Dr. Aaron T. Beck, creator of cognitive therapy, dies at 100

Aaron T. Beck, MD, the developer of cognitive behavioral therapy, died Nov. 1 at age 100, The New York Times reported.

Dr. Beck began his career as a psychiatrist training in Freudian psychoanalysis at Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute, where he began doubting Freud's open-ended talk therapy. He began prompting patients to focus on distortions in day-to-day thinking, which would eventually become the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy. 

After stints at hospitals across the country, Dr. Beck spent his career at the University of Pennsylvania. He co-founded the Beck Institute to Cognitive Behavior Therapy with his daughter, Judith Beck, MD, to provide training to CBT practitioners worldwide. 

"He took a hundred years of dogma, found that it didn’t hold up, and invented something brief, lasting and effective to put in its place," Steven Hollon, PhD, psychologist at Vanderbilt University told The Times. "He basically saved psychotherapy from itself."

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