Behavioral Activation: A New Way to Treat Depression in Teens?

treat depression in teens

Behavioral Activation: A New Way to Treat Depression in Teens?

“Talk therapy” can be expensive and it’s not always effective for depression in teens and adults. Every person is different and for those that “talk therapy” doesn’t work for, there aren’t many options, but one may have just been added to the list. Live Science recently discussed a new type of therapy called Behavioral Activation that is cheaper and seems to be just as effective as its more expensive counterpart.

depression in teensWhat is behavioral-activation therapy?

Behavioral activation therapy is known as an “outside-in” therapy. This means it works on depression in teens by targeting the way the individual acts. The idea is that if you change your behaviors, eventually you’ll change your mind, too.

It’s all about reducing negative behaviors–like isolation, avoidance, etc.–and increasing good behaviors in which the individual is engaged in activities they find meaningful.

How does it differ from cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is currently considered the “best” treatment for depression in teens and adults. It’s an “inside-out” way of treatment. Which means it focuses on changing the way someone thinks. It strives to get individuals to challenge their negative thoughts and feelings, therefore changing their behavior.

Why behavioral activation may be the next thing for depression in teens

For one, it’s much cheaper and requires less resources. Mental health workers don’t have to have nearly as many certifications and it’s less complicated, making it more accessible. In the study, the used nearly 450 adults suffering from depression. Half were treated by behavioral-activation, half were treated by cognitive behavioral. One year after the beginning of the study, both groups experienced similar improvements. Two-thirds of both groups had at least a 50 percent drop in depression symptoms. The difference was that behavioral-activation was 20 percent cheaper to give.

Now, much more research needs to be done in order to decide whether behavioral-activation truly is just as effective as CBT. No one is ready to completely hop on that train yet. This does open more doors into how to treat depression in teens and adults. It also helps us further understand how depression works. Only time will tell what behavioral-activation has to offer.

ViewPoint Center can help

ViewPoint Center is a mental health hospital for teens, ages 12 to 17. At ViewPoint Center, we provide superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child in crisis.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center treats depression in teens, contact us today at 801-825-5222!

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