From leading experts in behavioral activation research and clinical practice, this volume presents an empirically tested approach for helping clients overcome depression by becoming active and engaged in their own lives. Behavioral activation is a stand-alone treatment whose principles can be integrated easily with other approaches that therapists already use. Guidelines are presented for identifying individualized treatment targets, monitoring and scheduling "antidepressant" activities—experiences that are likely to be rewarding and pleasurable—and decreasing avoidance and ruminative thinking. Rich clinical illustrations include an extended case example that runs throughout the book. Twenty-two reproducible forms, worksheets, and tables can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½" x 11" size.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“This work is clearly a labor of love, and its strengths shine through. Multiple patient scenarios are explored....Step-by-step instructions are provided as well as detailed examples of possible homework assignments and how a patient might complete them....It is easily digestible, even for the busiest of practitioners....Well written and easy to read, and it would be a helpful addition to the library of most therapists. It could easily be used as a teaching tool in therapy classes for psychologists and psychiatrists alike. I highly recommend it.”
“Useful....In a way, all clinicians treating depressed patients should practice some kind of behavioral activation, eg, having patients schedule physical activities and reviewing their gradual increments with patients. Thus, this text could help us in this practice. Those practicing behavioral therapies or those collaborating with or supervising BA therapists will also find this volume informative and useful.”
—Annals of Clinical Psychiatry
“Concise and well written, this is the most accessible and clinically useful book on behavioral activation (BA) for depression available to date. It covers the theoretical underpinnings of BA, the evidence for its effectiveness, and key principles of effective delivery. It clarifies the relationship of BA to other evidence-based treatments and is illustrated throughout with practical clinical examples. The book will be of equal value to both trainees and experienced clinicians who want to learn about the effective practice of BA.”
—Stephen Pilling, PhD, Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, United Kingdom
“Behavioral activation could help millions of people who struggle with depression and with the inertia that is so much a part of this debilitating disorder. The authors draw clear connections between behavioral activation and other modern treatments for depression. The book is written in plain language and includes vivid case examples. It will be an important resource for clinicians who want to refine their approach to their clients’ problems with depression, and will serve as an excellent text for graduate courses in behavior therapy or empirically supported treatments for depression.”
—Robert J. DeRubeis, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
“This book is a superb overview of the theoretical basis, empirical support, and clinical application of behavioral activation for depression. It will be an excellent resource for the practicing clinician and for clinicians in training. The book is replete with helpful clinical examples, step-by-step guidelines, summary charts, and forms. It is invaluable for learning how to implement this highly effective treatment for depression.”
—Michelle G. Craske, PhD, Department of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
1. Introduction: The Development of Behavioral Activation
2. The Core Principles of Behavioral Activation
3. The Structure and Style of Therapy
4. Identifying the Ingredients of the Behavioral Antidepressant
5. Activity Scheduling and Structuring
6. Solving Problems and Countering Avoidance
7. How Thinking Can Be Problematic Behavior
8. Troubleshooting Problems with Activation
9. Tying It All Together: Relapse Prevention and Beyond
Appendix 1. Charts and Worksheets for Depressed Clients
Appendix 2. Notebook and Weekly Therapy Plan
Appendix 3. Notebook and Posttherapy Plan
Appendix 4. ACTIVATE Reference Sheet for Therapists
About the Authors:
Christopher R. Martell, PhD, ABPP, is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has a private consulting practice focusing on behavioral activation therapy. He is board certified in both clinical psychology and behavioral psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. The coauthor of four books, Dr. Martell has published widely on behavioral treatments for depression and other areas of application of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), including CBT with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. He is a recipient of the Washington State Psychological Association’s Distinguished Psychologist Award.
Sona Dimidjian, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research addresses the treatment and prevention of depression, including a particular focus on the mental health of women during pregnancy and postpartum. Dr. Dimidjian is a leading expert in cognitive and behavioral approaches to treating and preventing depression. She is one of a core group of experts in behavioral activation treatment for depression and has published widely in this area. Dr. Dimidjian is also an expert in the clinical application of contemplative practices, such as mindfulness meditation.
Ruth Herman-Dunn, PhD, is in private practice in Seattle and supervises graduate students in her position as Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. She has been a research therapist on several large randomized clinical trials for behavioral treatments, including behavioral activation and dialectical behavior therapy, and has led workshops on these treatments throughout the United States and Canada. Dr. Herman-Dunn provides consultation on treatment dissemination studies and collaborates with a core group of behavioral activation experts on research, training, and treatment development.