‘Father of Cognitive Therapy’ Dr. Aaron Beck Dies at Age 100

American psychiatrist Aaron Beck, considered the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), has died at the age of 100 on Nov. 1.

Judith Beck, Aaron’s daughter and the president and co-founder of Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, said in a statement that Aaron passed away peacefully in his home in Philadelphia.

“My father dedicated his life to the development and testing of treatments to improve the lives of countless people throughout the world facing health and mental health challenges. He truly transformed the field of mental health with his development of and decades of research in cognitive behavior therapy,” Judith said.

As a psychiatrist with a medical degree from Yale University, Aaron sought to counter the negative thoughts he noticed from his patients, which then led to the development of CBT, a technique commonly used to manage depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues.

In 1994, Aaron co-founded the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy with his daughter, which has trained thousands of mental health professionals in hundreds of countries.

“Our dream was to create an institution that would allow CBT to evolve and thrive. We’ve succeeded beyond our expectations. We now honor my father’s legacy as we continue his work and further his mission of helping individuals live healthier, happier, and more meaningful lives,” Judith said.


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