Stressed Teens & MBSR-T


Stressed Teens is a business that began in 2004 and disseminates the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens Program (MBSR-T) (Biegel, 2009a, 2009b, 2014, 2017) in varying forms. Stressed Teens teaches mindfulness skills and provides tools for those in their pre-teen years through latter adolescence and even for young adults. 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.

MBSR-T is an adaptation of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for adults (Kabat-Zinn, 1982, 1990, 2013). 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 and young adults versus the traditional MBSR program for adults. Like MBSR, MBSR-T is based on secular adaptations of mindfulness practices with roots in Eastern meditation traditions. MBSR-T is also strongly influenced by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002, 2013).

MBSR-T and Positive Neuroplasticity


One can become more mindful--aware of their senses, thoughts, and feelings. Once you are mindful you can choose where you want to direct your attention. Teens can focus on that one dislike, or negative comment someone said about them, or they can direct their attention to the myriad of positive statements and moments. MBSR-T teaches fundamental and foundational mindfulness skills and then encourages teens to direct their attention to the positive, to self-care, to direct their attention on that which nourishes and fills them up rather than on that which drains and depletes them. The focus in on 'Taking in the Good' attending to positive coping skills and decreasing energy and brain time on negative coping skills.

Download a Chapter from the new book Be Mindful & Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your Crazy Life to learn ways to help teens and young adults be on their own side.

Learn more about Spacious and Directed Awareness Download Here

To download a list of ways teens can 'Take in the Good' Click Here

Possible Benefits of Learning MBSR-T


MBSR-T does not claim to be a panacea. It is also not a magic bullet for all teens, in all settings, in all conditions. At times, other therapeutic approaches or medication management may be clinically indicated and more appropriate. When teaching MBSR-T clinically, educationally, individually, or in group settings, it is imperative that you follow the applicable laws and the ethics of your profession, as well as the reporting responsibilities you must uphold.

With those caveats in mind, the possible benefits of learning MBSR-T are many:

·      Improved emotion regulation and metacognition

·      Realistic shifts in perceptions and appraisals of stress

·      Decreases in stress and suffering

·      Improved overall mental and physical health and well-being

·      Increased sense of agency, control, coherence, and power

·      Insight into the sources of strength that come from within

·      Decreases in negative coping skills and increases in positive coping skills

Listen to a free Drop-In Practice: Beginning Mindfulness Practice


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The drop-in practice guides you to connect to your body, breath, and mind--both thoughts and feelings. It is as easy as 1-2-3. 1. Body 2. Breath 3. Mind

MBSR-T has strong foundations in developmental theory and considers the cognitive and attentional abilities of youth, as well as the cultural life of today’s teenagers, for whom changes occur rapidly in how they form relationships and allocate their attention. MBSR-T seeks to meet teens where they are developmentally and use language, references, and stories that are relevant to them. MBSR-T maintains the integrity of its foundations in psychology and mindfulness, while creating interventions pertinent to today’s 21st-century teen.


Mindfulness involves paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and can be cultivated through both formal and informal mindfulness practices. The formal practices taught are similar to those in adult MBSR, but their duration is shortened to accommodate the attention span of adolescents. Emphasis is also given to mindful qualities of living, informal practice, and developing an awareness of one’s thoughts.  It appears, through experience in MBSR-T, 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.

MBSR-T has been used and researched in a number of settings: in- and after-school, outpatient therapeutic settings, autistic spectrum disorder clinics, positive youth development programs, and pediatric hospitals (this is not an exhaustive list). It is appropriate for individual, family, and group settings (clinical or educational), and distribution of this curriculum continues to broaden. It can be used as a stand-alone program or as an adjunct to other forms of treatment and modalities. MBSR-T is not meant to replace a successful medication regimen or ongoing psychological treatment, although the skills learned may reduce the need for other treatments. The intention for MBSR-T is for teens to learn skills and tools that will help them function more adaptively and improve their quality of life.