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Behavioural Activation for Depression

Struggling to get back to activities that you enjoyed prior to COVID?

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With COVID restrictions continuing to ease many people are out embracing life again and getting back to their previously enjoyed activities. However, a number of people have not returned to the activities they previously enjoyed prior to Covid.

Do you know someone who is turning down invitations to social events, procrastinating on jobs around home or at work, sleeping more and not looking after every day needs such as showering or brushing hair? These are possible signs of depression and behaviours that can lower your mood.

Any person experiencing depression may have behavioural activation suggested as an important component of psychological treatment. Behavioural activation focuses on increasing a person’s engagement in activities that lift their mood along with attempting to decrease activities that lower their mood. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, grief or substance use you may also have behavioural activation suggested as a part of your treatment.

In therapy, to help a person increase their positive activities, a practitioner will help them with planning tasks, breaking it down into manageable steps and discussing any potential obstacles that may stop them from performing the activity. For example, if a person identified that walking on the beach was something that made them feel good the therapist would help them work through a structured exercise aimed at finding a time when this would most likely happen, schedule the walk and looking at all the obstacles such as what happens if it's raining. Motivational strategies would also be discussed to ensure the person had the best chance of getting themself down to the beach for a walk.

Research has demonstrated Increasing levels of positive behaviours can produce a reduction in symptoms of depression. Behavioural activation can be used in both individual and group therapy settings. And, yes the beach is beautiful in spring!

If this article has raised concerns about yourself or someone you know and you want to book an appointment with one of our experienced psychologists, please contact our friendly admin team by calling 08 7081 5855 or email us via our contact page.

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