Dr. Aaron Beck’s 95th Birthday

Today, July 18, 2016, is Dr. Aaron Beck’s 95th birthday. At last week’s workshop, participants celebrated by signing ‘Happy Birthday” and hearing stories from Dr. Beck.



Part 1

We recommend beginning this video at 2:40

Part 2



Workshop Participant Spotlight – Katherin Torres

At this week’s CBT for Substance Use Disorders workshop, we had the pleasure of welcoming Katherin Torres back to Beck Institute.

DSC_0046editShe and her colleagues from Pathways in San Diego recently attended the CBT for Schizophrenia workshop in April, and now she returned solo to learn more about using CBT with her substance abusing clients.

A pre-licensed MFT intern at Pathways in San Diego, Katherin is a first episode of psychosis specialist, working in the Kickstart program which provides confidential assessment and early assistance for young people between the ages of 10 and 25 who are at risk for mental illness in San Diego County.

First episode of psychosis clients often have comorbidity, and this workshop taught Katherin new ways to treat substance use disorders, address issues with open communication, and provide support to her high-risk clients.

Katherin has a long time affection for CBT, “It’s my therapeutic style: collaborative.”

At the workshop, she enjoyed watching the videos of  the instructor, Dr. Cory Newman, in therapy sessions and completing roleplays with fellow participants to put new skills into practice.

This workshop will help her to structure her sessions, remember to set goals, and better understand her clients with substance use disorders. She is most excited to bring  what she has learned back to the staff in the Kickstart program.


Workshop Participant Spotlight: Kanan Kanakia

This week’s workshop, CBT for Children and Adolescents, included Kanan Kanakia, who traveled from Mumbai, India to attend the workshop. She has experience as a psychotherapist, special educator, counselor, and hyKanakiapnotherapist which allows her to choose the best treatment path for her clients.

After learning about CBT, she wanted to get the actual feel of how to apply CBT and researched Beck Institute workshops, deciding “which better institute than here.”

“This workshop was exactly what I was looking for with the know-how and the application in real life and real circumstances.”DSC_0281

When asked about Dr. Torrey Creed, the workshop instructor, Kanan replied, “Oh, she’s amazing!” She presented real case examples of the topics she was instructing, which made the complex topics easy to grasp.

Kanan also had the opportunity to role play a tough client with Dr. Aaron Beck via Skype.



Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities for Somali Immigrants Through Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Led by Community Health Workers


To test the feasibility and acceptability of implementing an evidence-based, peer-delivered mental health intervention for Somali women in Minnesota, and to assess the impact of the intervention on the mental health of those who received the training. In a feasibility study, 11 Somali female community health workers research blog (8)were trained to deliver an 8-session cognitive behavioral therapy intervention. Each of the trainers recruited 5 participants through community outreach, resulting in 55 participants in the intervention. Self-assessed measures of mood were collected from study participants throughout the intervention, and focus groups were conducted. The 55 Somali women who participated recorded significant improvements in mood, with self-reported decreases in anxiety and increases in happiness. Focus group data showed the intervention was well received, particularly because it was delivered by a fellow community member. Participants reported gaining skills in problem solving, stress reduction, and anger management. Participants also felt that the intervention helped to address some of the stigma around mental health in their community. Delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy by a community health workers offered an acceptable way to build positive mental health in the Somali community.

Pratt, R., Ahmed, N., Noor, S., Sharif, H., Raymond, N., & Williams C. (December 31, 2015) Addressing Behavioral Health Disparities for Somali Immigrants Through Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Led by Community Health Workers Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 

Wolverine Human Services

Rob Web

Dr. Robert Hindman, Beck Institute Clinical Psychologist

One of our psychologists, Robert Hindman, Ph.D., has been involved in a research study on how to effectively train an organization in CBT. The lead investigator is Cara Lewis, Ph.D., a former Beck Institute Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Indiana University where she has a dissemination and implementation science lab. Dissemination and implementation science studies the best ways to take practices which research shows are effective, train clinicians to use them properly, and keep clinicians using the best practices after the training is over.
Drs. Lewis and Hindman began the project in 2012 with an organization in Michigan, Wolverine Human Services (WHS), which provides treatment to adolescents who need residential treatment services. WHS contacted the Beck Institute to provide their clients with evidenced based CBT. Before the training began, Drs. Hindman and Lewis met with the administrators, clinicians, and staff at all levels of the Wolverine organization to identify any factors or Image 1barriers that could get in the way of successful implementation of CBT. They developed a plan to address the potential obstacles, and worked with Wolverine to make the necessary changes.


So far, Drs. Hindman and Lewis have conducted two trainings at Wolverine Human Services and are scheduled for their next visit this month. They also work with Wolverine between visits; Dr. Lewis helps them successfully complete the implementation plan, and Dr. Hindman provides supervision to their clinicians and supervisors in CBT. At their March visit, Drs. Hindman and Lewis will begin training the supervising clinicians on how to supervise their staff in CBT, so that after the 5-year training program is over, Wolverine can continue to provide high quality CBT to its clients.



A Buckley

Amy Buckley – Workshop Participant Spotlight

Traveling from Burlington, Vermont, Amy is a clinical social worker in a private practice where she treats anxiety and depression in college students and young professionals. A BuckleyThe transition into college and navigating the independence and responsibility of adulthood can be daunting, and she uses CBT and mindfulness to improve the lives of her clients.

She attended our recent CBT for Anxiety: Core 2 workshop in Philadelphia and learned practical strategies for treating clients with anxiety. All the knowledge from this workshop hasn’t sunken in yet, so she is looking forward to “go home and study” the enormous amount of information Dr. Amy Wenzel presented during the workshop. Learning about the worry script and using exposures are the main take-aways for Amy. Her favorite part? Meeting with Dr. Judith Beck and having the opportunity to Skype with Dr. Aaron Beck were her favorite parts of the experience.

Bringing Technology to Training: Web-Based Therapist Training to Promote the Development of Competent Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists

New Study (1)Abstract:

In general, as well as part of dissemination and implementation science, there is the need to focus on training of mental health professionals in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Unfortunately, the usual training methods (e.g., workshops, seminars) and the availability of treatment manuals have not produced full uptake or quality practice. Web-based therapist training programs can improve and expand access to CBT training. Advantages of a web-based training approach allows for increased flexibility, accessibility, cost-efficiency, scalability, potential for both didactive and interactive learning, consistency in quality, and importantly, the potential for remote supervision/consultation. We provide a rationale for the use of technology in clinician training in CBT, highlight several promising programs, and describe the technology and research considerations in web-based training using the example of computer-based training in CBT for childhood anxiety disorders. We also discuss directions for future research, as well as the challenges that remain.

Khanna, S. M. & Kendall, C. P. (2015) Bringing Technology to Training: Web-Based Therapist Training to Promote the Development of Competent Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 22(3) p. 291-301. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2015.02.002


Cathryn Prendergast – Workshop Participant Spotlight

Traveling all the way from Perth, Australia, Cathryn is a psychologist at the Hollywood Clinic, a private hospital, where she provides individual and group treatment to inpatients and outpatients for a variety of diagnoses including addiction, borderline-personality disorder, and eating disorders. Cathryn initially learned the foundation of CBT from her masters program at Curtin University and always wanted to travel to Beck Institute as, “the base of CBT globally.” DSC_0002

The most valuable part of the workshop for Cathryn was not a specific skill, but the entire experience. “At times, the workshop felt more like specialized supervision for my practice. I’m taking a lot home with me.” Cathryn also mentioned that, while the instructors are wildly experienced, they are still human and provide examples that apply to a variety of professions.

Unlike most workshop participants, Cathryn decided to stay in downtown Philadelphia to get the full experience, and used the convenient SEPTA bus to travel to the Crowne Plaza each day for the workshop. This allowed her to explore the Reading Terminal Market, and plan to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell on Thursday.

“This workshop exceeded my expectations very much. I hope I can come back!”

Grant Porteous, LMSW and Kevin DeBruyn, LMSW – Workshop Participant Spotlights

TKevin and Grant November, 2015raveling from Traverse City, Michigan, Kevin and Grant attended the 2-day CBT for Weight Loss and Maintenance workshop taught by Deborah Beck Busis, LMSW.

Kevin DeBruyn, LMSW, is the founder and owner of Adaptive Counseling and Case Management, which helps chronically ill patients manage their health care and achieve a healthy lifestyle. Grant works as a clinician at Adaptive Counseling and Case Management.

Many chronically ill patients have issues with weight loss and maintenance, which made this workshop a perfect fit. Both use evidence-based treatments in their practice and were interested in training in CBT. Synthesizing CBT with health care made this workshop a unique fit and had the benefit of being, as Grant stated, ” straight from the horses mouth.”

Their best take aways?

Grant: The framework and process demonstrations through roleplays and case examples

Kevin: “I learned many new ways to structure what I’m already doing” to engage the client and move through treatment

Workshop Participant Spotlight – Pablo Alonso

As a therapist in Madrid, Pablo knew he wanted to improve his skills and, after reading many of both Drs. Beck’s books, he decided to come to Philadelphia for our Core 2: CBT for Anxiety course. “Part of being a great therapist is constantly working to improve your skills, and the best way is to go directly to the source.”

DSC_0138Pablo works in a clinic at the University of Madrid where he is a therapist, researcher, and supervisor of final-year students. He also works at the Deyre Medical Clinic, where he provides therapy to trauma patients. His clients are mainly adults and adolescents with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.

“When I grow up as a therapist I want to be just like Amy,” referring to Dr. Wenzel, who instructed the 3 day course on CBT for Anxiety. Roleplays were his favorite part of the workshop, because that’s when he got to see Dr. Wenzel “in action.”

On having the opportunity to meet Dr. Aaron Beck, “I have seen so many videos on YouTube, it was like I met him a long time ago.” 

His favorite lesson from the workshop was that “CBT is eclectic, it’s not a rigid therapy where you have to do A, B, then C. It’s fluid.”

No trip to Philadelphia is complete without a history tour and a cheese steak, which Pablo enjoyed and said,”I’m going to have to repeat that!”