Misconceptions and Misunderstandings o#f Behavioral Activation: Perspectives From a Major Proponent
C. R. Martell
Behavioral treatments for depression that originated in the early 1970s have emerged again in the early 21st century known as Behavioral Activation (BA). The current formulation of BA is based on the earlier work, and represents a refinement rather than a completely new approach. As the treatment has gained in popularity, several misconceptions and misunderstandings about the treatment have developed: that it is unique; that there are multiple, substantially different forms of BA; that the treatment requires specific strategies be used in all cases; and that the treatment is conducted in a lock-step fashion. In this article one of the primary authors of the main texts/protocols for BA argues that these are misconceptions and that BA needs to remain a treatment driven by a good functional analysis of the individual case, and that, at the most basic level, BA is just good behavior therapy for depression.

Key words: Behavioral Activation (BA), functional analysis, depression, CBT