Clinical Psychological Scientist in Advance Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia with Aaron T. Beck at the University of Pennsylvania

We currently have an opening for a clinical psychological scientist to direct our research projects on schizophrenia, under the direction of Aaron T. Beck, M.D. Primary responsibilities for this position will include data analysis and manuscript preparation with existing research databases, including a large 6-month naturalistic longitudinal study and a 24-month randomized clinical trial of Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy. These studies included comprehensive clinical and psychometric assessments of cognitive variables, symptomology, and functioning, using self-report questionnaires, clinical interviews/ratings, and behavioral measures. Secondary responsibilities will include overseeing new data collection projects, assisting with grant submissions, supervising and mentoring research assistants, and contributing to clinical training initiatives.

Appropriate candidates must have a strong track-record of research training and productivity, expertise in statistical analysis, and good scientific writing skills. Experience with advanced statistical methods for analyzing multivariate and longitudinal data (e.g., hierarchal linear modeling, path analysis) is also desired, as is previous training in cognitive-behavioral and/or recovery-oriented treatments for schizophrenia and knowledge of this area of research. Initial appointment will be at the level of Research Associate, with the possibility of future promotion to Research Assistant Professor.

Bilingual candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Please send a curriculum vita with a cover letter and two letters of recommendation via email to Aaron T. Beck, M.D., at abeck@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Now in Press! Beck Recovery Network Article on Dysfunctional Attitudes and Motivation Predicting Community Involvement and Recovery in Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

From neurocognition to community participation in serious mental illness: the intermediary role of dysfunctional attitudes and motivation.

 E. C. Thomas, L. Luther, L. Zullo, A. T. Beck, P. M. Grant

Evidence for a relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome in important areas of community living is robust in serious mental illness research. Dysfunctional attitudes (defeatist performance beliefs and asocial beliefs) have been identified as intervening variables in this causal chain. This study seeks to expand upon previous research by longitudinally testing the link between neurocognition and community participation (i.e. time in community-based activity) through dysfunctional attitudes and motivation.

Adult outpatients with serious mental illness (N = 175) participated, completing follow-up assessments approximately 6 months after initial assessment. Path analysis tested relationships between baseline neurocognition, emotion perception, functional skills, dysfunctional attitudes, motivation, and outcome (i.e. community participation) at baseline and follow-up.

Path models demonstrated two pathways to community participation. The first linked neurocognition and community participation through functional skills, defeatist performance beliefs, and motivation. A second pathway linked asocial beliefs and community participation, via a direct path passing through motivation. Model fit was excellent for models predicting overall community participation at baseline and, importantly, at follow-up.

The existence of multiple pathways to community participation in a longitudinal model supports the utility of multi-modal interventions for serious mental illness (i.e. treatment packages that build upon individuals’ strengths while addressing the array of obstacles to recovery) that feature dysfunctional attitudes and motivation as treatment targets.

 In Press, Psychological Medicine; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291716003019

Fellowships in Advance Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia with Aaron T. Beck at the University of Pennsylvania

We offer an exciting opportunity for postdoctoral applicants in the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Specifically, our mission is to develop professionals who will become leaders in the field of psychological approaches that promote recovery for individuals with schizophrenia. Under the direction of Aaron T. Beck, M.D., our program includes basic research in schizophrenia, clinical trials of innovative treatments for the disorder, and dissemination and implementation of these treatment protocols into community mental health centers and psychiatric hospitals. We have been recognized for our cutting edge work in this field. For more information, see http://aaronbeckcenter.org.

Applicants who have earned an Ph.D., Psy.D., or equivalent in psychology, social work, medicine or other related field and have had previous training in cognitive therapy, severe mental illness, or recovery-oriented services are encouraged to apply. Bilingual candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Please send a curriculum vita with a cover letter and two letters of recommendation via email to Aaron T. Beck, M.D., at abeck@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 

Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Implementation of Cognitive Therapy in Community Behavioral Health

The Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania is seeking applicants with previous training in Cognitive Therapy (CT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and knowledge of implementation science to join the Beck Community Initiative, under the direction of Torrey A. Creed, Ph.D. and Aaron T. Beck. M.D. Since 2007, the Beck Community Initiative has served as a model for the successful implementation of CT in community behavioral health settings, increasing access to evidence-based treatment for economically, culturally, and ethnically diverse urban populations. The emphasis of the fellowship will be the implementation of CT in services for adolescents in acute inpatient settings, as well as individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse, but responsibilities may also include working with providers across a wide range of treatment settings to support adults or children in their recovery from anxiety, depression, anger, recent incarceration, homelessness, and other common behavioral health issues. Primary responsibilities will involve the systematic use of implementation strategies to integrate CT into current practice settings, including engagement of agency staff, delivery of workshops, group supervision, integration of CT into the treatment milieu, and ongoing support for sustained practice of CT. Participation in research, program evaluation, grant writing, IRB activities, planning and execution of specialized training, and other academic and administrative endeavors are also part of the experience. Experience with REDCap would be particularly valuable. Applications from post-doctoral level or license-eligible individuals are sought for this position.

Qualifications:

Advanced professional discipline. Ph.D., Psy.D., or M.D. in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, social work, psychiatry or a related discipline and 1 years to 2 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Candidates with expertise in CT/CBT, the treatment of substance abuse / adolescents in acute settings, or implementation science will be considered, but the ideal candidate will have significant experience in more than one of these areas. Bilingual applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.

This position is open immediately. Please send a CV, a statement of interest, and two letters of recommendation to Torrey Creed, Ph.D. at tcreed@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Beck Recovery Training Network traveled to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)’s annual convention in Denver, CO.

NAMI Presentation pic

Drs. Aaron Brinen, Paul Grant & Ellen Inverso

July 6 2016, senior staff of the Beck Recovery Training Network (Drs. Paul Grant, Aaron Brinen & Ellen Inverso) delivered one of the keynote addresses in Advancing Recovery through Research and Technology. The team introduced Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy, including the research basis for the treatment, a description of the treatment and the adaptations of the treatment to different settings for the most underserved individuals. They also met Congressman Patrick Kennedy and heard his call to arms that recovery is a right.

 

aaron, ellen and kennedy

Dr. Aaron Brinen, Patrick Kennedy & Dr. Ellen Inverso

See video of Drs. Beck and Evans talk about their partnership

In an significant move for the city of Philadelphia, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), Community Behavior Health (CBH) and Dr. Aaron T. Beck have collaborated to disseminate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy throughout Philadelphia’s behavioral health system since 2007. 

In the video below, Dr. Arthur Evans (Commissioner of DBHIDS) and Dr. Aaron Beck highlight their ongoing work together. 

Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy was Described in NAMI’s March 2016 Blog Segment

 

NAMI’s March 2016 Blog posted an article authored by Drs. Beck and Grant about the efficacy of treating psychosis with Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R). In it, Drs. Beck and Grant expound upon their understanding of how defeatist and asocial beliefs, which result in a lack of motivation, directly feed the prominence of a person’s negative symptoms. Historically, there was little hope for recovery or improvement of an individual’s quality of life when treating these cases. Drs. Beck and Grant are changing that. 

Through their use of their newly-developed CT-R, Drs. Beck and Grant outline their methodology of thinking: if maladaptive defeatist and asocial beliefs can be addressed, perhaps a marked improvement in negative symptoms could be observed. After multiple interventions with countless patients, Drs. Beck and Grant feel confident that this approach could have lasting and far-reaching positive results. 

They describe a case of an individual with severe negative symptoms following a CT-R invention:

“An individual who spent most of his time sitting in a chair staring at the wall: after decades of little progress, he was able to succeed in the community, and in fact, had a girlfriend and was able to get a job … This program is a new approach that can provide hope of recovery from this very disabling disorder for even the most withdrawn individuals.”

To access full article: Transformation: Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy for Schizophrenia