Brief Behavioral Skills: Behavioral Activation

In this Brief Behavioral Skills module Drs. Kari Stephens and Patrick Raue provide an overview of Behavioral Activation, an evidence-based treatment for depressive symptoms. Behavioral Activation is a structured and brief approach to treatment that targets patterns of avoidance, withdrawal, and inactivity that are common among those with depressive symptoms. The learning objectives for this module are to: 

  • Understand the Behavioral Activation model of depressive symptoms
  • Describe how to develop a case formulation for a patient experiencing elevated depressive symptoms
  • Understand the role of avoidance in maintaining depressive symptoms
  • Describe how to help patients select activities and make a specific plan
  • Understand how to evaluate the outcome of patients’ efforts and problem-solve barriers to action planning



Kari Stephens, PhD
Clinical Psychologist with the University of Washington School of Medicine, a UW Associate Professor of Family Medicine; an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education.

Patrick Raue, PhD
Clinical Psychologist at UWMC-Roosevelt, Associate Director for the University of Washington Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions; Director of the National Network of Problem Solving Treatment Clinicians; Trainers, & Researchers and a UW Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Population Health.

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