Contemporary Cognitive Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice

Contemporary Cognitive Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice

by Robert L. Leahy
With contributions from a stellar array of researchers and clinicians whose work has been directly influenced by cognitive therapy founder Aaron T. Beck, this volume presents the latest advances in science and practice in this rapidly changing field. Distilled are important lessons learned in recent years about how psychological symptoms arise and why they can be so


With contributions from a stellar array of researchers and clinicians whose work has been directly influenced by cognitive therapy founder Aaron T. Beck, this volume presents the latest advances in science and practice in this rapidly changing field. Distilled are important lessons learned in recent years about how psychological symptoms arise and why they can be so persistent and devastating -- and the ways in which increasingly sophisticated cognitive interventions can help alleviate many forms of distress. Authoritative and forward-looking, the volume is ideal for novice to experienced practitioners who want to know how cutting-edge research and theory can be integrated into clinical practice. Following an introductory chapter that highlights Dr. Beck's seminal contributions to the field, the volume reviews the current status of basic cognitive therapy principles, models, and applications. Important theoretical and clinical refinements are elaborated, and promising future research directions identified. The expert authors then describe a range of new and effective strategies for understanding and treating clients suffering from prevalent mental health problems.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, PsyD (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book covers the current thinking in cognitive therapy in terms of theory, research, and clinical application. It honors the work of Aaron T. Beck and the tremendous influence he has had for over six decades.
Purpose: According to the editor, "the idea for this book grew from a full-day preconference meeting at the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy in November 2001. A number of leading cognitive therapists who had worked with Aaron T. Beck presented their work. This was to be the 'Beck Festschrift.'" Dr. Leahy continues: "The current volume recognizes the influence of Beck's work across a wide range of issues. Moreover, as testimony to the intellectual richness of the cognitive model, the reader will recognize that the chapters in this volume develop a number of "cognitive models"— models of psychopathology and treatment that were unforeseen in the early days of cognitive therapy. This is not a collection of individuals reminiscing about the "early days" but rather a collection of the cutting edges of the new frontiers of the field." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: According to the editor, the book "is an indispensable contribution for clinicians and researchers seeking to gain expertise in the field. As a text for students and residents, it will fill a unique niche in graduate-level psychotherapy courses and practica in clinical psychology, social work, family therapy, and psychiatry." The editor and contributors are credible authorities. In fact, many of them are very well known and are the leading researchers and theoreticians in the cognitive therapy field, including Drs. Judith Beck, David Clark, Frank Dattilio, Arthur Freeman, Steven Hollon, and Jeffrey Young.
Features: The book begins with a tribute to Aaron Beck. It then goes on to address basic DSM-IV categories such as depression, anxiety (PTSD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder), substance abuse, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It also covers personality disorders. It concludes with specific applications of cognitive therapy to couples and families. Each contributor discusses the influence of Aaron Beck on their specific topic, but goes on to reveal current thinking and practice. This practical and thorough book covers the basic diagnostic categories (both Axes I and II) one would expect and it has a good blend of theory and practice. The authors support their conclusions with research. Readers will feel they are being tutored by the masters in the field. The only shortcoming is the almost total lack of clinical illustrations.
Assessment: This is a great book and a wonderful tribute to the master, Dr. Aaron T. Beck. Many of the contributors are the movers and shakers in the field of cognitive therapy. The book is easy to read and contains theory integrated with practice. However, because there are so many cognitive therapy books out there these days, it is hard to justify buying another one if you already have a few recent ones in your library. That being said, this one emphasizes the foundation that Dr. Beck laid since the 1940s and builds upon it with all new information. The first chapter covering Dr. Beck's life is so inspirational, I probably would encourage people to consider this book based on that material alone.
3 Stars from Doody
From the Publisher

"In this outstanding volume, Dr. Leahy has brought together internationally respected cognitive therapists to share their current thinking on theory and therapy for specific problem areas. Well written, wide-ranging, and up-to-date, this will be an important sourcebook for years to come."--Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, Mental Health Research Unit, Kingsway Hospital, Derby, UK

"This superb volume brings together many of the world’s leading cognitive therapists. The breadth of coverage is impressive. Chapters provide an accessible yet sophisticated description of the theoretical underpinnings of cognitive therapy and summarize the results of randomized controlled trials, showing why this modality has become the treatment of choice for a wide range of common psychological disorders. At the same time, the book offers lucid discussions of how the therapy is actually conducted. I highly recommend this cutting-edge book for both novice and experienced therapists from all theoretical perspectives. It also will serve as a suitable text in undergraduate-level courses in abnormal psychology and graduate-level courses in psychopathology and evidence-based practice."--Allison G. Harvey, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

"This comprehensive volume captures the history, scope, and achievements of cognitive therapy. Readers will find expert accountings of the myriad applications of cognitive therapy--from time-tested approaches to depression and anxiety to exciting new applications for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. The volume nicely balances theoretical considerations, clinical perspectives, and evidence from empirical studies. The result is a work that will serve practitioners and researchers looking for an up-to-the-moment portrayal of contemporary cognitive strategies."--Michael W. Otto, PhD, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Cognitive therapy is a blend of clinical art and clinical science. The breadth and depth of the field are captured in an excellent way in this volume. The book brings together the finest and most able in the field to present a comprehensive account of what is now the most important school of psychotherapy. Evidence, theory, and clinical reality are skillfully blended in a 'must read' for anyone who wishes to help people change. If you only have one book on cognitive therapy, this should be it!"--Paul Salkovskis, PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, University of London, Englan

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

"This book does justice to the fast pace of change within CBT while remaining well integrated with the roots of cognitive therapy that were pioneered by Beck. Each chapter provides sufficient information for the readers to evaluate whether the approach taken has internal validity and empirical support, pointing them to more detailed references, such as therapy manuals and theory papers....Robert Leahy's book is arguably the most cutting-edge collection of works from the key contemporary figures within CBT. I would recommend it for CBT therapists and researchers, especially those involved in treatment development and those who work with a wide range of client groups."
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"This outstanding edited volume...has brought together some of the world's most respected cognitive therapists and scholars in order to summarize their current thinking on theoretical issues and on psychotherapy for specific problem areas. Leahy is widely recognized in this field as a creative and prodigious contributor to the literature, as a highly respected psychotherapist/consultant, and as a passionate advocate for cognitive psychotherapy. Thus, it is not surprising that these 18 chapters are up-to-date, well written, and immediately useful for any clinician with a basic understanding of cognitive therapy....This volume has already become a recognized sourcebook for cognitive psychotherapy. It fully captures the increasing depth and breadth of this approach to treatment."
The Family Journal

"The structure of the book lends itself to a wide audience, from a student's academic introduction to the non-CBT therapist looking for fresh approaches to current situations....Provides therapists in general, and those dealing with families in particular, a useful, thought-provoking tool."

Product Details

Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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Meet the Author

Robert L. Leahy, PhD, is Director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York and Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. His research focuses on individual differences in theory of emotion regulation. Dr. Leahy is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy and is past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy, and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is the 2014 recipient of the Aaron T. Beck Award from the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

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