Year: 2009

Note taking in Session

Recently, there’s been an interesting discussion on the Academy of Cognitive Therapy listserv about the therapy notes patients take home with them to review. Here’s how I make sure a patient is able to remember important ideas we discussed in treatment, specifically the changes a patient makes in his thinking:

Generally, when I ascertain that the patient has modified his thinking during a session (e.g., following Socratic questioning,, behavioral experiments, roleplaying, etc.), I’ll ask the patient for a summary. I might say:


A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Emotional Eating

A therapist on a listserv I subscribe to asked for a book recommendation for her patient who struggles with emotional eating. I wrote the following reply:

If your patient doesn’t have an eating disorder, she might try the skills in one of the CBT books I’ve written for consumers on dieting and maintenance ( People need the same skill set for resisting eating when it’s not a scheduled time to eat—regardless of whether the desire or impulse to eat has an emotional, physiological, environmental, social, or mental trigger.


Hong Kong: Dr. Sokol Conducts CBT Training for Nurses

Recently, Leslie Sokol, Ph.D., our Director of Education, was invited to conduct a 5-Day intensive Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) training at the Hong Kong Polytechnic’s Institute of Advanced Nursing Studies. Dr. Sokol focused on depression, anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse, anger, group therapy, bipolar disorder, and psychosis. The multi-day training included didactic presentations and experiential learning techniques such as roleplays, video demonstrations, and case discussions.Here are some photos from Dr.…

Rewriting the Script of Flashbacks

There was an interesting discussion on the Academy of Cognitive Therapy listserv about rewriting the script of flashbacks. I briefly described a related technique to help patients with traumatic memories. I use imagery to help patients change the meaning of a traumatic event (rather than changing, in imagery, what actually happened during the event). First we discuss the event at an intellectual level, identifying and modifying the core belief(s) that originated or became maintained as a result of the event.


CBT for Soldiers: A personal message to professionals from Drs. Aaron and Judith Beck

We are trying to address a very serious problem: military personnel who need effective psychological/psychiatric treatment but who are not receiving it. To address this urgent problem, we have embarked upon a new initiative to offer partial scholarships to our Cognitive Behavior Therapy training programs for mental health professionals who treat soldiers, veterans, and their families (