Cognitive therapy originally evolved from a series of clinical investigations of depression conducted by A.T. Beck in the 1950s and 1960s. Originally trained as a psychoanalyst, Beck attempted to
scientifically validate the Freudian conept of depression as the need to suffer inverted hostility or anger turned inward. When a series of clinical studies failed to demonstrate this he
concluded from his clinical data that depressed patients did not seek failure, but instead had difficulty recognizing success when it occurred and were preoccupied with their perceived negative
personal attributes. The negative themes that emerged in their self-descriptions were often inaccurate and inappropriate to the situation and reflected numerous errors in thinking that were not
random in nature, but tended to be predictable in that they reflected a negative bias of their views towards themselves, their world, and their future, which Beck ultimately referred to as the
These findings led Beck to abandon the psychoanalytic theory of depression and to develop a reformulation of the psychopathology of depression and the other neurotic disorders.
Dr. Mervin Smucker is an international trauma consultant and author of numerous articles and books on trauma and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions.
Mervin Smucker (2015)