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Targeting behavioural activation better both for decreasing depression and increasing wellbeing (second post)

In yesterday's post "Targeting behavioural activation better both for decreasing depression and increasing wellbeing (first post)", I suggested that there are at least three (and probably many more) interesting ways that could make behavioural activation (BA) both more targeted and potentially more effective.  I wrote about aiming BA particularly to "problem solve" triggering factors (especially interpersonal ones) that seemed to have contributed to deterioration in a subject's psychological state.  I also mentioned the recent Mazzuchelli et al paper "Behavioral activation interventions for well-being: a meta-analysis"  showing how helpful BA can also be at building wellbeing as well as treating depression.

Targeting behavioural activation better both for decreasing depression and increasing wellbeing (first post)

There are a series of meta-analyses showing that "behavioural activation" (BA) is a good treatment for depression and that it is as effective as best-established approaches like full cognitive behavioural therapy - see, for example, last year's paper by Trevor and colleagues "Behavioral activation treatments for depression in adults: a meta-analysis and review".  BA involves encouraging increased engagement in enjoyable activities.  Subjects may be asked to keep a record of their daily activities and associated feelings - for example, feelings of achievement and enjoyment.  The downloadable charts and handouts further down this website's "Problem solving and behavioural activation" page illustrate this well-known approach.

Recent research: six studies on management, health messages, behavioural activation, ACT, expressive writing, and wellbeing

Here are mixed bag of psychotherapy-relevant studies.  Foy & colleagues' meta-analysis highlights the value to patients/clients of having good communication between their primary care physician and their mental health professional.  The second paper I mention - free full text - by Mollen et al is a bit of a wake-up call for me.  The authors write " ... we will discuss why people conform to social norms and then extend this knowledge to the field of health communication and behaviour change. We will elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of using social norm messages, and then offer alternatives for the use of social norms in health communication messages ... Clearly, there is a substantial evidence suggesting that, when unhealthy behaviour is highly prevalent, descriptive norms should not be conveyed in health promotion campaigns.

Writing (& speaking) for resilience & wellbeing 3: personal growth

They taught me more about, in the midst of all this trauma and suffering and uncertainty - of remaining true to who you are,
and what love can be about in those moments. And there are three or four of those that really stand out very strongly,
whose lives were very different but who were kind of my teachers.
A therapist describing the impact on himself of working with clients struggling with AIDS

You can access a downloadable Word format version of this post by clicking here.

Berlin weekend: approaches to happiness

Berlin, Saturday morning.  We flew in from Edinburgh pretty early yesterday.  Direct flight.  Easy.  Guilt over air travel a little allayed by buying carbon offsets through ClimateCare.  We're staying in a Miniloft, one of the really nice set of self-catering apartments designed by Matthew Griffin & Brita Jurgens, an architect couple whose practice is up at the top of the building.

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