Behavioral Interventions

Printer-friendly version

The majority of evidence-based, effective behavioral interventions were developed for settings very different from the fast-paced primary care environment. Many of these interventions were developed for weekly, one-hour visits with a specialty mental health provider, and often require extensive clinical training.

Of the many existing behavioral interventions, only a few have shown to be effective in primary care. These include

  • Problem Solving Treatment-Primary Care (PST-PC)
    Brief therapy that uses six to ten 30-minute sessions to help patients solve the "here and now" problems contributing to their depression. 
  • Behavioral Activation (BA)
    Psychotherapy that identifies work, social, health, or family activities patients have stopped engaging in because of their mood. 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    Short-term, goal-oriented therapy to interrupt patterns of thinking that prevent patients from feeling better. 
  • Interpersonal Counseling (IPC)
    Outgrowth of Interpersonal Therapy that focuses on current functioning, recent life changes, sources of stress and difficulties in interpersonal relationships. 

Training in Problem Solving Treatment

The AIMS Center currently provides training in PST-PC for licensed clinicians. Read through the next few webpages for more information on training and registration. 

Key Intervention Features 

Treatment plans in effective integrated care models, such as Collaborative Care, use medications, behavioral interventions, or both. To be effective in primary care, a behavioral intervention should: 

  • Include a patient engagement component 
  • Be time efficient, running no more than 20-30 minutes a visit
  • Follow a structured, but patient-centered approach 
  • Minimize required clinical training and duration of treatment
  • Be relevant and applicable to diverse patient populations
  • Have a substantial research evidence base