Behavioral Activation Group Therapy Therapist Manual


Examining Potential Outcomes of Different Behaviors



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Examining Potential Outcomes of Different Behaviors

Purpose: To help the client process possible outcomes of different behaviors before they occur. This assists the patient in making a decision in a situation when it does occur. It also gets the patient in the mindset of thinking about the effects of her/his behavior so that better decisions can be made.
Method: Talk through a particular situation with the patient and ask questions to help the patient explore the possible effects of engaging in certain behaviors. Important to explore best case and worst-case outcomes so that the patient is prepared for either extreme if it occurs.
Example: The weekend is coming and the patient is concerned about what to do during the weekend. The first step is to generate ideas of what the patient could do (e.g., stay in bed, do yard work, have lunch with a friend, watch a movie). The next step is to process likely outcomes if each behavior were to occur and how the patient would feel. An emphasis on the qualities that would make an activity healthy should be made so that the activities do not seem random but rather have some consistency.

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