Dr Aaron Beck has passed away, but here’s how his TBI changed the whole mental health arena



American Psychiatrist Dr Aaron Beck Dies on November 1 at the Age of 100 | Photo: Municipalities

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Bangalore: Dr. Aaron Beck, an American psychiatrist who developed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), died on November 1 at the age of 100.

CBT is used to treat a variety of psychological disorders and psychiatric issues, including depression, and Beck is credited with changing the whole field of mental health through the method, which he developed as a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy in the 1980s and 1990s.

Beck is the author – by himself and with co-authors – of over 600 published research articles in the field of mental health and has received numerous prestigious awards for mental health research, including the Albert Prize. Lasker for clinical medical research in 2006.

In 1994, he co-founded the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy with his daughter, renowned psychologist Judith S. Beck. The institute is a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that provides training and resources for CBT and conducts research on it.

ThePrint explains what CBT is and what its benefits are, for which the mental health world owes Beck a debt of gratitude.

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What is CBT?

CBT is an intervention technique aimed at improving mental health and empowering people to overcome daily challenges.

It was originally developed to treat depression, but is used today to treat a wide variety of mental and mood disorders, including anxiety. It has also been effective in the treatment of eating disorders, personality disorders, substance use disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tics, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), gambling addiction, smoking, chronic lumbago or lower back pain. , and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia.

CBT aims to help people challenge negative patterns in their thinking and beliefs, such as amplification of negative feelings, catastrophism, and overgeneralization. Such negative thoughts, which do not accurately reflect reality, are known as cognitive distortions and lead to emotional distress and self-destructive or self-destructive behavior.

CBT challenges negative thoughts and encourages individuals to recognize cognitive distortions and reduce their impact.

It is a combination of behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, where the former aims to identify and modify self-destructive behaviors, while the latter does so with thoughts. Beck also developed cognitive therapy.

The technique contrasts with psychoanalysis or Freudian analysis by focusing on a problem-solving approach rather than trying to understand the thinking, behavior and personality of an individual as a whole. Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s and typically involves a patient lying on a sofa and talking about any topic they wish, while the analyst or therapist remains out of the patient’s field of vision. The process is much longer than CBT or just behavior therapy, often lasts for years, and delves deep into a person’s childhood, dreams, aspirations, trauma and more.

After a number of scientific studies in the 1990s, CBT began to become mainstream, both due to its focused approach and its cost-effectiveness compared to psychoanalysis.

Beck’s cognitive triad

Beck’s cognitive triad, also known as the negative triad or cognitive depressive triad, forms the heart of CBT and postulates that three factors operate in a feedback loop and influence each other, presenting and amplifying during the process. depression and anxiety.

These are negative thoughts about the world, negative thoughts about the future, and negative thoughts about yourself.

Negative thoughts often lead to cognitive distortion or cognitive biases, some of which are common. These include magnifying or exaggerating the importance or impact of a negative event, minimizing or minimizing a positive event, personalizing or assigning responsibility for an impact. negative to oneself, and arbitrary inference or drawing conclusions based on insufficient evidence.

CBT therapy identifies these negative thought patterns and then aims to practice new skills that can be applied in real world situations to deal with such thoughts.

Beck also developed the Beck Depression Inventory, a 35-point questionnaire that is often considered a standard test to assess the level of depression in individuals.

(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)

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