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Experiences of recurrent depression and anxiety can leave teenagers feeling stuck, exhausted, and uncertain about how to continue with life. Most of the time, they feel that life has lost meaning. There is an evidence-based approach that incorporates mindful exercise for adolescents.

This approach is mindfulness-based therapy. Mindfulness-based therapy has been proven to help teenagers deal with anxiety and depression. Massachusetts Center For Adolescent Wellness uses mindfulness adolescent-based therapy to ensure teenagers struggling with anxiety or depression get the help they need.

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What is Mindful-Based Therapy?

This form of cognitive therapy involves mindfulness practices that include present-moment awareness, breathing exercises, and meditation. This therapy was formulated to address depression and other mental health conditions. Using this approach, our mindfulness-based therapist teaches teenagers mindfulness and acceptance. 

We request teenagers to stop thinking in negative ways, which can lead to a drop into a mood disorder. Our professional therapists help teenagers get out of a problematic mindset, which could help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression levels.

Patients learn mindfulness skills to help them manage their behavioral and mental health challenges. Mindfulness-based therapy can help prevent relapse and helps adolescents maintain their recovery after completing treatment. Mental health professionals give teens the tools they need to cultivate mindfulness daily.

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What Disorders Can Mindfulness-Based Therapy Treat?

The overall effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatment is evident in treating various disorders. This approach to therapy can help alleviate depressive symptoms and help teens use healthy coping skills.

Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD)

When teenagers experience General Anxiety Disorder, it means they are living in the future of their minds. That is, they tend to imagine stressful situations that could happen in the future. They convince themselves that the outcome can be horrible.

In the course of this negative overthinking, anxiety pops up. Teenagers who practice mindfulness become more aware of their emotions, thoughts, and behavior. When teens become conscious of their thoughts, they come back to reality and realize none of the negative things are happening.

At Massachusetts Center For Adolescent Wellness, we help teenagers become observers of their own emotions. Mindfulness-based therapists help adolescents stay present in their emotions and learn healthy coping skills. We assist teenagers in managing their anxiety by guiding them through the process of not getting caught up in their thoughts.

According to a 2015 study, mindfulness-based therapy reduces neuronal activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to stress. Additionally, practicing mindfulness helps lower the production of hormones that create cortisol(a chemical that causes stress).

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is associated with mood fluctuations ranging from manic highs to depressive lows. In some cases, teenagers who have bipolar disorder may struggle with executive functioning. Mindfulness-based therapy may help prevent depressive episodes in teenagers with bipolar disorder leaving long-term advantages for the brain.

We help teenagers with bipolar disorders manage their symptoms through mindfulness-based therapy. Our therapists use mindfulness-based therapy to help them improve their executive functioning, ability to start and finish tasks, and memory. We execute this through mindful, non-judgemental observation and awareness of their emotions.


Mindfulness recovery is used to treat substance use disorders using mindfulness-based therapy and holistic mindfulness. We use mindfulness-based treatment to help teens addicted to drugs get better. Our therapists help teens follow a complete recovery plan incorporating evidence-based treatments like medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Mindfulness-based therapy techniques work for treating addiction because they help teens recognize what’s essential in life, something that addiction breaks. Cravings can be so intense that teenagers start to abuse substances over things that make them happy. This is if they don’t have an excellent way to deal with them.

We use mindfulness-based therapy to help teenagers determine what in their lives causes them to use drugs. They learn to accept negative thoughts and healthily manage them without using substances. 

Once teenagers know how to overcome a craving by practicing mindfulness, they begin to reflect on the things that used to give their life value. E.g., outdoor activities and meaningful relationships. That’s where recovery from addiction starts: rebuilding a life that’s so satisfying that the effort of staying clean is worth it.


Depression is a mental health disorder that involves periods of low mood and can commonly present during adolescence and late childhood. A teen may show signs of depression by experiencing periods of irritability, fluctuating weight, and decreasing energy levels. Without treatment of depression early on, this disorder can affect daily life in adulthood and lead to even more challenges. 

Mindfulness-based therapy can be used to treat depression in adolescence. Mindfulness-based therapy can help with increased awareness, seeing thoughts and feelings from a different perspective, and using mindfulness as a tool when distressed.

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Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Therapy For Adolescent Teenagers

Adolescent mindfulness-based treatment incorporates elements of cognitive therapy to assist teens in recognizing their negative thought patterns. They learn how to positively reframe thoughts and feelings with the help of a therapist. Patients can learn how to stay in the present through meditative practices and therapy.

This strategy allows teenagers to reflect on their thoughts while staying in the present. Mindfulness-based treatment assists teenagers in thinking more clearly. It also gives them the tools they require to let go of unpleasant thoughts.

Mindfulness-based treatment is based on the belief that; people who have previously experienced depression are prone to revert to the automatic patterns of thinking that caused them to be depressed. As a result, practicing mindfulness assists teens in paying attention to and identifying their feelings.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Adolescents in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) is an outpatient mental health program for adolescents. We provide counseling and assistance to teenagers and their families aged 13 to 17 and treat various mental health conditions.

We primarily use mindfulness-based therapy and various other therapy techniques and approaches. These treatments are devised based on each teen’s symptoms, needs, and goals. Our therapies combine evidence-based with holistic approaches to provide the most effective treatment for teens.

If you have a teenager who needs help managing their mental health, we’re here to help. We’ll assist them in managing their mental health and living a healthy and happy life.

Clinically Reviewed by:

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Melanie Carbonneau is the Clinical Director at Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness and is a licensed counselor and certified music therapist with a Ph.D. from Lesley University. She leads MCAW with a focus on holistic care, emphasizing the importance of family and community involvement in the healing process.