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Aaron Beck Research Papers

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Aaron Beck was born on July 18th of 1921 in Providence, Rhode Island and is the youngest of five children(Spicher, 2008). He grew up a sickly child, developing fears of blood and suffocation(Corey, 2013). Later in life he would attribute his illness as a child, a motivating experience when entering medical school. Beck came face-to-face with mental illness early in his life. His mother was depressed due to the loss of two children, but Beck felt as if his birth and presence in her life helped aid in his mother’s recovery(Spicher, 2008).
Throughout Beck’s life, he was very accomplished in his schoolwork and efforts as a working professional. He graduated high school first in his class, and magna cum laude from Brown University, where he obtained
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Beck introduced the term “automatic thoughts”, which are a person’s responses towards specific stimuli. When these beliefs are not held in a logical and reasonable way they are considered cognitive distortions, which cause issues in people’s lives and tend to be the reasons why individuals seek counseling. He believes that there we specific cognitive distortions people hold. One of these distortions is arbitrary inference, which is thinking the worst of a situation, without any evidence. Next is selective abstraction, which is only basing your conclusion on one event or one piece of information. There is also overgeneralization, where individuals take one belief or concept and apply it to every situation, no matter the relevance. Another distortion is magnification and minimization of facts, where someone over emphasizes a negative event, or diminishes the positive events. Personalization is a distortion in which one relates all events back to themselves, as if they had control and it was their fault something when wrong. Mislabeling and labeling is the act of an individual having negative views about themselves based on past actions and events. Finally, dichotomous thinking is a distortion Beck views as seeing the world in extremes. A person holds an either-or type of view of the world and sees no middle ground. The goal of cognitive therapy is to recognize these thoughts and rearrange them into positive views, while making logical and rational decisions(Corey,
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