You’ve probably already heard about therapy. But not all therapy is the same. There’s talk therapy, family therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and so much more – each with its own focus and benefits. When it comes to how we help your teens, one of the most effective types of therapy we use is called CBT.
CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is a type of talk therapy that offers a variety of benefits. If you’re asking yourself, “what is CBT, anyway?” Ascend has the answers. Explore our breakdown of what CBT is and how it can help the teens in our residential treatment facilities today.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used form of talk therapy because it’s so versatile and offers tons of benefits, regardless of a person’s mental health condition or life situation. CBT can help your adolescent with:
CBT is unique because it focuses on making positive connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When most teens come to Ascend, they have negative associations with many of their feelings, which drives them towards worsening mental health and destructive coping mechanisms. When they start CBT, we work towards retraining their brain, reframing thoughts that previously lead them towards undesirable behaviors.
As they explore their unhealthy thought patterns, teens can begin to cultivate healthier thought patterns that stimulate positive change as they’re guided by their therapist. Your child may also be given therapy homework to help them practice the skills they’ve learned to help them achieve their goals.
What Are the Benefits of CBT for Teens?
If your teen has been going through a rough patch, you may want to know what CBT is and whether it’s the right choice for them. While cognitive-behavioral therapy is beneficial for those with diagnosed mental illnesses, you don’t need to have a diagnosis to reap the benefits of CBT for teens. The benefits of this type of therapy include:
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Better communication skills
- Higher self-esteem and confidence
- Healthier coping skills
- Better stress management skills
- Improved relationships with others
- Reduced anxiety
Unfortunately, many teenagers can’t learn these skills on their own and need the help of a dedicated therapist to guide them through this challenging period in their lives. As we work with the teens under our care to improve their life skills, we also work with parents and other family members to ensure a stronger family system through CBT-learned skills.
Is CBT Right for Your Child?
What CBT does is provide new pathways to switch teens away from following their negative thoughts – as long as they’re willing to put in the work. Some benchmark behaviors that help us determine whether CBT is the right choice for new teens that enter our program include:
- They always expect the worst outcome. The teen never seems to expect anything positive in their life.
- They have all-or-nothing thinking and have difficulty seeing that life is full of gray areas and compromises.
- They often overreact to minor problems. Every little issue seems like the end of the world to them.
- They have a hard time noticing positive things in life, only focusing on the negative and verbalizing their negativity.
- Whether it’s school, life, or general life goals, they feel hopeless about the possibilities in their future.
Ascend Can Help You!
Being a teenager is challenging, both for the teens themselves and their family members. If you’re seeing signs of mental illness in your teen or tension in the family system, don’t settle for years of rocky relationships and declining mental health. Now that you know what CBT is, you can see that there’s hope for everyone’s future. Let Ascend guide your teen’s journey towards living their fullest life when you reach out to our admissions team.