Dr. Aaron T. Beck, the father of cognitive therapy, died on Monday at his home in Philadelphia at age 100.
Beck’s contributions to the fields of psychology and psychiatry have had a tremendous influence on the way mental health treatment is administered today, marking one of the most substantial leaps in the field since the introduction of Freudian psychoanalysis decades earlier.
The cognitive model developed by Beck has also become a basis for the development of psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy: the main mode of administration of compounds in the psychedelic class, currently rising as a novel and disruptive alternative in mental health treatment.
Dr. Beck’s Influence In Psychedelic Medicine
Dr. Dara Friedman-Wheeler is a clinical psychologist and researcher who recently joined the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, where much of today’s academic research into psychedelics is being conducted.
Friedman-Wheeler worked with Beck as a postdoctoral fellow in 2006 and 2007 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where Beck worked since 1954.
“It is hard to imagine what contemporary psychotherapy would look like without Dr. Beck’s work,” Friedman-Wheeler said.
“In addition to being innovative, influential, and, obviously, enormously productive, Dr. Beck was pragmatic, evidence-based, and compassionate. He was committed to decreasing suffering, and toward that end — he embraced what 'worked,' whatever strategies were demonstrated to help people, …