Cognitive therapy was originally developed for the treatment of Depression and Anxiety. Since its early beginnings various clinicians and investigators have extended its use to a wide variety of disorders and populations. Systematic outcome studies have demonstrated its efficacy not only in the garden variety of disorders such as Depression, Anxiety and Panic but also in medical disorders such a low back pain, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic hypertension. Cognitive therapy appears to satisfy the important criteria for a system of psychotherapy, namely, a testable theory of personality and psychopathology with empirical findings to support it and a set of strategies guided by these theories and applied to clinical conditions. Each clinical condition has its own particular cognitive configuration and thus the strategies and tactics vary from one disorder to another and also from one type of population to another. The underlying theme however is that psychiatric disorders are characterized by deficits or distortions in the fundamental beliefs that guide people's behavior and influence their emotions. Cognitive therapy for the use of a variety of strategies tends to reduce the cognitive distortions and to provide a variety of cognitive skills to compensate for the deficits.
*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*
Dr. Aaron T. Beck, M.D. is University Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) in the Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center. Based on his research on the psychological processes involved in depression and other disorders, he developed and tested Cognitive Therapy (also known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy), the most widely used form of psychotherapy in the world. He has personally trained large numbers of professionals in this specialized approach and helped to form centers for Cognitive Therapy throughout the world, devoted to both research and serving countless numbers of patients. Starting in 2007, he has directed the Beck Initiative partnership in collaboration with Arthur Evans, former Commissioner of Mental Health of Philadelphia, serving the Medicaid patients in the city. He and his group have been training providers, offering services to the most disadvantaged individuals in the city and state: severely mentally ill individuals confined to hospitals and jails, and also the homeless.
For several decades, Beck conducted research on the psychological and social factors involved in schizophrenia and developed a humanistic approach involved in activating the individual’s latent goals, motivations, and capacities, and has helped to restore large numbers to meaningful lives. His innovative approach in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania has now been extended to other states such as Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Utah. In collaboration with the National Association of State Commissioners of Mental Health, he and his Center have started to disseminate his approach throughout the country. In addition, he and his team are working with Gary Gottlieb, Chief Executive Officer of Partners in Health to adapt cognitive therapy to the needs of individuals in 27 developing countries.
Beck has described his work extensively in 637 publications, including 24 books. He has been named by Medscape as one of the 50 Most Influential Physicians in History: 20th on the list and 1st among the living. He has received the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, which “transformed the understanding and treatment” of mentally ill individuals, the 2006 National Academy of Medicine: Lienhard Award for the advancement of health services, the 2013 Kennedy Community Health Award, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Lifetime Achievement Award (June, 2017).
Salvador Minuchin, MD, developed Structural Family Therapy, which addresses problems within a family by charting the relationships between family members, or between subsets of family. He was Director of the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Although it was minimally staffed when he began, under his tutelage the Clinic grew to become one of the most modeled and respected child guidance facilities in the world. In 1981, Minuchin began his own family therapy center in New York. After his retirement in 1996, the center was renamed the Minuchin Center. Dr. Minuchin is the author of many notable books, including many classics. His latest is Mastering Family Therapy: Journeys of Growth and Transformation. In 2007, a survey of 2,600 practitioners named Minuchin as one of the ten most influential therapists of the past quarter-century.
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