In this animated interview with the founder of Cognitive Therapy, Aaron Beck shares about the experiences, people and ideas that shaped his iconoclastic career, offering insights into the radical transformation of modern psychology over the last century.
We’d be hard-pressed to find a therapist today who hasn’t in some way been shaped by Dr. Aaron Beck. The founder of Cognitive Therapy, and “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time” according to The American Psychologist, Beck revolutionized the way millions of clinicians approach clients in distress. Here is a chance to hear directly from one of the most innovative thinkers in our field.
In this engaging interview, Beck discusses his process of developing cognitive therapy—from his early days as a psychoanalyst, through his disillusionment with psychoanalysis and creation of a therapeutic model that reflected his research and actual experiences with clients. He shares his insights about depression, from its evolutionary origins and how our thinking sustains it, to how best to treat it. Addressing his thoughts on why other models of therapy persist enthusiastically despite the proven success of cognitive therapy, Beck also offers his opinions on integrative models of psychotherapy and his concerns about therapists jumping from one approach to another.
This interview gives viewers a thorough understanding of how one of the most influential therapeutic modalities of all time came to be. It’s easy to think that CBT has always existed because of how prominent it is in today’s therapy world, but here you’ll have the chance to see just how it evolved, and how Beck’s research and writings have profoundly shaped the field of psychotherapy—particularly the current emphasis on empirically-validated treatment.
As he reflects on his professional journey, you’ll learn about how Beck broke from psychoanalysis and the birth of Cognitive Therapy. He shares his process of getting his early books published, and how his second book, Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders, was initially rejected by about 15 publishers. He ends with his predictions for the future of psychotherapy, some of which have come true, some not yet. All along, you’ll get a sense of the person behind the techniques and approach that have significantly improved countless lives: an open-minded, innovative scientist and clinician with a lifelong commitment to understanding and relieving human suffering.
By watching this video, you will:
- Identify Beck’s key contributions to the understanding of personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapeutic treatment.
- Understand the origins of Cognitive Therapy and how it evolved out of Beck’s research on depression.
- Learn the key components of the Cognitive Therapy model.
This is an Instructor Version and can be used for groups and training purposes.
Aaron T. Beck, M.D., is an American psychiatrist and a professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is widely regarded as the father of cognitive therapy, and his pioneering theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression. Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety including the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSS), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Beck Youth Inventories. He is the President Emeritus of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Honorary President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, which certifies qualified cognitive therapists.
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