Contemporary Cognitive Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice by Robert L. Leahy
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About Contemporary Cognitive Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice by Robert L. Leahy
The idea for this book grew from a full-day pre-conference meeting at the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy in November 2001. A number of leading cognitive therapists who had worked with Aaron T. Beck presented their work. This was to be the “Beck Festschrift.”
Appropriately, the conference was in Philadelphia—the Mecca of cognitive therapy—and the audience was standing room only. The speakers were Christine Padesky, Zindel Segal, John Riskind, David A. Clark, Cory Newman, Kelly Bemis Vitousek, James Pretzer, Norman Epstein, Robert DeRubeis, Steve Hollon, Jan Scott, Andy Butler, Greg Brown, Dianne Chambless, Judith Beck, Jeffrey Young, Neil Rector, Jesse Wright, and Art Freeman.
The closing comments were by Aaron Beck. I was honored to be asked to participate—and even more honored when Beck asked me to organize a book based on these presentations. Since some of our British colleagues were not able to make it to the conference, we invited them to contribute to the book as well.
Who is this Aaron T. Beck, and how did he merit a Festschrift? The contributors to this book provide an answer to this question. In our opening chapter, Christine Padesky provides a historical review of Beck’s life and work. By any standards, this is a remarkable life. At the writing of this preface, Beck—who is now 82—continues to make significant contributions.
But Beck had to struggle as a lone voice in psychiatry against the dominant, if not doctrinaire, psychoanalysts. Beck got the patient off the couch and into the real world to test out their “cognitions” with behavioral experiments. He was a revolutionary of the mind—literally turning psychology on its head.
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