What Is Behavioural Activation?

Behavioural Activation is a particular therapy technique that has been shown to be very effective at relieving symptoms of depression.

Behavioural Activation (or BA) helps you differentiate between behaviours (things you do in different situations) that ultimately keep your depression going, and healthy behaviours that will ultimately help lift your mood.

One way of identifying healthy behaviours is to consider what your overall values are – these are the things that you believe are important in life.  You Therapist might invite you to consider values in certain life areas such as family, career, hobbies and physical health.

Once you have identified a list of broad values it’s a good idea to think about behaviours that on a day by day basis will help you make these values a reality.

At each therapy session your therapist will help you explore what consequences happen when you have used both healthy and depression-maintaining behaviours during the previous week.  If you have pleasant consequences then it is more likely that you will repeat the behaviour – whether it helps depression or makes it worse.  One benefit of working with a therapist is the support in considering what subtle consequences might be following how you act.

Overall a ‘BA’ approach has been shown to be helpful with many types of depression.  It is also a particularly good treatment for severe depression as it does not overly focus on exploring difficult thoughts that you might be having, which can often be harder to work with if your mood is very low.

If you are wondering where to get Behavioural Activation Therapy, get in touch to see how our therapy team can help…