Aaron Beck Wiki
Aaron Beck Biography
Who is Aaron Beck?
Dr. Aaron T. Beck, whose kind of thought-following and pragmatic psychotherapy became the centerpiece of a scientific transformation in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and many related mental disorders, died Monday at his home in Philadelphia He was 100 years old.
His death was confirmed by Alex Shortall, executive assistant at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Dr. Beck’s daughter, Dr. Judith Beck, is its president.
The development of cognitive therapy
As a young psychiatrist in the 1950s, Dr. Beck fully subscribed to the dominant psychotherapeutic modality at the time: psychoanalysis. His first research sought to validate psychoanalytic constructs. He was surprised when his research seemed to disprove the underlying principles of psychoanalytic theory.
Rather than confirm the psychoanalytic theory that depressed clients felt an innate need to suffer, Dr. Beck’s initial studies with depressed patients seemed to point to underlying negative beliefs associated with loss and failure. He soon began to understand that these underlying beliefs were consistent with the automatic thoughts of patients, which could be collaboratively accessed and assessed in session.
Dr. Beck moved his patients from the couch to a chair, where he worked with them to examine their automatic thoughts and identify cognitive distortions. By helping patients correct negative information processing biases, he was able to help them feel better and engage in more adaptive behaviors. He called his new therapy “Cognitive Therapy”.
Dr. Beck was a young psychiatrist trained in Freudian analysis when, in the late 1950s, he began prompting patients to focus on distortions in their everyday thinking, rather than on conflicts buried in childhood, such as Therapists used to do. He found that many people generated what he called “automatic thoughts,
” unexamined assumptions such as “I’m just unlucky in love” or “I’ve always been socially inept,” which can lead to self-criticism, despair, and self-criticism. defeating attempts to compensate, such as promiscuity or excessive alcohol consumption.
Dr. Beck found that he could undermine those assumptions by prompting people to test them out in the world, for example, by socializing without alcohol to observe what happens, and by gathering conflicting evidence from his own experience, such as memories of healthy relationships. . Practicing these techniques, in therapy sessions and homework exercises, fostered an internal dialogue that gradually improved people’s moods, he showed.
Best known for
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Beck’s depression inventory
Beck Hopelessness Scale
Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Beck entered Yale with the intention of studying psychiatry, but became discouraged after taking his first course in psychoanalysis, which he initially saw as “silly.” Finally, after completing a psychiatric rotation, he became fascinated with the psychoanalytic approach and what he believed was his ease in answering questions about psychological disorders.
“I have come to the conclusion,” Beck wrote in a 1958 letter to a colleague, “that there is a conceptual system that is particularly suited to the needs of the medical student and the future physician: psychoanalysis.”
Beck spent much of the early part of his career studying and researching psychoanalysis, particularly in the use of the treatment of depression.1 After a few years of practicing psychoanalytic therapy, Beck began to find that the approach lacked scientific rigor, the Structure ,
and empirical evidence you wanted. His interests shifted to the cognitive approach, and his research in this area intensified after he accepted a job in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he established a depression research clinic.
Beck found that his depressed patients often experienced spontaneous negative thoughts about themselves, the world, and others. Patients who reflected on these thoughts began to treat them as valid and accurate.
His focus soon shifted to helping patients identify these negative automatic thoughts and replace them with more realistic and accurate thoughts to minimize distorted thought patterns that contribute to depression. Beck found that successfully treating any disorder involved making patients aware of these negative thought patterns. This treatment approach eventually became known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) .2
Contributions to psychology