a psychotherapeutic approach that has been shown to be highly effective for adolescents struggling with depression. The goal of ACT is to help an individual bring mindful awareness to their emotions and thoughts as well as increase their overall psychological flexibility. Through psychotherapy and counselling, ACT can provide an adolescent with the skills necessary to handle difficult emotions in such a way that they no longer interfere with daily life. Working with a therapist gives teens with depression the support needed to commit to creating a happier, more meaningful life.

How Long Will ACT Take To Work For An Adolescent Suffering/Dealing With Depression?

Alleviating depression in adolescents can be a complex task and one of the most effective ways to approach it is through psychotherapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Though its effectiveness has been demonstrated in research studies, how long ACT takes to work depends on several factors. For instance, the frequency of psychotherapy sessions, the level of commitment from the adolescent and their family, how well they are able to understand and accept therapeutic instructions, and the therapist’s experience, and ability to foster client engagement through counselling activities – all determine how fast progress is made. A psychotherapist will often adjust their therapeutic goals going forward depending on the above-mentioned factors through continual assessment. Therefore, there is no set timeline as to how long ACT will take to address an adolescent’s depression; ultimately it could take weeks or months.

How Do I Know If ACT Is The Right Treatment For An Adolescent With Depression?

It can be difficult to discern if psychotherapy, specifically Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is the right treatment for an adolescent with depression. The best way to ensure that your teen is getting the most effective course of psychotherapy would be to have them consult with a qualified therapist who can evaluate their needs. During counselling sessions, the therapist can help identify which strategies are most effective in managing symptoms and challenges faced by adolescents living with depression. If ACT or any other psychotherapy is indicated as a good fit, then it’s important that both parents and the adolescent alike understand what this psychotherapeutic method entails and how it might help to create meaningful changes in cognitive behaviour.

By working through issues related to depression using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), adolescents can learn valuable skills for navigating difficult emotions while still committing themselves to achieving meaningful goals in their lives. Through this process, they can gain insight into the sources of their negative emotions, develop healthier coping mechanisms, cultivate self-compassion, increase personal resilience, and make positive changes in pursuit of living according to core values rather than external rewards or validation from others. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression as an adolescent consider looking into ACT psychotherapy today!

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

Sarah Jackson

Sarah Jackson

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.