Aaron T. Beck

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Aaron T. Beck
Aaron Temkin Beck

(1921-07-18)July 18, 1921
DiedNovember 1, 2021(2021-11-01) (aged 100)
Alma materBrown University, Yale Medical School
Known forhis research on psychotherapy, psychopathology, suicide, and psychometrics
Phyllis W. Beck (m. 1950)
AwardsGrawemeyer Award in Psychology (2004)
Lasker Award (2006)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Pennsylvania, Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Suicide
InfluencedMartin Seligman, Judith S. Beck

Aaron Temkin Beck (July 18, 1921 – November 1, 2021) was an American psychiatrist and a professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.[1][2] He was thought to be as the father of cognitive therapy,[1][2] and his theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression.

Early life[change | change source]

Beck was born in Providence, Rhode Island to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. He studied at Brown University and at Yale Medical School.

Career[change | change source]

Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety including Beck Depression Inventory (BDI),[3] Beck Hopelessness Scale,[4] Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Beck Youth Inventories.[5] Beck is known for his research in psychotherapy, psychopathology, suicide, and psychometrics, which led to his creation of cognitive therapy and the BDI, one of the most widely used instruments for measuring depression severity.

Beck worked with psychologist Maria Kovacs in the creation of the Children's Depression Inventory, which used the BDI as a model.[6][7] Beck's work at the University of Pennsylvania inspired Martin Seligman to create his own cognitive techniques and exercises, and later work on learned helplessness.[8]

Beck is the President Emeritus of the non-profit Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy[9] and the Honorary President of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy,[10] which certifies qualified cognitive therapists.

Personal life[change | change source]

Beck married judge Phyllis W. Beck in 1950. Together, they had four children. He lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Beck turned 100 on July 18, 2021 and died later in the year on November 1 at his home in Philadelphia.[11][12][13][14]

More reading[change | change source]

  • Beck, A.T., & Haigh, E. A.-P. (2014). Advances in Cognitive Theory and Therapy: The Generic Cognitive Model. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. DOI 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032813-153734
  • Beck, A.T. (1967). The diagnosis and management of depression. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-7674-4
  • Beck, A.T. (1972). Depression: Causes and treatment. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-7652-7
  • Beck, A.T. (1975). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8236-0990-1
  • Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York, NY: Guilford Press. ISBN 0-89862-000-7

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 2004 - Aaron Beck Archived 2014-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, The Grawemeyer Awards, Louisville, KY: University of Louisville/Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 2009, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aaron Beck bio, The Heinz Awards Undated, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  3. Beck, A.T., Ward, C.H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., Erbaugh, J. (June 1961). "An inventory for measuring depression". Archives of General Psychiatry. 4 (6): 561–571. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120031004. PMID 13688369. S2CID 40145105.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Beck A.T. (1988). Beck Hopelessness Scale. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.
  5. "Beck Scales for Adults and Children" Archived 2015-11-07 at the Wayback Machine Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  6. Kovacs, M. (1992). Children's Depression Inventory. North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
  7. Kovacs, M., & Beck, A.T. (1977). "An empirical-clinical approach toward a definition of childhood depression." In Schulterbrandt, J.G., & Raskin, A. (Eds.). Depression in children: Diagnosis, treatment, and concept models. New York, NY: Raven.
  8. Hirtz, R. (1999). Martin Seligman's journey: From learned helplessness to learned happiness Archived 2021-03-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, January/February 1999, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  9. About Beck Institute: Leadership Archived 2015-12-21 at the Wayback Machine, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Bala Cynwyd, PA: Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 2014, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  10. Academy of Cognitive Therapy Archived 2019-03-13 at the Wayback Machine, Academy of Cognitive Therapy, Philadelphia, PA: Academy of Cognitive Therapy, 2014, Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  11. "100 anni di Beck: un acrobata tra cognitivismo e psicoanalisi – Monografia" (in Italian). State of Mind. 17 July 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  12. In Memory of Aaron Temkin Beck, MD
  13. Carey, Benedict (2021-11-01). "Dr. Aaron T. Beck, Developer of Cognitive Therapy, Dies at 100". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-01.
  14. Obituaries, Telegraph (2021-11-01). "Aaron Beck, psychiatrist whose development of cognitive behavioural therapy transformed millions of lives around the world – obituary". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2021-11-01.

Other websites[change | change source]