The treatment of schizophrenia has long presented a challenge for mental health providers. Even when optimally medicated, patients tend to struggle socially and vocationally, with a great proportion failing to find meaningful relationships and work. Accordingly, there is consensus amongst professionals that improved treatment strategies are needed for patients with schizophrenia. Dr. Beck's schizophrenia research is devoted to the development of better psychosocial interventions informed by basic scientific findings in biology, emotion, cognition and behavior.
Because the symptoms of schizophrenia often present a block to a better quality of life, Dr. Beck's group has focused upon articulating factors that are involved in their etiology and maintenance. With Beck, Rector, Stolar, and Grant (2009) as a theoretical starting point, they have developed new insights into negative symptoms (social withdrawal, lack of motivation) and positive formal thought disorder (speech disturbance). In each case, they have found that dysfunctional beliefs, natural targets for psychosocial intervention, play a significant role. Current work focuses upon delusions, blunted affect and emotion.
They have developed a goal-directed, cognitive therapy package that targets negative symptoms and poor functioning. This treatment is quite flexible, being adaptable to the considerable variability that patients with schizophrenia present in terms of manifest psychopathology, cognitive impairment, and social skills. Currently, clinical trials are being condicted to study potential benefits of adding this treatment to traditional pharmacotherapy.
For more information about Dr. Beck's current research on schizophrenia, please click here.
Grant, P. M. & Beck, A. T. (2010). Asocial beliefs as predictors of asocial behavior in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 177, 65-70.
Perivoliotis, D., Grant, P. M., Peters, E. R., Ison, R., Kuipers, E., & Beck, A. T. (2010). Cognitive insight predicts favorable outcome in cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis. Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches, 2, 23-33.
Beck, A. T., Rector, N. A., Stolar, N. M., & Grant, P. M. (2009). Schizophrenia: Cognitive theory, research, and therapy. New York: Guilford Press.
Grant, P. M. & Beck, A. T. (2009). Evaluation sensitivity as a moderator of communication disorder in schizophrenia. Psychological Medicine, 39, 1211-1219.
Grant, P. M. & Beck, A. T. (2009). Defeatist beliefs as a mediator of cognitive impairment, negative symptoms and functioning in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 35, 798-806.
Perivoliotis, D., Grant, P.M., & Beck, A.T. (2009). Advances in cognitive therapy for schizophrenia: Empowerment and recovery in the absence of insight. Clinical Case Studies, 8(6), 424-437.
Perivoliotis, D., Morrison, A.P., Grant, P.M., & Beck, A.T. (2009). Negative performance beliefs and negative symptoms in individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis: A preliminary study. Psychopathology, 42, 375-379.
Beck, A. T. & Grant, P. M. (2008). Negative self-defeating attitudes: Factors that influence everyday impairment in individuals with schizophrenia [Letter to the editor]. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 772.
Pinninti, N., Rissmiller, D. J., Steer, R. A., & Beck, A.T. (2006). Severity of self-reported depression in patients with a schizoaffective disorder. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 28, 165-170.
Colis, M. J., Steer, R. A., & Beck, A. T. (2006). Cognitive insight in inpatients with psychotic, bipolar, and major depressive disorders. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Research, 28(4), 243-250.
Warman, D. M., Grant, P., Sullivan, K., Caroff, S., & Beck, A. T. (2005). Individual and group cognitive-behavioral therapy for psychotic disorders: A pilot investigation. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 11, 27-34.
Rector, N. A., Beck, A. T., & Stolar, N. (2005). The negative symptoms of schizophrenia: A cognitive perspective. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 50, 247-257.
Beck, A. T., & Rector, N. (2005). Cognitive approaches to schizophrenia: Theory and therapy. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 577-606.
Warman, D., Forman, E., Henriques, G. R., Brown, G. K., Beck, A. T. (2004). Suicidality and psychosis: Beyond depression and hopelessness. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 34, 77-86.
Turkington, D., Dudley, R., Warman, D., & Beck, A. T. (2004). Cognitive behavioral therapy for schizophrenia: a review. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 10(1), 5-16.
Beck, A.T., Baruch, E., Balter, J.M., Steer, R.A., & Warman, D.M. (2004). A new instrument for measuring insight: the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale. Schizophrenia Research, 68(2-3), 319-329.
Morrison, A.B., Beck, A.T., Glentworth, D., Dunn, H., Reid, G. S., Larkin, W., & Williams, S. (2002). Imagery and psychotic symptoms: a preliminary investigation. Behavior Research and Therapy, 40(9), 1053-1062.
Rector, N. A., & Beck, A. T. (2001). Cognitive behavioral therapy for schizophrenia: An empirical review. Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 189(5), 278-287.
Alford, B. A., & Beck, A. T. (1994). Cognitive therapy of delusional beliefs. Behavior Research and Therapy, 32(3), 369-380.
Hole, R. W., Rush A. J., & Beck, A. T. (1979). A cognitive investigation of schizophrenic delusions. Psychiatry, 42, 312-319.
Beck, A. T. (1952). Successful outpatient psychotherapy of a chronic schizophrenic with a delusion based on borrowed guilt. Psychiatry, 15, 305-312.
NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Aaron T. Beck. Click here for information.