Dr. Aaron Beck with his Great-Grandson, Robin – July 2010

 Aaron T. Beck is pictured below with his great-grandson, Robin. Dr. Beck also has a great-granddaughter, Alma.

 ATB with Robin 2

The Effects of Therapist Competence in Assigning Homework in Cognitive Therapy With Cluster C Personality Disorders

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgThis study examined the effects of therapist competence in assigning homework on the outcome of CT (cognitive therapy) in patients with Cluster C personality disorders. 25 participants underwent 40 weekly, 50 minute, CT sessions that followed the Beck and Freeman treatment manual for personality disorders. The six treating therapists employed three primary techniques: guided imagery, homework assignments that led the patients to try new adaptive responses, and cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused techniques to develop new, more adaptive beliefs to replace the pathological beliefs.

The researchers used the Global Severity Index of the Symptom Checklist 90 Revised to measure symptom distress, the mean scores of the 127-item version of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems to evaluate interpersonal problems, and the Millon Clinical Multi-axial Inventory to measure personality pathology, as prescribed by the personality disorder scales of avoidant, dependent-submissive, compulsive-conforming, and passive-aggressive. Additionally, they tracked initial symptom improvement after the fourth session using the Helping Alliance Questionnaire. The researchers measured therapist competence in assigning, monitoring, and reviewing homework with the homework assignment subscale of the Cognitive Therapy Scale. This rating is based on the extent to which the therapist reviewed previous homework and summarized progress and conclusions, provided rationale for the assignment and the intended goals, tailored the assignment to the patient’s specific needs, and asked for reactions and feedback from the patient. The researchers also measured therapist competence in agenda setting.

Higher ratings of therapist competence in assigning homework were related to statistically significant improved outcomes on all measures at mid and post-treatment. Therapist competence in agenda setting, however, did not predict treatment outcome at either time. This study is the first to examine the relationship between therapist competence in assigning homework and treatment outcome in patients with Cluster C personality disorders, and the first to find that higher ratings of therapist competence in assigning homework predict greater positive change in symptoms, interpersonal problems, and Cluster C personality pathology.

Happy Birthday Thanks

Dr. Aaron Beck sends his heartfelt thanks to ALL of you–students, friends, and colleagues from around the world–who sent so many warm birthday wishes to him.

Two students from Romania sent him the following letter and photo:

Happy Birthday Dr. Beck from two students from Romania, Fabian and Alina.

We had the wonderful opportunity to meet you in Boston at the WCBT Congress, and Dr. Judith Beck as well. We also took a few memorable pictures and we would like to send it to you.

We were students of Dr. Daniel David, in Romania and currently we are graduate students in New York. We wanted to congratulate you for your birthday, wish you all the best and assure you of our total appreciation, respect and love. We thank you for everything you are, you did and you mean for thousands of people across the globe and for many, many generations to come.

Thank you Dr. Beck and Happy Birthday again!

Please receive our humble and warmest wishes,

Fabian and Alina Agiurgioaei Boie

Boston WCBT 2010 Romanian Students 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Workshop for Professionals at Beck Institute: July 12 – 14, 2010

1JULY 2010: Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, professors, school counselors, nurse practitioners, and other professionals from mental health, medical, and related fields traveled from 16 states and 6 countries, including Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe. Pictured above-left, Aaron T. Beck, M.D. answers questions after conducting a live patient session that was viewed (via closed-circuit television) by participants in the Cognitive Behavior Therapy workshop at Beck Institute.

(Below/Right) Aaron T Beck, M.D., pictured with scholarship winners Leila Azarbad, Ph.D., Lyn Abramson, Ph.D., and Aaron Heller, Ph.D. Candidate, who were all granted full tuition scholarships to attend one of our 3-Day workshops.  They represent three out of ten winners from our Scholarship Competition held in March 2010, which received over 880 entries from around the world!2

Participants received professional training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy from Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., Leslie Sokol, Ph.D., and Norman Cotterell, Ph.D. Trainees participated in seminars and case discussions, reviewed videos of therapy sessions, and observed demonstration roleplays among other activities. More event highlights:

Group Photo 1Group Photo 2Group Photo 3678

Dr. Judith Beck Blogs on CBT for the Huffington Post

Dr. Judith Beck recently posted two blogs for the Huffington Post. Both blogs have received quite of bit of attention. In her first, The How and Why of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (posted June 29, 2010), Dr. Beck compares the empirically based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to the psychotherapy often portrayed on TV and in the media.   In a follow up blog, Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Myths and Realities (posted July 11, 2010), Dr. Beck addresses common misconceptions surrounding CBT.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is More Effective Than Other Therapies: A Meta-Analytic Review

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgResearchers at the Institute of Living and Yale University School of Medicine recently conducted a quantitative review in order to determine whether cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is superior to other forms of psychotherapy. The researchers did a literature search through September 2007, including references from previous reviews. They selected English-language articles that detailed randomized controlled trials of CBT vs. another form of psychotherapy. At the end of the search, 28 articles involving 26 different studies were analyzed.

Four raters identified estimates of post-treatment and follow-up effect sizes for all of the studies, as well as variables between studies, including type of CBT and other psychotherapy approach, sample diagnosis, type of outcome measure used, and age group. They also rated the studies for methodological adequacy, including use of reliable and valid measures. The main investigators of the source articles were contacted to determine researcher allegiance.

Results showed that, at post-treatment and follow-up, CBT was superior to psychodynamic therapy, though not to interpersonal or supportive therapies. Also, while researchers’ self-reported allegiance was positively correlated with the strength of CBT’s superiority, CBT still held a significant advantage when allegiance was controlled for. CBT’s superiority was evident in patients with anxiety or depressive disorders. The researchers concluded that the results suggest that CBT should be considered “a first-line psychosocial treatment of choice…”.

To read the review, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20547435

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is Effective for Insomnia

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgData continues to emerge about the public health and economic burden of insomnia. This data comes from increased health risks including increased utilization of health care and work domain deficits such as absenteeism and reduced productivity. The National Institutes of Health Consensus and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Practice Parameters have made the recommendation that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) be the standard treatment for insomnia. CBT for insomnia is a brief, non-pharmacologic approach that is based on the science of sleep medicine, behavior change, and psychosocial theory. Further, in randomized controlled trials in which CBT is compared to medication, CBT has proven to be comparably effective, with more durable long-term maintenance of gains after treatment is discontinued. To read the entire article, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20451034

Family Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is Effective for Youth With OCD

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgA recent open trial conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida tested the effect of family-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on children and adolescents with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The participants were 30 youth (7-19 years old), half boys and half girls, who were partial or nonresponders to two or more medication trials. Each patient received 14 sessions of intensive family-based CBT.

At post-treatment and 3-month follow-up, 80% of participants had improved. Symptom severity was reduced by 54%. Over 50% were classified as being in remission at the end of treatment, and at the 3-month follow-up. While there was no notable difference in self-reported anxiety, researchers observed significant reductions in OCD-related impairment, depressive symptoms, behavioral problems, and family accommodation.

To read the entire article, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20390817

CBT is Effective for Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (A Pilot RCT)

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgThe objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and standard medical care as treatments for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). The participants in this randomized controlled trial (RCT) were 66 PNES patients. One group received only standard medical care over four months, while the other group received both standard medical care and CBT.

At the end of the treatment period, the group who had received both standard medical care and CBT experienced greater seizure reduction than the group that only received standard medical care. At the 6-month follow-up, the group that had received the combination of treatments tended to be more likely to have had three seizure-free months. Both groups improved on some health service use measures and on the Work and Social Adjustment Scale. Mood and employment statuses showed no change. The researchers concluded that the combination of CBT and standard medical care is more effective than standard medical care alone in reducing seizures in PNES patients.


To read the entire study, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20548043

The Effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Nursing Students in Korea

newstudy-graphic-66x60.jpgIn this study, researchers tested the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral program for nursing students’ career attitude maturity, decision making style, and self-esteem. The participants were 40 nursing students, 20 of whom were randomly assigned to the experimental group, and 20 of whom were randomly assigned to a control group. The students in the experimental group received 8 hour-long sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) over 8 weeks. Data indicated that the experimental group’s mean score for career attitude maturity and self-esteem increased greatly as compared to the control group. This comparison was especially stark in the areas of confidence and independence. Based on their results, the researchers recommend that CBT group counseling programs on career maturity be implemented for nursing students.

To read the entire article, click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20381932