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CBT + Behavioral Activation for Depression

Denver, CO and Beyond

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with Behavioral Activation is a highly effective, evidence-based approach specifically tailored for treating depression. It's considered a cornerstone in depression treatment due to its proven effectiveness in disrupting the persistent cycle of negative thoughts and inactivity. This method works by altering the brain's perception and response to depressive thoughts and the associated lethargy or despair.

As you progress through treatment, you will notice a change in how you respond to these depressive thoughts. The frequency and intensity of negative thinking will begin to diminish, and the overwhelming urge to withdraw or remain inactive will lessen. After several sessions, you will experience a significant transformation in your relationship with depression, leading to a profound sense of freedom and empowerment.

By systematically engaging in activities that boost your mood and practicing new ways of thinking under the guidance of a therapist, you learn to reduce the grip that depression has on your life. The skills acquired through CBT and Behavioral Activation—not only in recognizing and restructuring unhelpful thought patterns but also in actively participating in life despite feelings of depression—extend beyond the therapy sessions, enhancing your ability to handle daily stresses and challenges with greater ease and confidence. This comprehensive approach empowers you to live a more engaged and fulfilling life, free from the constraints of depression.

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In-person sessions available throughout the Denver, CO area. Online sessions offered throughout CO, NV, AZ, NJ, WA, UT, and IL



Depression can often feel like being caught in a relentless storm of despair. It's a disorder that seizes on your deepest insecurities, convincing you that sadness, fatigue, and a lack of interest are your new normal. But here's the twist: the more you give into these feelings, the stronger the depression becomes. It's a cycle where persistent, pervasive negative thoughts lead to overwhelming sadness and withdrawal, which then reinforce more negative thinking and further isolation. Each time you succumb to the urge to isolate yourself or ruminate on negative thoughts, it only deepens the depression, making it feel more necessary and more consuming.

This cycle can start with small, seemingly manageable bouts of sadness or disinterest, but it tends to grow over time, slowly taking over more aspects of your life. You might start avoiding activities you once enjoyed, or shying away from social interactions because they feel too demanding or futile. It's as if depression is pushing you into a corner, forcing you to live in a way that is constrained by sadness and loss of motivation rather than your true values and desires. You might find yourself consumed with negative thoughts about yourself and your future, which seem overwhelming and uncontrollable to you.

These behaviors and the mental energy they consume can begin to interfere with your daily life. You might struggle to get out of bed in the morning because of a pervasive sense of hopelessness, or fail to keep up at work because you can't concentrate or find the motivation. It's important to recognize these patterns as symptoms of depression, not as personal failures or weaknesses. They are signs of a disorder that's treatable, not a reflection of who you are as a person.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for depression works by helping individuals identify and change negative and unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their depressive symptoms. In simple terms, CBT involves identifying thoughts that are overly critical, pessimistic, or unrealistic, and then challenging these thoughts to assess their accuracy and helpfulness. Through this process, you learn to replace these negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones. At the same time, CBT encourages you to engage in activities that are rewarding and uplifting, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of depression. This dual approach—modifying thoughts and increasing positive activities—helps to lift the mood, reduce depression, and lead to a more active and satisfying life


Behavioral Activation for depression is a straightforward and effective therapeutic approach that focuses on helping individuals engage more in activities that are meaningful and enjoyable to them. The core idea is that depression often causes a person to withdraw from their usual activities and routines, leading to a cycle of increased isolation and worsened mood. In Behavioral Activation, you work with a therapist to identify activities that you used to enjoy or that could potentially bring satisfaction, and gradually reintroduce these activities into your daily routine. The process involves setting small, achievable goals to increase your level of activity and participation in life, regardless of your mood. As you become more active, you typically experience an improvement in mood and a decrease in depressive symptoms, breaking the cycle of depression and inactivity.

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What can I expect from CBT and Behavioral Activation for Depression?

After completing a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with Behavioral Activation for depression, you're likely to experience a notable decrease in how often and intensely you feel overwhelmed by sadness and lack of motivation. For some people, these depressive symptoms might significantly lessen or even become manageable. For others, the constant background noise of negative thoughts becomes less frequent and much less intrusive. You'll also notice that the urge to withdraw and isolate begins to fade, which means more free time and less preoccupation with negative thoughts.

Many people emerge from therapy feeling a greater sense of control over their thoughts and emotions, learning that they can handle life's challenges without defaulting to withdrawal and pessimism. This boost in confidence and autonomy often enhances overall functioning in daily life. Plus, the skills you develop during therapy—such as engaging in meaningful activities, managing mood proactively, and restructuring negative thoughts—are not only useful for handling depression; they're beneficial in various aspects of life. You might find improvements in your relationships, work performance, and social engagements because you're no longer constrained by the relentless demands of depression.

Overall, engaging in CBT with Behavioral Activation for depression can provide a profound sense of relief and empowerment, equipping you with the tools to maintain your gains and face future challenges with greater resilience and effectiveness.

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