The Development of Cognitive Therapy . . .
Cognitive Therapy was developed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the 1970's by Aaron T. Beck, M.D., in response to his dissatisfaction with traditional approaches to psychotherapy.
To read more about Dr. Beck and cognitive therapy, click here for a New York Times article in which Dr. Young is quoted briefly.
Since that time, there has been an intensive investigation of this approach at academic centers around the world. Cognitive therapy (along with other variations of cognitive behavior therapy) is now probably the most widely researched and practiced of all modern psychotherapies.
The effectiveness of cognitive therapy for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and an extensive list of other disorders, is now well supported by a large body of research. For depression, these studies indicate that cognitive therapy typically reduces symptoms as effectively as antidepressant medication, and results in a significantly lower relapse rate (i.e., the depression is much less likely to recur in the months and years to come). In addition, of course, cognitive therapy does not have all the side effects associated with antidepressant medication. With many patients, especially those with more severe symptoms, we combine cognitive therapy with medication.
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