The Positive Experience Program

For Depressed Older Adults

Welcome to the Stanford Positive Experience Program (PEP) for Depressed Older Adults. Designed in 2020 by three Stanford colleagues with expertise in geropsychology, behavioral science and primary care, PEP can help your older, depressed (PHQ score 5 to 14) continuity patients improve their mood. PEP methodology combines the “Tiny Habits” behavioral change approach with the evidence-based technique of brief behavioral activation and can easily fit into a primary care practitioner's clinic schedule. Patients benefit from PEP, practitioners enjoy the interaction and there is minimal time required by practitioners for preparation, documentation or follow up.

We designed PEP to be used:

  • By primary care practitioners working with continuity patients;
  • With English speaking patients aged 65 and older without cognitive impairment, terminal illness or conditions that would prevent them from benefitting from behavioral therapy
  • With patients who use electronic messaging to communicate with their health care teams
  • Ideally with virtual visits


If you are practicing in a different setting or with a different population, feel free to look around our site. However, PEP has only been validated with the above criteria.

What is PEP?