Sunday, July 04, 2010

Biography of Aaron Beck

Biography of Aaron Beck
Aaron T Beck is the founder of cognitive therapy, arguably the most widely practiced psychotherapy in the world.

Many psychologists and psychiatrists argue that he is the most influential figure ever in the field of depression.

John Rush, a well known depression researcher and professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, is quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying, “His work changed the paradigm – how do we do things how we think about things ..............Somebody like him comes along every 50, 100 years.”

Beck was born in 1921 in Rhode Island and received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his MD from Yale University. He was trained as a neurologist but began to pursue a career in psychiatry, partly in response to the enormous mental health needs of veterans returning from World War II.

Like most psychiatrist of the time, Beck pursued psychoanalysis as a way to treat patients.

Dissatisfied by the lack of efficacy of traditional psychoanalysis, Beck began to consider alternative ways of conceptualizing disorders, eventually recognizing the importance of the cognitive construction that individuals place on life events.

This recognition led to the development , which suggested that events were not responsible for the emotional turmoil that leads to depression as much as the way that individual interpret these events.

This idea now reflects the core foundation for the understanding of not just depression, but of the other psychopathological states as well.

Beck’s 1967 book proposed the first modern cognitive theory of depression and his 1987 book, coauthored with Rush, Shaw, and Emery, introduced cognitive therapy to a wide audience.

Both books are considered landmarks and the 1987 book remains the predominant manual today for the conduct of cognitive therapy.
Biography of Aaron Beck

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