Behavioural Activation Treatment for depression: brief synopsis
When a person is clinically depressed they may avoid social situations, withdraw from friends and family, reduce their involvement in work, cry a lot, or sleep and eat excessively. The person may also stop socializing, exercising, meeting up with family, going to work and taking care of their health.
Often the depressed behaviours take over because as there may be a stronger reward or benefit for this and less reward for healthy behaviour. For example, avoidance of social situations may remove certain stressful situations, other people may take on their responsibilities or the person may receive more sympathy and attention from family members. Healthy behaviours can become less enticing because they are not receiving as much encouragement.
Using a behavioural approach to the treatment of depression, the treating psychologist will effectively guide the individual through the process of accessing rewards for healthy behaviour. The person is encouraged to pursue healthy activities that reward them and keep a close record of their activities and resulting mood.
This treatment has been shown to reduce the symptoms of clinical depression and encourage the person to actively engage with their environment, work life, family and friends.
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