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Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
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Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., is a world expert in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and author of the basic text in the field, Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond, which has been translated into 20 languages. She is president of the non-profit, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Philadelphia, which she co-founded with her father, Aaron T. Beck, M.D.

Dr. Beck has more than 100 publications to her name, including professional books and books for consumers. Her most recent book, The Diet Trap Solution identifies the most common challenging situations dieters face and offers practical solutions. Her work on a cognitive behavioral approach to permanent weight loss The Beck Diet Solution has been featured in Newsweek, The New York Times, Washington Post, Self, O Magazine, Health, Shape and dozens of other publications, and she has frequently appeared on local and national television.

Dr. Beck currently divides her time among consultation, teaching and supervision, administration, clinical work, program development, research and writing. She has presented hundreds of workshops worldwide on a variety of topics. She serves on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals, and is a consultant for several NIMH research studies and for national and international organizations.

Entries by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.

What Kind of Psychotherapy Should You Choose?

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 4:34 PM

There are two major types of psychotherapy in the United States: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (also known as Cognitive Therapy) and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (a modern version of traditional Psychoanalytic or Freudian Psychotherapy).

Which should you choose?
It depends on your goal, practical matters (such as cost and time), and the...

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Once a Day Keeps the Weight Gain Away

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 3:52 PM

How often should you weigh yourself? Daily accountability is key.

There is some controversy over how often people should weigh themselves if they want to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. One recent study "Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults" in the...

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Do I Need Therapy? How Do I Find a Good Therapist?

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 3:12 PM

You may not need therapy if you are weathering the trials and tribulations life throws at you pretty well. If you are basically emotionally healthy, have good problem-solving skills and call on a support network when you need help, you are probably already dealing with your challenges effectively.

You certainly...

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Question: Does Cognitive Behavior Therapy Include Insight?

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 5:32 PM

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Answer: Insight is always a part of cognitive therapy -- an important part, but not an end in itself.

We help patients gain insight into why they have unhelpful or upsetting reactions. Their emotions and behavior make sense once they understand how...

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Diabetes

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 10:53 AM

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is usually short-term, goal-directed, and skills-based. Therapists help patients identify and solve problems and learn specific skills to change their thinking and behavior so they can make lasting changes in their behavior and general functioning. At each session, patients record responses to their unhelpful and inaccurate thinking, along with steps they have committed to take in the coming week.

A growing body of literature has demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT for people with diabetes. For example, a randomized controlled trial published last year in Diabetes Care showed that CBT enhanced treatment adherence and decreased depression in Type 2 diabetes patients. In this study, participants received either enhanced usual care or enhanced usual care plus a CBT intervention. Four months after treatment, the group receiving CBT intervention showed greater improvements in medication adherence, depressive symptoms, and diabetes control compared to the usual care group. At the eight-month follow up, the CBT intervention group maintained their gains in adherence and diabetes control.

As an example, a patient might react to a high blood glucose reading by thinking, "This is horrible! I'll never get my diabetes under control. I'm a failure." He may then feel sad, become discouraged, and give up on trying to manage his disease. In CBT treatment, therapists help patients identify and modify their automatic, negative thoughts and unhelpful behaviors. They teach them specific, empowering skills to help them manage their disease. Thus, with the help of CBT, instead of thinking "I'm a failure" and wanting to give up, the patient thinks, "This reading is high. I better take steps to get it under control."

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Reference:

Safren, S. A., Gonzalez, J. S., Wexler, D. J., Psaros, C., Delahanty, L. M., Blashill, A. J., Margolina, A. I., ... Cagliero, E. (February 20, 2014). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adherence and Depression (CBT-AD) in Patients With Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 37, 3,...

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How to Eat Smarter

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 11:39 AM

Although the focus of our cognitive behavioral approach to permanent weight loss is on helping people change how they think so they can make long lasting changes in their eating, we do provide them with certain guidelines about food.

They start making these changes while they are learning how...

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Is Losing Weight Really Worth It?

(9) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 4:30 PM

Losing weight can be difficult, especially when dieters are besieged by a sabotaging thought such as "It's just not worth it to stay on my diet." Here's what you need to remind yourself to keep on going.



Having this thought is normal. Every dieter we...

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Emotional Eating: Do You Feel Entitled to Eat?

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 10:42 AM

When we work with dieters using the Beck Diet Solution (a cognitive and behavioral approach to weight loss and maintenance), we've found that they often have sabotaging thoughts that start with the phrase, "I feel like I'm entitled to eat this because... " They fill in the blank...

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An Open Letter to Carnie Wilson: What You Need to Know to Keep the Weight Off

(41) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 4:25 PM

Dear Carnie,

It's not surprising that you gained back most of the weight you lost after your first weight loss surgery -- so many people do. I'm glad to hear that you've now lost 30 pounds following a second lap band procedure. There are, though, a number of important skills...

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Successful Dieting: How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones

(5) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 5:00 AM

A recent article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, "How Companies Learn Your Secrets," (Feb. 16, 2012) describes research, spearheaded by Ann Graybiel from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on the development of habits. Graybiel has been conducting research for more than 10 years with wired...

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Why Can't Dieters Eat Mindfully?

(42) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 7:00 PM

A recent article in the New York Times, "Mindful Eating as Food for Thought" (Feb. 8, 2012), describes the importance of eating mindfully -- in short, noticing and enjoying every bite you eat. Why is this so important? If your goal is to lose weight and keep it...

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Structure of a CBT Session

(5) Comments | Posted January 26, 2012 | 10:10 AM

Every so often, I receive the following important question from consumers and potential clients who call our clinic at Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in search of a referral:

"How will I know if I'm getting 'real' CBT?"

I believe it's important for...

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10 Techniques to Increase Motivation and Willpower

(1) Comments | Posted January 13, 2012 | 7:20 AM

For many of us, the New Year represents a time to reflect upon and resolve to follow through with healthy changes we want (and need) to make. In the beginning, keeping up with a new exercise or eating plan, for example, generally comes pretty easily. Motivation and willpower are high...

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How Personality Can Influence Your Weight

(40) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 7:50 AM

What's your personality? Are you self-disciplined and orderly, or are you more on the indulgent and impulsive side? Recent research from the National Institute of Health suggests that these personality traits could very well help determine your weight.

A whopping 68 percent of Americans are...

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How to Avoid the Holiday Blues

(32) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 7:20 AM

The holidays are often a time when folks complain of feeling down or blue. These feelings are real, but most of the time, they are mild and temporary -- not true symptoms of clinical depression. When people are clinically depressed, on the other hand, they have many of...

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The Reasons I Chose CBT

(13) Comments | Posted November 25, 2011 | 3:10 AM

Every now and then I'm asked the question, "Why do you practice cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)?" Aside from the fact that my father, Aaron T. Beck, is the "father" of cognitive therapy, it's the the most widely researched and evidence-based form of psychotherapy; it's been shown...

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Activity: The Antidote to Depression

(11) Comments | Posted November 5, 2011 | 11:52 AM

Most individuals who suffer from depression believe, "Once I feel better, I'll start calling friends again/making dinner plans/playing golf/planning a vacation/etc., but right now, I just don't have the will." Most of these people are not aware of the research, conducted in numerous Cognitive Behavior Therapy studies, that has consistently...

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Hope for Patients With Severe Schizophrenia

(7) Comments | Posted October 19, 2011 | 12:17 PM

Many people regard the symptoms of psychiatric illness of schizophrenia as bizarre: hearing voices and seeing people or objects that don't exist (auditory or visual hallucinations), having extremely strong ideas that have no basis in reality (delusions), incoherent speech and disorganized behavior, for example. People with severe schizophrenia are usually...

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Dealing With Dating Anxiety:Try Not to Impress

(4) Comments | Posted October 6, 2011 | 8:39 AM

I was talking with a young reporter the other day about dating. She asked how people could quell their anxiety before a first date. As a cognitive behavior therapist, I understand that anxiety is influenced by one's thinking. For example, you will probably feel incredible pressure if you...

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSD in Military Women

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 10:31 AM

An important recent study assessed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment for female active-duty and veteran military. Events such as the attacks on September 11, 2001, and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have increased attention on PTSD. Lifetime prevalence rates of PTSD among women who have served...

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