Behavioral Activation Therapy
Behavioral Activation Therapy focus on the consequences of behavior, counselors encourage clients to achieve their goals, behaviour that interferes with achieving goals is discouraged, this is a true operant conditioning model. An example of this be, suppose a client believes that no one likes them, Other counseling theories would try to convince the client that this isn’t true, but a counselor practicing behavioral activation therapy would ask the client “What are the consequences of this behavior. The consequences of this behavior would be, avoiding people and having no friends, the client wants’ friends, and acknowledges that avoiding people prevents him from having friends, so the counselor will encourage the client to interact with people in order to achieve the goal of having friends. This goal should be broken down into realistic, attainable, sub-goal activities e.g. say hello, say hello plus a few words, make a conversation, invite them to afternoon tea, As Emmons explains “Research has demonstrated that simply having valued goals is associated with higher life satisfaction, as is making progress on those goals.”(Emmons,1986;) Behavioral Activation therapy emphasizes interventions that encourage clients to carry out those behaviors that will improve the client’s mood and achieve the clients goals. If a depressed client stays at home all day to avoid the pain of facing people, going to work and facing failure, the counselor would ask the client, “What are the conquences of staying at home?” the client would stay feeling worse, the counselor would then suggest that the client try a new behavior, such as going to work to see if this makes them feel better. The behavioral activation counselor will also point out that staying at home could cause her to lose her job and thing could get worse.
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