Dr. Aaron Beck’s Current Research

Dr. Aaron Beck discusses his current work with leading researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Beck is working with patients with difficult cases of schizophrenia. His team has tried to undercut the negative attitude of the participants by giving them a series of successful experiences to build their confidence. Instilling positive affect provides motivation. Dr. Beck is hopeful that this research will yield far-reaching results. To ask Dr. Beck your question we invite you to attend a Beck Institute workshop. Register today for our next workshop at www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-workshops.

CBT for Drug Addiction and PTSD via Wearable Sensor Platform and Mobile Application

Researchers from the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) are currently examining the effects of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) delivered via mobile device to patients suffering from drug-addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The delivery system involves an ankle sensor (to monitor electrodermal activity, 3-axis acceleration, and temperature) and an ECG heart monitor. The monitors contain bluetooths which are connected to patients’ cell phones. When certain arousal levels are detected via the monitoring system, therapeutic messages are delivered by text to patients’ cell phones. The effectiveness of this system is being evaluated.

Fletcher RR, Tam S, Omojola O, Redemske R, Kwan J.(2011). Wearable sensor platform and mobile application for use in cognitive behavioral therapy for drug addiction and PTSD. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc., 1802-5.

February 20 – 22, 2012, Cognitive Behavior Therapy Workshop Level II: Personality Disorders and Challenging Problems

Earlier this week Beck Institute held the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Workshop Level II. This workshop focuses on CBT for personality disorders and challenging problems. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, councilors, and other professionals traveled from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Turkey, and thirteen U.S. states, to receive training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Participants received professional training from Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., Amy Cunningham, Ph.D.  Lectures and role-plays emphasized the need for the therapeutic alliance in order to differentiate the therapist from everyone else.  The need to identify core beliefs and automatic thoughts as soon as possible was also stressed.  Dr. Beck demonstrated how to identify automatic thoughts, core beliefs and conditional assumptions through case conceptualization role-play.

CBT Interventions for Borderline Personality Disorder

Dr. Amy Cunningham (right) demonstrated how to use a variety of CBT interventions for treating clients with Borderline Personality Disorder. Dr. Cunningham encouraged workshop participants to role-play with one another to practice CBT techniques.

One of the highlights of the workshop was watching Dr. Aaron Beck (top-left) conduct a live patient session.  Dr. Beck started the session with a mood check and followed with setting the agenda.   Following the patient interview, Dr. Beck led a case discussion with workshop participants emphasizing in-session use of the cognitive model. All participants are pictured (below) with both Drs. Beck.

CBT for Schizophrenia

Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the evolution of research on CBT for schizophrenia and psychosis. Cognitive Therapy was initially used in chronic cases of schizophrenia to improve symptom relief by reducing delusions and hallucinations. For acute cases of schizophrenia, CBT was combined with pharmacotherapy to treat more severe symptoms. Dr. Beck goes on to discuss more recent research, in which therapists have attempted to treat schizophrenia with psychotherapy alone (no medication). To attend a Beck Institute workshop on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenia visit our website.

Long-Term Study on Family Group Cognitive-Behavioral Preventative Intervention Shows Promising Results in Children Whose Parents Have Major Depressive Disorder

A recent study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that a family group cognitive-behavioral (FGCB) preventative intervention for children (9-15 years old) whose parents have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) significantly lowered the rates of MDD onset in children during a 2-year intervention period. The rates of MDD in children in the FGCB preventative intervention were reduced by half compared to a written information group in which families were mailed educational materials on depression. These findings suggest a need for effective preventive interventions for children of depressed parents.

Compas, B. E., Forehand, R., Thigpen, J. C., Keller, G., Hardcastle, E. J., Cole, D. A., & … Roberts, L. (2011). Family group cognitive–behavioral preventive intervention for families of depressed parents: 18- and 24-month outcomes. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 79(4), 488-499. doi:10.1037/a0024254

Competency in Cognitive Behavior Therapy

In this video Dr. Aaron Beck and Dr. Judith Beck are asked to comment on CBT training protocol in Australia and the United Kingdom. Dr. Judith Beck explains there is a difference between amount of training in CBT and competency in CBT which leads Dr. Aaron Beck to describe the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS) and its usefulness assessing competency in CBT. For a copy of the CTRS visit our Professional Tools and Resources Page. To attend a Beck Institute workshop and ask Drs. Beck your questions go to www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-training-application.

Participate in Beck Institute’s Self Study

Beck Institute is embarking on a self-study to help in planning for the next three years. We are sending this questionnaire to you because we value your input. Thanks for taking the time to complete our survey. We value your feedback (click here to complete our survey).

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Weight Loss in Family Members

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for weight loss produces healthier eating habits and motivation for physical activity in adults and their adult family members. In the current study, CBT treatment positively influenced weight, food choices, and physical activity among participants and family members (mainly spouses). The significant correlation between participants and their spouses, in terms of weight loss and positive lifestyle habits, suggests that family support may be an important mechanism contributing to favorable outcomes of treatment.

Rossini R., et al., (2011). Effects of cognitive-behavioral treatment for weight loss in family members. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111, 1712-9.

CBT and Technology

In this video Dr. Aaron Beck discusses delivering Cognitive Behavior Therapy via various new technologies. Dr. Beck explains how using the phone, Skype, and computer programs for delivering treatment can be extremely useful in “reaching the unreachable.” He stresses the importance of the therapeutic relationship in a CBT session, and explains results from recent studies looking at the effects of technology integration. For more information about CBT training directed by Drs. Judith and Aaron Beck visit our CBT Workshops page.

Internet-Based CBT for Bulimic Symptomatology

A study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy found a significant improvement in eating disorder symptoms (behavior and cognitions), among adolescent participants (n=101) with bulimia nervosa (BN) or bulimic symptomatology following the completion of an internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) intervention. These findings suggest that an internet-based approach could serve as an initial intervention for adolescents with bulimic symptomatology.

Pretorius, N., Arcelus, J., Beecham, J., Dawson, H., Doherty, F., Eisler, I.,…Schmidt, U. (2009) Cognitive-behavioural therapy for adolescents with bulimic symptomatology: The acceptability and effectiveness of internet-based delivery. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(9), 729-736.