Aaron Temkin Beck, the psychologist whose claim to fame is cognitive therapy, was born on July 18th, 1921 in Rhode Island, USA. He studied and graduated from Brown University. His profound theories in cognitive therapy which were developed after years of numerous studies conducted on psychological ailments of addiction, depression and suicide. Accredited as the pioneer of cognitive therapy with its wide application in curing clinical depression, he also developed anxiety scales to measure depression phenomenon he identified and named to segregate one from the other.
A born psychologist that he is, he managed to cure his mother’s depression at a very young age who suffered from it due to two child losses. The man did not decided to become psychologist at a very young age, in fact he was more into studying medicine and organic chemistry so he started studying for the it at Yale medical school. It all began when he started studying as a psychiatry student by chance due to few psychiatry students enrolled at Rhode Island Hospital, at that point in time his journey to becoming a psychologist began.
His inclination in psychology is gauged from the fact that one of his contemporaries brought to light, according to Marjorie Weishaar; Aaron Beck suggested that psychoanalysis can work wonders for treating psychological ailments.
His fascination and belief in psychoanalysis led him to an idea that it can cure illnesses of schizophrenia, neurosis, psychosis and other mental conditions. Being a kind-hearted person, he found this field very engaging because it stimulated him towards gaining his true potential as a psychologist.
After years of spending his time and energy on studying and practicing psychoanalysis it became too monotonous for him as he found a lack of structural framework and scientific evidences to support theories in psychoanalysis and so he switched to cognitive psychology. This shift in his interest led him to some amazing discoveries as it helped him in realizing his true potential as a cognitive psychologist. As a goal oriented and self-made person he is destined to be a ground-breaker that will revolutionize modern psychology through his influential works in cognitive psychology he wants to empower people of their own thoughts and actions and make them see that they can control their lives and become in charge of the situations that disrupts their lives negatively and positively.
Aaron Beck introduced Beck Depression Inventory in 1961 when he began working with more valor and enthusiasm towards his theories in cognitive psychology. The BDI scale is widely used as a critical tool for gauging depression, the BDI scale, much designed like a likert scale, consists of 21 items to identify the seriousness of depression symptoms prevailing in the human mind.
Besides his notable and ground breaking works in cognitive psychology the accomplishments to his name also includes Lasker award in 2006, he is also serving as an honorary president for the academy of cognitive therapy as well as Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy. He also wrote books mirroring his profound interest in issues and theories relating to cognitive psychology, depression treatment, anxiety disorder and causes and nature of thoughts and actions leading to suicide.
His list of accomplishments does not end here, he has the honor of giving profound lectures in some of the prestigious universities across Pennsylvania and New York. He is the only psychologist who has been awarded by American Psychological Association as well as American Psychiatric Association.
Currently Aaron Beck is serving as the president of a reputable non-profit, The Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy and Research located at University of Pennsylvania. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Assumption College and Brown University. He has also been bestowed with the “Heinz award” and “Sarnat award” from the Institute of Medicine.