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5 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Teens

Person talking about cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques with their therapist

Like adults and younger children, teenagers view the world through the lens of their habitual thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The ways your child thinks, feels, and behaves can support their everyday sense of health and wellness. However, they can also harm these crucial aspects of life. A form of psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help your teen develop healthier mental and behavioral habits.

About Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapists rely on a variety of specialized techniques.

CBT Basics

All people develop habitual ways of looking at the world. These habits are based on a combination of the following:

  • How we think about ourselves, other people, and our surroundings
  • Our methods of emotionally reacting to these things
  • The behaviors that come from our thoughts and emotions

CBT takes this reality as its starting point. It focuses on three things. First, it helps your teen understand the impact of their typical thoughts, emotions, and behaviors on their everyday experiences. It then shows your child how to spot specific habits in these areas that contribute to poor mental well-being. The therapy also helps your teen change those habits and improve their day-to-day well-being.

Examples of Cognitive Behaviors

Examples of cognitive behaviors are everywhere. That’s true because your mindset and behavior affect virtually every aspect of your life. Say, for example, your teenager receives terrible news at school. This news can destabilize and damage thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. However, it may not be destabilizing. Instead, your child may take the information in stride and maintain a sense of wellness. These two responses differ in many respects. However, by definition, they are both cognitive-behavioral.

Differences in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Teens and Adults

Generally speaking, teenagers view the world from a different perspective than adults. This is true, in large part, because teens are still developing mentally and physically. Participation in CBT can help both adults and adolescents. However, to be effective, the therapy’s techniques must be modified to fit teenagers’ needs and stages of life.

Modified therapy techniques can be used to help teens recover from a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Medical professionals can also use them to help resolve sleep difficulties and problems with self-identity or self-esteem.

5 Common Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Teens

Teens can benefit from a variety of standard cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The list of these techniques includes:

  1. Cognitive restructuring
  2. Guided discovery
  3. Cognitive journaling
  4. Behavior modification
  5. Relaxation exercises

In cognitive restructuring, your teen learns to identify negative habits of thought. They then learn how to reframe those thoughts in a more positive light. Guided discovery helps your child develop a broader outlook on life. Cognitive journaling gives your teen a way to record their thoughts. It also allows them to track their progress toward healthier habits over time. Behavior modification helps your child spot and change damaging behaviors. Relaxation exercises promote a calmer, less stressful mental perspective.

Find Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Teens in Colorado at Imagine Fort Collins

Want to find out more about CBT for teens? The specialists at Imagine Fort Collins are standing by to assist you. We can answer your questions and explain the details of standard CBT methods.

Imagine Fort Collins is your trusted teen mental health provider. CBT plays a central role in many of our specialized treatment plans. All cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques are customized to meet individual needs. We also offer a range of other options to support your child’s lasting recovery. Need more information? Contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 888.291.2309. You can also reach us through our online form.