Aaron T. Beck, MD, is globally recognized as the father of cognitive therapy (CT) and one of the world’s leading researchers in psychopathology. He has been credited with shaping the face of American psychiatry, and The American Psychologist has called him “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.”
Educational and professional background
Dr. Beck graduated from Brown University in 1942 and Yale Medical School in 1946. Originally trained as a psychoanalyst, his explorations into psychoanalytic concepts of depression while working as a psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania led to his development of CT, which has since been found to be effective in hundreds of clinical trials for many different disorders.
Dr. Beck has developed a number of scales to measure psychopathology that are used broadly throughout the world. He has participated on review panels of the National Institute of Mental Health, served on the editorial boards of many journals and lectured internationally. He has been a visiting scientist of the Medical Research Council at Oxford and a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Columbia. He is a visiting fellow of Wolfson College. He is also the honorary president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a nonprofit organization of more than 800 certified cognitive therapists and 100 general members worldwide.
Publications, awards and honors
Dr. Beck has published more than 600 articles and authored or co-authored 25 books. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research and the Gustave O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine for “outstanding national achievement in improving personal health care services in the United States.”