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Activity Selection

Activity selection is a technique for rating the difficulty of different activities. It is a helpful tool when clients have difficulty choosing between activities to initiate.


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Activity Selection is a CBT worksheet. A common difficulty in depression is the client's withdrawal from acitvities which were previously rewarding. Behavioral activation is an effective treatment for depression and low mood. Activity Selection is a helpful method of identifying a hierarchy of achievable (or attemptable) activities.


Clients are encouraged to identify ten activities which are important to them, or which might lead to a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. These activities are then ranked in order of how difficult they would be to accomplish. Activity can then be attempted in a graded hierarchy.


  • Jacobson, N., Dobson, K., Truax, P., Addis, M., Koerner, K., Gollan, J. K., ... Prince,S.E. (1996). A component analysis of cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 295-304.