The Newest Approach to Handling Depression: Behavioral Activation


Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in England have consistently examined the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy involves the patient reviewing their thoughts and implementing change to enhance their overall mood. With more research, it has been found that behavioral activation could be extremely effective in treating depression. Behavioral activation involves using an “outside in” technique, while cognitive behavioral therapy uses an “inside out” approach. Rather than changing your mood to lessen the depressive behavior, BA suggests changing your behavior to alter your mood.

Behavioral activation works the best when a client starts to notice their depressive symptoms and behaviors. They must take note of when they start to ostracize themselves or become inactive, and rather than letting these behaviors take over they need to find activities that are natural mood-enhancers. A client should find their “happy” interests and pastimes, and take advantage of the fact that their mood could be completely changed just by completing these activities.

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