In an article published by Forbes, a psychotherapist, Karen J. Helfrich, was interviewed about the ways mindfulness based cognitive therapy can benefit those grappling with social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Recently, mindfulness training has gained popularity in treating various mental health issues, including stress, depression, and more.
Social anxiety disorder defined
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by an intense fear of being judged by others or embarrassed. It generally pops up in early adolescence, averaging at about 13 years old. When thrown into certain situations, social anxiety disorder has the power to wrap a teen in a cloak of terror, making it nearly impossible to function normally. For your teen girl, her social anxiety trigger could be anything from presenting in class to ordering at a restaurant.
What is mindfulness based cognitive therapy?
Practicing mindfulness based cognitive therapy has deep roots in the ancient practice of meditation. Though most often taught through meditative training, yoga is also utilized as a way of practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy allows a teen to become aware of their inner feelings, physical feelings, and outside surroundings. It gives them the ability to effectively work through issues instead of being bombarded and overwhelmed by them.
“Mindfulness is simply paying attention to one’s present-moment experience.” –Karen J. Helfrich
Taking the time to calm their mind and concentrate on their core feelings and environment allows a teen to develop the skills needed to live in the present and deal with current issues efficiently instead of dwelling on things that cannot be controlled.
How mindfulness training can help with social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder gives a teen a response of extreme fear or “fight-or-flight” when in certain social settings. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy allows a teen to acknowledge and further understand their triggers, which in turn grants them the opportunity to calm themselves in those situations. Instead of being helpless against the uncontrollable fear, this teen can observe the fear infringing, compose themselves, and deal with it accordingly. It doesn’t work immediately, but many studies have confirmed mindfulness training’s power to improve a person’s control over their emotions.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with anxiety, trauma, depression, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.
For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946!