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The behavioral perspective of depression links the disorder to a deficit of positive reinforcements in ones life This lack of reinforcement results in the decline of constructive behavior which in turn results in depression Behaviorists posit that a person suffering from depression can develop a plan of action to replenish the deficit of positive reinforcement through the cooperation of family friends and the therapist In other words according to behaviorists the patients inability to cope with life stress leads to social withdrawal which reduces the rate of positive reinforcements which then results in depression The belief that a person suffering from depression can behave him- or herself out of it is both appealing and troublesome The benefits of constructive activity notwithstanding dependence on others for positive reinforcement could result in depression that waxes and wanes in direct proportion to the presence or absence of external stimuli The danger inherent is this view is of placing too strong a focus on those external reinforcements A patient who places conditions of worth on his or her actions may be convinced that others will never be in a state of approval of those actions Such a patient may benefit more greatly from a cognitive therapy that addresses his or her maladaptive thinking patterns and self-deprecating automatic thoughts It is the therapists responsibility to assess the most effective treatment based on the patients individual profile The specific therapeutic approach must be tailored to the patents needs and capabilities If the patient requires guidance to change maladaptive thinking then a plan to simply change behavior is doomed to fail The behaviorist perspective can also be interpreted as placing responsibility for depression squarely on the shoulders of the patient Encouragement of the patient to take charge of his or her own recovery by changing the nature of his or her personal relationships can be effective with a strong-willed person who is committed to recovery By helping to develop a plan of
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