Behavioural Activation is about helping patients to ‘act their way out’ of depression rather than waiting until they are ready to ‘think their way out’.
When people are depressed, they tend to reduce their activity levels. This means that they stop doing pleasurable activities as well as activities that are necessary, for example paying bills. This lack of activity in turn makes the depression worse and people end up in a vicious circle.
Behavioural Activation encourages people to slowly start increasing activity levels. This breaks the vicious circle and the increase in activities helps to improve a person’s mood.