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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

Dr Aaron T Beck, Father Of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dies Ages 100

The influential and revolutionary psychologist who helped develop cognitive behavioural therapy and transformed the field of mental health care has passed away.

Dr Aaron Beck, the co-founder of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, passed away peacefully in his home, according to a message posted on the Beck Institute website by his daughter Dr Judith Beck.

Dr Beck was part of a shift in the world of psychology away from the psychoanalysis that had been pioneered by Dr Sigmund Freud, and towards a model based on interconnected inner thoughts, emotions and sensations.

Many of these techniques are familiar to those who have worked with an online therapist, as cognitive and behavioural therapies are some of the most common therapeutic approaches used in the field of psychology.

Psychoanalysis focused on the theory that people with depression innately need to suffer, whilst Dr Beck’s theories, backed up with extensive research he undertook on the subject, found that thoughts about a situation dictate reactions more than a situation itself.

According to his theories, by changing the way people think about situations by breaking them down into the different parts that create negative thoughts and behaviour patterns, people can see situations in their life differently and help to feel better about themselves and others.

Dr Beck was also the inventor of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), which is one of the most commonly used psychometric tests used to measure how severe depression is in an individual, based on the idea that negative thoughts are rooted in the self, the future and world.

This has led to widespread research on how CBT could treat a range of conditions, such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety and psychologically based medical conditions such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

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