Aaron Beck, from PsychCentral
A Profile of Aaron Beck Psych Central presents this brief profile of Aaron Beck.
The Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research.
Can cognitive behavioural therapy really change our brains? From the website: Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that's used to treat a wide range of mental health problems, from depression and eating disorders to phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It recommends looking at ourselves in a different way that might prove useful for all of us in everyday life. But what happens to our brains when we have CBT? From BBC Science, August 6, 2013.
Changing Thoughts Key to Battling Even Severe Depression Moderate to severely depressed clients showed greater improvement in cognitive therapy when therapists emphasized changing how they think rather than how they behave, new research has found. According to research by Daniel R. Strunk, Melissa A. Brotman and Robert J. DeRubeis published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, and summarized in this article from Science Daily, May 14, 2010.
Cognitive Therapy Today. This blog, sponsored by the Beck Institute, features an interview with Aaron Beck on the history of cognitive therapy. Read all about it and other current issues and join the discussion by adding your own comments.
Common Cognitive Distortions John M. Grohol explains Whatís a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isnít really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions ó telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves. Briefly describes 15 common cognitive distortions including overgeneralizations, jumping to conclusions, catastrophizing, and more.
The Doctor is IN The American Scholar presents this overview of the life, work, and theories of Aaron Beck. Posted September 2009.
Fixing Cognitive Distortions John M. Grohol explains, Cognitive distortions have a way of playing havoc with our lives. If we let them. This kind of stinkin' thinkin' can be undone, but it takes effort and lots of practice ó every day. The 8 exercises described here will help readers identify and reverse cognitive errors including thinking in black and white, double standards, unrealistic beliefs, overgeneralizations and more.
Interview with Aaron Beck from the 2003 American Psychological Association Conference. Terrorism, Schizophrenia, and beliefs underlying many psychological problems are discussed in this interview with Frank Farley and audience members.
On Therapy A summary of the session New Concepts in Practice: On Therapy-- A Dialogue with Aaron T. Beck and Albert Ellis. Presented at the 108th Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington DC, August 4-8, 2000.
The Penn Resiliency Program Based on Ellis' Adversity-Consequences-Beliefs (ABC) model and the cognitive-behavioral theories of depression by Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and Martin Seligman, elementary and middle school children learn to detect automatic thoughts, evaluate the accuracy of these thoughts, and to consider alternatives to challenge negative beliefs. Includes an overview of the program, references, current projects, and a summary of research findings using the program.
Prisoners of Hate With his 2004 book Prisoners of Hate, Aaron Beck applies cognitive principles to bigotry and violence.
Risk Factor for Depression Can Be Contagious A particular style of thinking which makes people vulnerable to depression --- interpreting the causes of negative events as internal and stable --- may actually infect roommates making them more vulnerable to depression six months later. This, according to research published by Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames in the journal Clinical Psychological Science and summarized here in Science Daily, April 18, 2013. See also this report from NPR's Morning Edition, June 24, 2013 (runs 4 minutes, 25 seconds).
7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You. These 7 thoughts, or ways of thinking such as cynicism, lack of meaning, anxiety, lack of self-control, etc., reflect our personalities, affect how we cope with everyday life, and may be bad for our health and well-being in the long run.
Therapeutic Analysis of Dreams --- A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach Richard Kensinger, of Brain Blogger describes how he uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to conduct dream analyses with patients. In this article he describes the technique and presents the dream and analysis of a college student subject.
The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational A good summary of 12 common flaws in our thinking including the confirmation bias, gambler's fallacy, neglecting probability, the current moment bias, the anchoring effect, and more.
What Clients Think CBT Will Be Like and How It Really Is People expect cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to be more prescriptive than it is, and therapists to be more controlling than they really are. That's according to a series of interviews with 18 clients who undertook 8 sessions (14 hours) of CBT to help with their diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder. accordant to research by H. Westra and colleagues published in Psychotherapy Research and summarized here.
Why CBT is Falling Out of Favour Whatís going on? After analysing 70 studies conducted between 1977 and 2014, researchers Tom Johnsen and Oddgeir Friborg concluded that CBT is roughly half as effective in treating depression as it used to be. Read about their results and possible explanations for this trend in this summary for The Guardian, July 3, 2015.
Assignments, Exercises, and Activities
10 Easy Activities Science Has Proven Will Make You Happier Grounded in research, these activities including practicing gratitude, controlling counter-factual thinking and others may be used to spark discussion or to introduce topics in stress, resilience, cognition, emotion, and positive psychology.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Worksheets Free downloadable cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) worksheets, formulations, and self-help resources including blank formulations, thought records, cognitive restructuring worksheets, diaries/data gathering sheets, mechanisms, information sheets, techniques/procedures, useful tools, forgiveness tools, and formulations for specific disorders, all in PDF format.
Want to Be Happier Right Now? The Think Positive! Experiment Reflecting on the 3 best events over the course of a week, as opposed to the three worst, colors our overall judgement of how the week was.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Case Study Using CBT The Australian Institute of Professional Counselors presents this excerpt from a counseling session of an actual client to illustrate the four basic steps of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: identify the automatic thought, question the validity of the automatic thought, and challenge core beliefs. Posted March 22, 2010.
CBT in Action: A Case Study Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a counseling psychologist, illustrates how the use of Daily Mood Sheets can help clients see the the feelings, emotions, caused by a triggering event. He presents this case study of "Jodie" and how she was able to recognize her problematic thought patterns and where they came from through therapy.
Current Researchers and Research Teams
Examples and Illustrations
Tests, Measures, and Scales
CBT Relapse Prevention In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck describes examples of the application of techniques such as mindfulness, acceptance, and validation. He also explains how these and other important techniques can be used to enhance relapse prevention. Posted by the Beck Institute, October 9, 2013. Runs 4 minutes, 59 seconds
Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation Philippe Goldin, researcher and head of the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience group in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University gives this talk on meditation and functioning: Mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation technique, has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance. Scientists have also begun to examine how meditation may influence brain functions. This talk will examine the effect of mindfulness meditation practice on the brain systems in which psychological functions such as attention, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and self-view are instantiated. We will also discuss how different forms of meditation practices are being studied using neuroscientific technologies and are being integrated into clinical practice to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Gloomy Thinking Can Be Contagious A particular style of thinking --- interpreting the causes of negative events as internal and stable or external and unstable --- may actually infect roommates making them more or less vulnerable to depression six months later. This, according to research published by Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames in the journal Clinical Psychological Science and described in this report from NPR's Morning Edition, June 24, 2013. Runs 4 minutes, 25 seconds.
How to Become Highly Skilled in CBT In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Drs. Aaron and Judith Beck discuss the process of improving as a therapist. Like most skills, excellent therapy skills are achieved over time with good training and experience. Dr. Aaron Beck emphasizes the importance of utilizing patient feedback, as well as learning from colleagues and supervisors. Dr. Judith Beck discusses the importance of keeping an open mind in one's progression as a therapist, including incorporating new techniques from other fields of therapy within the CBT framework. Published by the Beck Institute, January 16, 2013.
Meditative Moments On this website, guided imagery expert Susan Castle talks the visitor through one of 3 relaxation meditation exercises of various lengths.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Video Toolkit This toolkit consists of seven videos, up to 16 minutes each, with accompanying worksheets and information, on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) by Jay Uhdinger.
On The Future of CBT In this video from a recent CBT workshop at the Beck Institute, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the theory and practice of Cognitive Therapy. He discusses the ways in which the core theory and the therapy have changed since the 1960s and how he believes they will expand and extend in the future. He also discusses how other disciplines, such as neurobiology, have contributed to CT, referencing one of his own studies in 1961 and a 1999 study by researchers in Great Britain. According to Dr. Beck, the future of CBT will likely involve an expansion of the core theory of CT in conjunction with neurobiological findings. Published by the Beck Institute, February 27, 2013 (runs 7 minutes, 26 seconds).