Behavioral Activation: Only an Intervention for Treating Depression, Or An Approach for Achieving a Meaningful Life?
By Andrew Hale, MA, BCBA and C. Richard Spates, PhD
Behavioral activation is an empirically supported intervention for depression that has demonstrated effectiveness both as a stand-alone treatment and as a component of cognitive therapy. Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence supporting the application of behavioral activation in contexts that do not involve the treatment of clinical depression. This paper introduces the defining features of behavioral activation, describes a series of popular self-help and productivity strategies that employ principles of treatment, and presents contemporary neuroscience research related to clinical and non-clinical applications. Behavioral activation may have important benefits beyond treating depression such as increasing resiliency, fostering well-being, and building a meaningful life