8. Behavioral Activation in the Context of “Third Wave” Therapies

  1. James D. Herbert and
  2. Evan M. Forman
  1. Christopher R. Martell and
  2. Jonathan Kanter

Published Online: 16 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118001851.ch8

Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Understanding and Applying the New Therapies

Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Understanding and Applying the New Therapies

How to Cite

Martell, C. R. and Kanter, J. (2011) Behavioral Activation in the Context of “Third Wave” Therapies, in Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Understanding and Applying the New Therapies (eds J. D. Herbert and E. M. Forman), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118001851.ch8

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 2 FEB 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470474419

Online ISBN: 9781118001851

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Keywords:

  • behavioral activation;
  • depression;
  • third wave;
  • behavior therapy

Summary

Behavioral activation (BA) is a treatment for depression that has significant empirical support. In this chapter, the authors present the behavioral model underlying BA and discuss its consistency with traditional cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as well as the ways in which it is similar to “third wave” behavior therapies. The authors conclude that although there is nothing distinct about the BA model that cannot be understood fully from a vantage point of “first wave” behavior therapy, further investigations into mechanisms of change will determine whether or not BA as currently conceptualized is more theoretically consistent with standard CBT or “third wave” approaches. BA focuses on helping clients to change behaviors that will improve their lives and increase the likelihood that nondepressed approach behaviors will be reinforced, rather than maintaining avoidant behaviors characteristic of depression. Acceptance and mindfulness procedures are not explicitly utilized, although these processes are consistent with the emphasis of the approach on acting according to a plan rather than a mood, and attending to experience rather than brooding and ruminating. A brief case example is presented, and the current empirical status of BA is reviewed.