One of the least talked about types of therapy used for addiction and depression is behavioral activation therapy (BA). This therapy method focuses on changing your actions instead of your thoughts and behaviors like other behavioral therapies. Your big goal as part of BA is enticing. That is, it helps you achieve joy. Behavioral activation for depression and addiction is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other modern approaches to talk therapy also come from the basics of CBT. But as part of BA, you learn that doing what you enjoy helps break your cycle of depression and the spiral into substance abuse.

About 350 million Americans suffer from clinical depression, and 21 million suffer addiction. These problems often overlap as part of a dual diagnosis disorder. Solutions for these conditions often come from therapies that treat both, such as behavioral activation for addiction and depression.

How Behavioral Activation Therapy Works

woman with hand on another's shoulder in support during behavioral activation therapyWhether you need behavioral activation for addiction, depression, or both, you follow the same process. At Promises, you work with a therapist who helps you discover your values, motivations, and goals. Using this awareness, you design a step-by-step treatment plan. As part of this plan, you select activities with positive rewards.

The theory behind behavioral activation therapy is that gaining rewards or feeling good from an activity entices you to pursue that activity again. These positive outcomes also make you want to try new activities. By enjoying excellent results, you start feeling better and break cycles that lead to depression, substance abuse, or both.

Your big tasks at hand in Promises’ behavioral activation therapy are to increase your activity, engage more deeply in your life, and change how you feel. In particular, depression often comes from or builds upon low positive reinforcement and increased isolation or avoidance. The same is true of substance abuse. From these types of root causes, behavioral activation can turn feelings of depression around while helping you avoid relapse.

Methods of Behavioral Activation

Behavioral activation for depression and addiction uses two main approaches. These types are Washington BA and Brief BA Treatment for Depression (BATD).

Washington BA treats depression or substance abuse which are believed to stem from your environment and unhealthy coping behaviors. Accordingly, you get these unhealthy coping behaviors from avoidance of fear, anxiety, sadness, and other feelings. In turn, you feel isolated from the world around you.

Your Promises BA therapist helps you develop new ways of dealing with depression as part of Washington BA. They help you understand why you keep returning to behaviors that depress you.

BATD differs in that it is not unique to each person like Washington BA. This approach focuses on supporting non-depressive behaviors. It also focuses on discouraging depressive ones.

Whichever approach is used for your behavioral activation, eight techniques make up the process. These techniques include activity monitoring, scheduling, contingency management, and value and goal assessment. You also focus on skill training, relaxation, targeting verbal behaviors, and targeting avoidance. Besides addiction and depression, behavioral activation therapy at Promises helps treat major depressive, anxiety, and personality disorders.

Treatment at Promises in Scottsdale and Austin

Promises in Scottsdale, AZ, and Austin, TX provides behavioral activation as part of a complete array of therapies, programs, and services. Other methods and programs include:

  • Medical drug detox
  • Residential and outpatient rehab treatment
  • 12 step support groups
  • Acupuncture and craniosacral therapy
  • Anger management, family therapy, and couples counseling
  • CBT, DBT, EMDR and cognitive processing therapy
  • Equine-assisted, art and fitness therapy

Call Promises today at 1.713.528.3709 to learn more about available programs, including behavioral activation therapy. Ask how you can conquer your addiction to create the life you always wanted at Promises.