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The Teen Run Group Therapy A creative “health based” approach to treating adolescent depression/anxiety and low self esteem Dan McGann, Social Worker Child.

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Presentation on theme: "The Teen Run Group Therapy A creative “health based” approach to treating adolescent depression/anxiety and low self esteem Dan McGann, Social Worker Child."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Teen Run Group Therapy A creative “health based” approach to treating adolescent depression/anxiety and low self esteem Dan McGann, Social Worker Child & Family Services The Credit Valley Hospital

2 MY RUNNING FRIEND (Unique bonding) “We talk about everything under the sun... and I don't even know her last name” By Michele Bender – Runner’s World Magazine, Aug 2007 "When you run sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles together, you trust each other, bare your souls to each other, and help each other heal." Dr."Ozzie" Gontang, Ph.D., Numerous studies have shown that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and beta- endorphin, all of which elevate mood and reduce depression and anxiety. “What is said on the road, stays on the road.”

3 Run Dan Run!! My own depression Started to run Training for 10 years Completing my first Marathon - May 2006 Created a Program

4 Adolescence & Depression Major Public Health Issue 10-20% Depressive Disorder 25-50% Associated Anxiety Disorder 20% Associated Substance Use Disorder

5 70% of depressed adolescents will have a 2 nd episode within 5 years 10-20% - ultimate diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder 80% of Suicidal Adolescents suffer with depression Suicide is the 2 rd leading cause of death in Adolescents

6 Small minority of Adolescents receive treatment Minority complete treatment Traditional treatments such as medication and psychotherapy have limited efficacy.

7 Psychological Treatments Modest Benefit: I.P.T. C.B.T.

8 Biological TADS combination of Fluoxetine & therapy Handful of drug trials demonstrating effectiveness Many drug trials showing no benefit High drop out from medication

9 Compliance Issues Side effects Recent concerns regarding increase in suicidal ideation

10 Conventional Psychotherapy Requires “Face to face” communication of thoughts and feelings Focus on painful and emotional issues Office based sessions reinforce the “sick-role”

11 The Running Group Group support Out of the “office” Mastering a skill Integration of mind & Body Indirect learning (less threatening)

12 Control & Predictability Structure & Routine Audio, visual, kinesthetic learning

13 Action vs. Passivity Mastery vs. Victimization Changes the internal narrative Endorphin release “Runner’s High”

14 Proposal Adolescent group 14 – 19 years Depression/Anxiety Pre-test for Baseline Teach them to run 3X/wk/12 wks Community Race 5K/10K Post-test for comparison All teens are medically cleared by their family Doc and waiver signed by parents

15 THIS IS A TEAM EFFORT!

16 Our Sponsors Personal donations from: Dr. David Rosen Dr. Marino Battigelli Tina Triano Stan and Jessie Solarski Dan McGann *Youth Branch – CVH Volunteer Services

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18 Volunteer Coaches Impact on coaching staff is amazing – the power of “giving back”

19 Program Format A gradual skill/endurance building 1:  10:1 30 minutes 12 Weeks

20 Frequency Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 7:45 Guest speaker and short run Saturday at 8:30 - 9:30 am ~ longer runs Each teen was also asked to run one more time through the week independently and record on their log sheet.

21 Our Speakers Jeff Stapleton, Running Coach Dr. Ian MacIntyre – sports physician Sandy Beckett, Physiotherapist Heidi Nixdorf & Sandra Gabriel ~ Dieticians Dan McGann, Psychology of Running Detective Sean Sullivan (Capt Peel Police Run team) John Knox – core training Rick Ball - Paralympics -Team Canada Tom Lettner, Senior Runner/Ironman

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23 Group Characteristics Age range: 14 to 19 years Gender: 22 males – 21 females – 11 are parents Diagnosis: 2/3rds anxiety ~ 1/3 rd depression 43 participants in total

24 Teen Run Log Scale mood pre run?/10 Scale mood post run ?/10 Note conditions, distance and time Space also provided for comments

25 What they Learn How to take a goal, break it down, and achieve through small steps. Impact of mood on performance Importance of structure & routine Being supportive of others - being supported by others (looping) Influence of diet on energy Increased self awareness through use of your running log book

26 Learning skills in developing “mental toughness” “the ability to keep going and stay positive and focused when faced with challenges” (long runs, hills) Learn from their mistakes (lessons/opportunities for new learning) - not to over-react Learn form others - from their mistakes Learn to run softy and silently (no drama) Learn how to talk and breathe as they run Developing positive cognitive skills (positive thinking, focus, etc)

27 “This is my hill” How to look at challenges and obstacles (hills) as good teachers and skill builders How to look at challenges and obstacles (hills) as good teachers and skill builders

28 Learn to pace themselves - when to hold back and when to push in order to complete a run well and in a good time. That action (running) in the face of adversity is much better than standing still or retreating Run towards your fears not away from them. How to celebrate their achievements and meet their goals! (end run cheer/grad party with personalized certificates)

29 Teen Comments “I can’t believe I ran that far!” “Running for me is better than making out with boys I don’t know or cutting myself.” “Headache, legs hurt ~ never felt better!” “I liked running in the rain today.” “The run helped me to feel relaxed and de stressed ”

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31 Parent Comments “My son seems more relaxed after each run ~ very satisfied with what he’s accomplished.” “I found that her confidence level increased as the time went on. I think that it has made such a difference to her to actually see tangible results.” “His mood and anxiety levels seem improved.” “She said that she could actually feel her spirits lift after each run.”

32 New Research MSW Thesis “Evaluation of Running Group Therapy with Youth” ~ qualitative Family Run Program; “The value of running to improve the quality of the parent- teen relationship” – pre and post scale Continued pre and post test using the RCMAS Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale Collaborative Research with University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry Pre and post run log recording

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34 Lesleigh's Story

35 Lesleigh completes her 1 st Half Marathon

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