This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

A century of self-awareness

Written by: | Published:

CBT Even if you’ve never heard of Dr Beck, you will have heard of the treatment he developed in the 1960s. You might even have benefitted from it –

Dr Aaron T Beck, of Pennsylvania in the USA, passed away at the beginning of this month at the impressive age of 100. He may well be the greatest medical pioneer you have never heard of.

His life wasn’t spent among petri dishes and microscopes, observing microbes in the quest for a Eureka! moment in cracking a genetic cipher or finding a definitive way to slay a virus. He never received a Nobel Prize, although he probably should have.

Even if you’ve never heard of Dr Beck, you will have heard of the treatment he developed in the 1960s. You might even have benefitted from it – cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Trained as a conventional Freudian psychoanalyst, Dr Beck’s Damascene moment was when a patient asked if she was boring him when she was delving into her past. A pattern emerged with other patients of feeling like failures, and his focus switched from probing the unconscious to countering negative thoughts in the present. It sounds too simple to be true, but it is the first form of psychotherapy to have been tested with the stringent framework applied to evidence-based medicine. Considered the “gold standard” of talking therapies, is 50-75% effective for overcoming depression and anxiety after 5-15 modules.

It has its critics, and is sometimes poorly used for patients with more acute mental health needs. But Beck should be celebrated for the revolutionary act of listening to patients. What CBT gives patients is self-awareness, and thus some sense of empowerment. For this alone, his life should be more widely celebrated.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.