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Stressed Teens  is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) program.  The MBSR-T intervention is closely related to the traditional MBSR program created by Kabat-Zinn and colleagues. The MBSR-T program is meant to be a program to use with adolescents vs. the traditional MBSR program for adults. This program can be adapted from the group format to accommodate other settings (e.g., schools, individual/family therapy) and for a variety of populations (e.g., clinical and non-clinical). The formal practices are shorter in duration to accommodate the attention span of adolescents. MBSR-T seeks to meet teens where they are developmentally and use language, references and stories that are relevant to them. Emphasis is also given to mindful qualities of living, informal practice and developing an awareness of one’s thoughts.  It appears, through experience in this program, that teens often benefit from activities that focus on noticing and awareness of self-other judgments, worries, things out of one’s control, and pain and suffering.  Many mental health difficulties arise from these aforementioned thoughts.

Stressed Teens teaches mindfulness skills and provides tools for those in their pre-teen years through latter adolescence. Mindfulness involves paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and can be cultivated through both formal and informal mindfulness practices. Stressed Teens takes a mind-body approach and focuses on the whole person. Teens often have difficulty with their social skills, emotions, confidence, procrastination, impulsivity and attention. Stressed Teens can improve a teen’s functioning and quality of living socially, physically and psychologically.

What Teens Have to Say About The Stressed Teens Program:

“I am less judgmental, less stressed, happier with myself, more honest, more caring, and kinder after the class.”

“I learned how to deal with my stress differently, which helped me stop cutting.”

“I am a better thinker, a better friend, a better learner, and have allowed myself to care about the careless.”

“I think the meds help me concentrate,but they did not help as much as the body scan [a mindful practice] helped.”

“I really like the idea of not living in the past or the future, but being mindful.”

What Adults Have to Say About About The Stressed Program:

“I liked the practical ways to integrate this approach with youth and also that mindfulness is moving into the education system. I see this as vital!”

“I am feeling relaxed and this is something I want to start using with my clients.”

“I have a intention to commit myself to practice and share mindfulness with my teen daughter.”

“Mindfulness has huge results!”

“I feel like I was mindful before today but I wasn’t sure how to teach students how to be mindful. Now I feel like I can start a group!”

Mindfulness skills help with a teen’s:

  • Perceptions and appraisals of stress
  • Emotion-regulation
  • Meta-cognition
  • Feeling out of control
  • Suffering
  • Multitasking

Learned Mindfulness Skills Can:

  • Bring teens into the present moment through a reduction of focus on the past or future and more attention on the here and now
  • Reduce: rumination, “distorted” thinking, worries, negative self-talk, and judgments
  • Increase: letting go, empathy, patience, being with what is, and kindness toward self and others
  • Focuses on the self-regulation of attention, thoughts and emotions