Behavioral Activation Strategies in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

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Abstract

Considerable work and attention has supported the use of behavioral activation (BA) strategies in the treatment of depressive disorders. Although not often recognized, BA, both implicitly and explicitly, appears to be conceptually and empirically relevant to the treatment of diverse problem areas, including the anxiety disorders. This article addresses the role of BA strategies in transdiagnostic cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety and related disorders, including in cases without comorbid depression. Following a brief introduction to a transdiagnostic CBT model of anxiety and related disorders, this article will: (a) provide a rationale for the integration of BA strategies as a potentially potent facilitator of therapeutic change; (b) identify relevant treatment targets of BA in anxiety disorders; and (c) illustrate the implementation and impacts of these strategies using a clinical case example. Finally, suggestions for future research and implications for training and practice will be noted.

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