As we mark the anniversary of the global pandemic, there is new research about young people and substance use during COVID-19. The pandemic has taken a big toll on the mental health of both adults and children, which is generally considered a predicter for increased substance use. But some new research suggests that adolescents and teens are experiencing fewer of the other major factors that influence drug and alcohol use at a young age, which may be a positive sign.
What does “being present” actually mean? Why is it an essential part of Acceptance Commitment Therapy? In this week’s blog, I explain the concept and how it can impact our mental wellbeing.
The teen years aren’t easy for anyone. Research shows significant increases in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues during this time for both boys and girls. Recent studies, however, suggest that adolescent girls – especially those who spend a lot of time on social media – tend to be particularly susceptible to the social and emotional upheaval.
Anyone who has teens in their life knows how important friendships are to this age group. But you may not know that a significant body of research suggests close friendships are essential to a young person’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Cognitive Defusion, one of the core concepts of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is a therapeutic approach that I use in my practice to help people cope with the negative thought patterns that fuel depression, anxiety and other mental and behavioral health challenges. Through a series of exercises my clients and I work to limit the power of negative thoughts and see them for what they really are: Just thoughts.