Mindfulness Based CBT
We use mindfulness techniques to help our pupils understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger and recognising positive and negative emotional states.
Ultimately, we support them in seeking an emotional balance through this awareness and acceptance of their thoughts and feelings, in the present moment. By teaching our adolescent pupils to understand themselves better, we can promote the life-skills that help them to achieve harmony and wellbeing.
Mindfulness trains the young person to notice their thoughts, be aware of the emotion they are feeling and overall the sensation they are experiencing. We do not deny or ignore thoughts or emotions, we teach the adolescent to notice them and then choose to respond to them.
Over the course of several weeks, pupils gradually learn to recognise their thought patterns by noticing their breathing and being aware of their senses. We incorporate movement, touch, sounds and taste. When the pupil becomes more conscious of the present moment, being aware of their thoughts, we are much more likely to be able to help them effect a change in their ensuing behaviour; from being habitually reactive to being responsive instead.
How does it help?
Practicing Mindfulness allows us to make constructive changes to our lifestyle by choosing to use new thoughts and therefore new behaviours. At the same time, we take into account the fact that the teenage brain, in particular the frontal cortex, is still in the process of development. We remain aware that the typical teenager struggles to cope with boundaries and authority and that their ‘fight or flight’ responses remain quite dominant.
In summary, Mindfulness based CBT helps the pupil to recognise the root of their anger, acknowledge established negative thoughts and move forward past these. Often, this Mindful education promotes healthier interaction with their peers and family, as by understanding their own thought patterns, they are more likely to develop empathy towards others.
In our current busy and stressful lifestyles, little time is given to silence and stillness. Practising some of the mindfulness techniques can lead to emotional wellbeing. Our teenagers nowadays tend to spend most of their unstructured time engaged in some kind of physical or mental activity. By being Mindful, we encourage them to notice and sometimes alter their ‘reactive’ mindset by consciously making a decision to ‘respond’ less defensively and aggressively.