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.


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

The Association for Psychological Science’s Observer Spotlights Dr. Aaron Beck’s Innovative Approach to Depression

Dr. Beck’s innovative theory of depression gains recognition in the Association for Psychological Studies (APS) recent issue of the Observer, a publication promoting cutting-edge applied research.

Here is a quote from the article:

“With their unified model, Beck, an APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow, and Bredemeier draw on findings spanning various levels of analysis and multiple disciplines — including clinical, cognitive, biological, and evolutionary approaches — to provide a broad framework that accounts for the symptomatology of depression and its natural course, from predisposition to recovery.”

To access full article: Beck Proposes an Integrative Theory of Depression

Medscape has named Dr. Beck one of the 50 most influential Physicians in History


In a feature by Steven Rourke, Dr. Beck was listed as number 20 of the 50 most influential physicians in history.

According to the author:

The father of cognitive therapy, Dr Aaron Temkin Beck is considered one of history’s most influential psychotherapists and a pioneer in the field of mental health.[1]

Dr Beck’s early work on psychoanalytic theories of depression led to his development of cognitive therapy,[2] a new theoretical and clinical orientation, “based on the theory that maladaptive thoughts are the causes of psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression, which in turn cause or exacerbate physical symptoms.”[3] Through this empirical framework, Dr Beck conducted extensive research on the psychopathology of depression, suicide, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, and developed cognitive therapy for these disorders—helping to establish theories that are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression.[2]

Dr Beck has published over 600 scholarly articles and 25 books and is the recipient of a long list of awards, including the 2006 Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award “for the development of cognitive therapy, which has transformed the understanding and treatment of many psychiatric conditions, including depression, suicidal behavior, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and eating disorders.”[4]

Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Dr Beck attended Yale Medical School and completed residencies in pathology, neurology, and psychiatry. He joined the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pennsylvania in 1954 and has remained affiliated with the institution for most of his long career.[2]

Beyond his influence in the realm of psychiatry, Dr Beck made important contributions to public health, founding the Beck Initiative in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services in Philadelphia. He was also the first recipient of the Kennedy Community Health Award from the Kennedy Forum.[5]

Author References:

1. Aaron T. Beck, M.D. Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.http://www.med.upenn.edu/suicide/beck/ Accessed January 19, 2016.

2. Aaron T. Beck, M.D. Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center.https://aaronbeckcenter.org/about/staff/beck/ Accessed January 19, 2016.

3. Palsson OS, Whitehead WE. Psychological treatments in functional gastrointestinal disorders: a primer for the gastroenterologist. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;11:208-216.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779877_3 Accessed January 19, 2016

4. Strauss E. Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award 2006. Award description. Aaron Beck.http://www.laskerfoundation.org/awards/2006_c_description.htm Accessed January 19, 2016

5. Dr Aaron Beck—recipient of the inaugural Kennedy Forum Community Health Award. PatrickKennedy.net. May 5, 2014. http://www.patrickjkennedy.net/articles/dr-aaron-beck-recipient-inaugural-kennedy-forum-community-health-award#sthash.gLMio2gL.dpuf Accessed January 19, 2016.


Access to full article: The Most Influential Physicians in History

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