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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Children (MBCT-C)


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Since mindfulness has become a buzz word in the recent years, I just wanted to point out the difference between a structured mindfulness program and using mindfulness strategies we have picked up off the web. Our local funding for therapies is small and I therefore have had to invest in texts and manuals to research certain approaches and therapy forms myself in order to make better informed decisions for my children. In any case, rather than typing from my books, I found this site that explains how a MBCT session is conducted, its purpose, and goals. I thought I would include it here:




I am also copy pasting the essential components directly from the linked website:




Essential Components

The essential components of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Children (MBCT-C) include:

  • Unlike Cognitive Therapy, MBCT-C makes no attempt to change the content of negative thinking, instead encouraging children to change how they relate to their own thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. In this way, they have opportunities to discover that these are transient events in the mind and the body, with which they can choose to engage—or not to engage
  • Helps children realize that thoughts, feelings (emotions), and body sensations are “just†thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, rather than “truth†or “me†by having the therapist repeatedly notice and offer nonjudgmental observations, with interest and compassion
  • Helps children learn to see more clearly the patterns of the mind, and to recognize that falling into anxious overanalysis or depressive rumination is often fueled by strong emotions, which serves only to increase the child’s emotional and behavioral problems
  • Helps break associations between anxious or depressed moods and negative thinking
  • Helps children develop the capacity to allow distressing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations to come and go, without feeling that they have to suppress them, run away from them, or do battle with them
  • Teaches skills to help children stay in touch with the present moment, without feeling driven to dwell on the past or worry about the future
  • 12-week group therapy that consists of weekly 90-minute sessions plus home practice activities; treatment manual also provides suggestions for ways to adapt MBCT-C to use in individual therapy
  • Recommended group size is 6 to 8 children
  • Activities designed to be engaging and developmentally appropriate for children ages 8 to 12; adaptable for use with both younger and older children and for youth with special needs
  • Parents/caregivers invited to attend two separate adult sessions that offer detailed information about the program, experiential practice with mindfulness activities, and encouraged to join the child in doing the weekly home-practice activities
  • Unlike most therapies, session summaries, handouts, and home practice activities provided for every session and used to encourage parents/caregivers to understand the program aims and interventions, as well as allowing them to participate in home-based mindfulness activities with the child
  • Developmentally appropriate, child-friendly mindfulness activities include mindfulness of the breath, body scan, and yoga-like movement activities; mindfulness of thoughts, emotions, and body sensations; and sensory-based activities (i.e., visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, and kinesthetic sensations)


The effectiveness, therefore, of the approach we use will be based largely on how it is implemented and by whom. It is why I always say, I use CBT and mindfulness strategies.


In any case, I am short of time at present and am unable to keep up with any discussion. I just wanted to post the above information as FYI, for anyone that may be interested in looking into this form of therapy at the professional level, for their child. It will help in knowing what to expect and what to look for. 

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