study which indicated that Behavioral therapy is an effective treatment strategy for patients suffering from depression- with or without medication.
Behavioral therapy includes:
"Treatments (that) can include such techniques as assertiveness training, desensitization, environment modification, and relaxation training."
When combined with Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Therapy is used to treat a whole gamut of symptoms, including insomnia and anxiety. While the right medication is definitely instrumental in dealing with serious illnesses, the strategies employed in Behavioral Therapy can help. While I haven’t had the benefit of an experienced Behavioral Cognitive Therapist to help with any of my mental health issues, I definitely believe that the strategies that you can learn are definitely beneficial and have used some of them successfully for myself.
A major part of Behavioral Therapy involves learning new responses to problems. Here is a list of some strategies specifically tailored to help those who are suffering from depression and/or anxiety.
- Avoid all or nothing phrases- example: I’ll never get a job. A statement like this can be changed into It’s hard to get a job now.
- Avoid over-generalization. Again, this is similar to an all-or-nothing type of situation. Instead of saying, “Nobody likes me”, you can be specific and say something like, “I have a disagreement with this person.”
- Filter out the negative- Find something positive to focus on after a negative experience. This is easier said than done, but will help shape your mood and the mood of the people around you.
- Accept compliments.
- Don’t Assume- Remember the old adage- when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
- Make lists. When a task feels over-whelming, break it down into smaller pieces.
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes- find ways to change your behavior for the next time
- Don’t try and blame yourself for things that you have no control over.
A Behavioral Therapy approach to anxiety would include immersing yourself in difficult situations, so that you can eventually face daunting situations without fear. For example, if you experience social anxiety at a party or get-together, you will notice that the more times you face the situation, the better you will feel. Sometimes those with anxiety are working at a disadvantage that other people don’t have, so again, it is important not to judge yourself too harshly.