In the past few months I have went from being down right depressed to uplifted and hopeful, with the application of Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA to my life. I love that the applied of ABA means that the use of Behavior science can be used to improve the quality of one’s life outside of a lab setting. You might ask “what does this mean?” Well let me explain. In life we learn responses to situations, for example, my onset of depression was related to the behavioral health agency I was working for, who ended the use of my services for apparently no reason. When I say no reason, I mean I was honestly not given a reason. In Behaviorism a stimulus is something that precedes a response in this case the stimulus was the action of the behavioral health agency I worked for and the response would be my depression. The action taken by the behavioral health agency evoked a response sequence taught to me earlier in life. The sequence was taught as follows: If someone hits you (stimulus) then you must hit them back (response), but what happens when you cannot “hit back”. To understand this question an investigation must review the development of the stimulus-response relationship. The more general understanding of the stimulus-response relationship was someone engages in aggressive behavior to me (stimulus), then my response was to return aggression in some form (response). This sequence involved an additional powerful factor, which was punishment. In Behaviorism the use of punishment decreases the future likelihood of a behavior, the behaviors to be decreased in my case was responding to aggression with anything other than aggression. In other words, if I did not return aggression then I received punishment in either a verbal format (yelling, insults) or physical format (I don’t even want to talk about that). So when I was “let go” my interpretation was that this was an act of aggression but I could not respond as I had been taught so I engaged in self-punishment behaviors, negative self-talk, thoughts of hatred and anger, which fits the pattern that I was taught earlier in life. Okay, so you may ask, “what does all this have to do with ABA?” The answer is that I used ABA to analyze my behavior so that I could change or relearn my response to the stimulus of aggression or my perception of the actions of the behavioral health agency. To change my response I would re-live (imagine) the scenario of being “let go” and continually see myself respond with a smile and feeling forgiveness for the perceived aggression, while at the same time using physical relaxing behaviors (deep breathing, muscle relaxation), and providing myself with some form of reward for engaging in the process. In other words, I changed my feelings about the behavioral health agency’s action by imagining myself behaving and feeling different and providing positive reinforcement for engaging in this behavior. The decrease in negative self-talk, anger, and depression did not happen overnight, and is still an ongoing process with that stated I have experienced a significant increase in feelings of hopefulness and a positive outlook.