The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 321–334 | Cite as

A Behavior-Analytic Account of Depression and a Case Report Using Acceptance-Based Procedures

  • Michael J. Dougher
  • Lucianne Hackbert


Although roughly 6% of the general population is affected by depression at some time during their lifetime, the disorder has been relatively neglected by behavior analysts. The preponderance of research on the etiology and treatment of depression has been conducted by cognitive behavior theorists and biological psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists interested in the biological substrates of depression. These approaches have certainly been useful, but their reliance on cognitive and biological processes and their lack of attention to environment-behavior relations render them unsatisfactory from a behavior-analytic perspective. The purpose of this paper is to provide a behavior-analytic account of depression and to derive from this account several possible treatment interventions. In addition, case material is presented to illustrate an acceptance-based approach with a depressed client.

Key words

depression behavior analysis clinical behavior analysis acceptance acceptance-based therapies 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Dougher
    • 1
  • Lucianne Hackbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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