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01-03-2014 | Uitgave 1/2014

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 1/2014

Mindfulness Based Interventions for Youth

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy > Uitgave 1/2014
Sanno Zack, Jenine Saekow, Megan Kelly, Anneliese Radke


Application of mindfulness based interventions for youth is growing exponentially within clinical and educational settings. Proponents emphasize benefits in reduction of a wide range of psychopathology including internalizing and externalizing disorders, as well as enhancement of functioning and skills in attentional focus and concentration, emotion regulation, social and academic performance, adaptive coping, frustration tolerance, self-control, and self-esteem. Findings to date are encouraging, though research design reflects the nascent nature of the field and continues to be insufficient to confirm treatment efficacy or mechanisms of change. This article is aimed at providing the clinical practitioner with a review of the current state of the field with regard to application of mindfulness for youth, placing it in context of the broader history of the CBT movement. Specifically mindfulness based stress reduction, mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy treatments for youth are critically reviewed, and mindfulness as a technique and as a unifying mechanism of action in “third-wave” youth psychotherapies discussed. Developmental considerations are highlighted, and the application of mindfulness as a universal preventative health measure versus tertiary treatment intervention examined, with consideration for future directions.

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