Psychodynamizing and existentializing cognitive-behavioral interventions: The case of Behavioral Activation (BA)

Golan Shahar, Aner Govrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


From the point of view of Cognitive Existential Psychodynamics (Shahar, 2015a, 2016; Shahar and Schiller, 2016; Ziv-Beiman and Shahar, 2016), active techniques-rimarily cognitive- behavioral therapy ones might not only reduce distress but also bolster the therapeutic relationships and serve as powerful vehicles for self--iscovery and growth. This, however, is contingent upon therapists ability to view, and present to patients, the psychodynamic and existential nature of active techniques. Our focus herein is on behavioral activation, an intervention that consists of encouraging patients to participate in enjoyable and meaningful activities, in the face of depressive anhedonia. We posit that psychodynamizing and existentializing behavioral activation has the potential to increase awareness of inner multiplicity, strengthen ecofunctions, assist in creating a "holding environment", bolster responsibility through agency, and offer a sense of transcendence. These benefits of behavioral activation are illustrated via a clinical case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Behavioral activation
  • Existential psychotherapy
  • Integrative psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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