The quotations of Aaron Beck listed in this article reflect the fundamentals of his thinking about cognitive distortions, congruent thinking and its influence on various mood and personality disorders. In the 1960s, this American psychiatrist and professor made one of the most relevant contributions to current psychotherapy: he helped shape cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Among his many accomplishments, one can distinguish the fact that he is the only psychiatrist to have published articles in both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. Furthermore, this latest review considers him one of the 5 most influential psychotherapists of all time.
More concretely, Aaron Beck's sentences speak of how a targeted and successful restructuring of our cognitive schemas allows us to enjoy better mental health and a better emotional balance. In addition, through this change in our patterns and mind filters, we can gain the qualities we need to progress and survive, overcome our problems and learn with and from our partners.
It's the interpretation that hurts, not the fact itself
"Cognitive therapy seeks to relieve psychological tensions by correcting misconceptions and self-signals, and by correcting erroneous beliefs, we can put an end to excessive reactions."Share
His thinking, framed within the framework of cognitive therapy, is based on the idea that people suffer because of their particular interpretation of the events that happen to them, and not because of the facts themselves. Which means most of our suffering would depend on the meaning and importance we attach to what happens to us, not what happens to us.
Beck believes that the psychotherapist must help the person identify his distorted beliefs as a necessary and preliminary step towards their modification. His goal is to know the cognitive patterns used by the subject, to modify them and reduce their rigidity. This cognitive restructuring allows the person to change the way they interpret and subjectively value what happens to them.
His theory applied to couples
The way we interpret reality influences all areas of our lives. Therefore, these thoughts disturb and affect the coupleboth at the individual level and at the level of the relationship itself.
"Spouses must cooperate, make compromises and make joint decisions."Share
His book "Love is not enough: how to overcome misunderstandings, resolve conflicts and deal with problems as a couple "can serve as a reference and provides guidelines on how to educate both partners from a cognitive point of view so that they can identify and transform these models.
"There are special qualities, such as commitment, sensitivity, generosity, consideration, loyalty, responsibility, reliability, which are decisive for a happy relationship."Share
The aim is for them to be able to identify those systems that are detrimental to them and to find another system to replace them. Only by being aware of this can the couple prosper and develop. This is another quote from Aaron Beck that explains it best:
"While love is a powerful incentive for husbands and wives to help and support each other, to make themselves happy and to create a family, this is not in itself the essence of the relationship. because it does not provide the personal qualities and skills that are decisive for supporting and growing it. "Share
A model for and by depression
As a child, this psychiatrist suffered from a serious illness that caused many fears he had to face. This cognitive approach to his problems inspired him to develop his therapeutic theory years later. And, in particular, she focused on depression.
"If our thinking is bogged down in distorted symbolic meanings, illogical reasoning, and misinterpretation, we become, in effect, blind and deaf."Share
For him, the symptoms of depression begin with the activation of negative cognitive schemas and the ensuing distortions. His study and articulation of depression was so profound that today, one of the most commonly used instruments to measure his severity is named after him: the Beck Depression Inventory.It was a very important contribution to psychiatry and psychology because it became one of the most powerful alternatives to the psychoanalytic conceptualization of depression.
Its application has spread to other disorders
He also studied the effectiveness of his cognitive therapy on a wide variety of other problemsincluding anxiety, alcohol and other drug abuse, and various personality disorders. This is one of Aaron Beck's clearest and most didactic sentences to understand his approach:
"Applied to substance abuse, the cognitive approach helps people deal with problems that lead to emotional distress and gain a broader perspective on their drug addiction for pleasure and / or relief from discomfort. "Share
As for schizophrenia, its contribution was to consider that the dysfunctions of these patients were vulnerabilities. Therefore, he assumes that the job of the professional is to develop more realistic alternatives to his beliefs, delusions and hallucinations.
The starting point of your personal transformation
"There is more to the surface than our eyes can bear."Share
Beck's model can serve as a basis for promoting big personal changes. Often, although we can not choose the contexts or the events that will happen to us, it is up to us to intervene consciously in this almost automatic interpretation of what happens to us …. and that sometimes hurts us so much.
We can choose what to internalize and what not to internalize a certain fact, to stay with the positive or the negative … It will depend on how our mind treats it and its assignment. We will also choose how to act, that is, what will be our response.
All of Aaron Beck's quotes have an underlying stream of hope. Often, we feel unable to find another perspective, more hopeful, to make sense of what is happening to us. Thus, we do not realize that by being aware of how we interpret what is happening to us, we can modulate the intensity of our suffering.