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Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
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Blog Entries by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.

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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The Meal That Can Help you Lose Weight

(43) Comments | Posted June 25, 2011 | 3:30 AM

Breakfast is often touted to be the most important meal of the day. Your mother may have told you that, but if you're like many people, you skip it anyway. Recent research now backs up your mother's advice. The conclusion of researchers at the University of Missouri who studied the...

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Weight Loss and the Question of Unfairness

(17) Comments | Posted April 18, 2011 | 3:44 PM

The unfairness issue crops up often among chronic dieters: "It's unfair that everyone gets to eat whatever they want [and only I have to limit myself]." Aside from being erroneous, this sabotaging thought is unhelpful because it leads dieters to feel resentful and deprived and makes it more likely that...

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How to Maintain Your Healthy Weight

(32) Comments | Posted March 13, 2011 | 11:28 AM

How often have you noticed that formerly normal-weight people have gradually gained weight throughout the years? Or dieters who have lost a significant amount of weight and then gained it back quickly?

Should people even try to lose weight at all? The answer is yes, if they are already...

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The Pitfalls of a Child-Centered Family

(86) Comments | Posted February 27, 2011 | 10:44 AM

I talk to many parents who experience difficulties because they make decisions on the basis of what their children want instead of what is good for the family unit. These parents say they're too busy to take care of themselves (e.g., taking time to get exercise) because they're always driving...

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Healthy Eating: Maintain Your Weight Despite Holiday Stress

(7) Comments | Posted December 11, 2010 | 10:41 AM

Most of the dieters whom I treat overeat when they're feeling stressed or experiencing a negative emotion such as anxiety, sadness, anger, shame and so on. They often have one or both of the following unhelpful ideas:

"There's nothing I can do to calm down when I'm upset."

"I deserve...

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Want to Increase Your Willpower? Here's How

(50) Comments | Posted October 28, 2010 | 8:47 AM

I have an unscientific definition of willpower: It's getting yourself to do something that you don't want to do.

Everyone has willpower. People who are healthy (physically and psychologically) have 100 percent willpower in some areas. For example, you may brush your teeth, get dressed, and leave for work...

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Childhood Obesity: Are Overweight Children a Product of Poor Parenting?

(53) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 9:41 AM

I see myself as a relatively nonjudgmental person. Be and let be. But yesterday I found myself being highly critical of some people at a restaurant. It's a place well known for their very large portions and huge desserts. I think people often go there because the restaurant gives them...

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