PHILADELPHIA - Aaron Temkin Beck, MD, the father of Cognitive Therapy, has been presented with the Anna-Monika Prize, awarded once every two years by the Anna-Monika Foundation, for advancing knowledge of the biological structure and functional disturbances of depression. The privately funded Anna-Monika Foundation, established in 1964 and based in Berlin, Germany, promotes experimental research on the causes of depression.
Dr. Beck was honored for his lifetime achievement in defining the cognitive biases and distorted interpretations of events, which represent the core psychological problem in depression and contribute to its symptoms, and using this knowledge to develop cognitive therapy. Professor F. A. Henn, Head of the Anna-Monika Prize Committee presented Dr. Beck with the award on Thursday, November 19, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Psychiatry Grand Rounds.
In 2006, Dr. Beck received the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award for developing cognitive therapy, which transformed the understanding and treatment of many psychiatric conditions, including depression, suicidal behavior, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and eating disorders. He has been listed as one of the "10 individuals who shaped the face of American Psychiatry" and one of the 5 most influential psychotherapists of all time. He has published more than 550 scholarly articles and 18 books and has developed widely-used assessment scales.
Dr. Beck is an emeritus professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Psychopathology Research Unit (PRU), which is the parent organization of the Center for the Treatment and Prevention of Suicide. His current research focuses on cognitive therapy for suicide prevention, dissemination of cognitive therapy into community settings, and cognitive therapy for schizophrenia.