Experts are proposing a new, lower cost method to treat depression — teaching people to practice positive activities. The naturopathic technique is an extension of decades of social psychology research.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Duke University Medical Center proposed the new treatment approach, termed Positive Activity Interventions (PAI), in a paper published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
PAIs are intentional activities such as performing acts of kindness, practicing optimism, and counting one’s blessings. The philosophy is based on extended research on how happy and unhappy people are different. Researchers believe this new approach has the potential to benefit depressed individuals who don’t respond to pharmacotherapy or are not able or willing to obtain treatment.
The technique is less expensive to administer, is relatively less time-consuming and has yielded rapid improvement of mood symptoms, holds little to no stigma, and carries no side effects.
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