Behavioural Activation for Depression

Behavioural activation helps individuals with depression by improving their mood from increasing activity level (Josefowitz & Myran, 2017). It is based on the notion that by changing behaviours that promote pleasure, the mood will improve, and a sense of competence will develop. Individuals with depression maintain a cycle by avoidance and a lack of positive reinforcement. Depression is usually triggered by a difficult situation or life changes, which results in a decrease of positive events and an increase of negative events. This leads to individuals having low mood and fatigue, and ultimately, they think that they do not enjoy anything. This avoidance of activities then usually instigates secondary problems. Behavioural activation interrupts such cycle of depression by encouraging clients to take part in mood boosting activities. I often work with people to help find their mood boosting activities.


Josefowitz, N., & Myran, D. (2017). CBT made simple: A clinician’s guide to practicing cognitive behavioral therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.