Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy (Hardback) book cover


Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy

By Aaron T. Beck, Neil A. Rector, Neal Stolar, Paul Grant

© 2008 – Guilford Press

418 pages

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About the Book

Aaron T. Beck: Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Nursing Centers Consortium!

From Aaron T. Beck and colleagues, this is the definitive work on the cognitive model of schizophrenia and its treatment. The volume integrates cognitive-behavioral and biological knowledge into a state-of-the-science conceptual framework. It comprehensively examines the origins, development, and maintenance of key symptom areas: delusions, hallucinations, negative symptoms, and formal thought disorder. Treatment chapters then offer concrete guidance for addressing each type of symptom, complete with case examples and session outlines. Anyone who treats or studies serious mental illness will find a new level of understanding and the latest theoretically and empirically grounded clinical techniques.


"This book represents a major advance in the application of cognitive theory and therapy. It is fitting that the founder of cognitive therapy is now pioneering its use with people with schizophrenia, who were once thought to be virtually untreatable. The authors provide a groundbreaking integration of neurobiological and cognitive-behavioral approaches to understanding the disorder and improving patients' lives. Unique contributions of the book include the descriptions of cognitive distortions and cognitive triads specific to schizophrenia and the development of cognitive models of thought disorder and negative symptoms, which have been neglected until now." - Tony Morrison, University of Manchester, UK

"Synthesizing research on the psychology and biology of schizophrenia, Beck et al. show how a cognitive approach can be used to understand and treat even the most severely ill patient. This book is a masterpiece that challenges conventional thinking and describes one of the most exciting developments in psychiatry today. It is essential reading for all mental health professionals." - Richard Bentall, University of Bangor, Wales, UK

"The major achievement of [this book]… can… be seen in the integration of cognitive-behavioral and biological knowledge into a conceptual framework. This is achieved by comprehensively examining various domains of research on the origins, development, and maintenance of key symptoms… Four detailed chapters provide cognitive conceptualizations of delusions, hallucinations, negative symptoms, and formal thought disorder. These conceptualizations reflect the careful thinking of talented clinicians who have immersed themselves in their subject and achieved valuable insights… The chapters on treatment… offer concrete and detailed guidance for addressing each type of symptom, complete with case examples. They reflect the authors’ considerable experience disseminating this therapeutic approach and I expect even experienced clinicians to find them extremely helpful… It is fascinating to be reminded in this book of how much research in schizophrenia has expanded over the last decades. By bringing together a lot of this research and generating new ideas, this book is sure to add to further major developments in our ideas about schizophrenia." - Tania M. Lincoln, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 68, 2010

Table of Contents

1. Overview of Schizophrenia

2. Biological Contributions

3. A Cognitive Conceptualization of Delusions

4. A Cognitive Conceptualization of Auditory Hallucinations

5. A Cognitive Conceptualization of Negative Symptoms

6. A Cognitive Conceptualization of Formal Thought Disorder

7. Assessment

8. Engagement and Fostering the Therapeutic Relationship

9. Cognitive Assessment and Therapy of Delusions

10. Cognitive Assessment and Therapy of Auditory Hallucinations

11. Cognitive Assessment and Therapy of Negative Symptoms

12. Cognitive Assessment and Therapy of Formal Thought Disorder

13. Cognitive Therapy and Pharmacotherapy

14. An Integrative Cognitive Model of Schizophrenia


A. Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS)

B. Scoring and Interpretation of the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS)

C. Suggested Outline for Initial Psychological/Psychiatric Evaluation

D. Cognitive Assessment of Psychosis Inventory (CAPI)

E. Cognitive Triads for Delusional Beliefs

F. Cognitive Distortions Seen in Patients with Psychosis

G. Cognitive Distortions Specific to Psychosis

H. Thought Disorder Rating Scale (THORATS)

About the Authors

Aaron T. Beck, MD, is the founder of cognitive therapy, University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and President Emeritus of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Beck is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award, the American Psychological Association (APA) Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Psychiatric Association Distinguished Service Award, the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award for Research in Neuropsychiatry, and the Institute of Medicine's Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health and Gustav O. Lienhard Award.

Neil A. Rector, PhD, is Director of Research, Department of Psychiatry, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and an editorial board member of several cognitive therapy journals, and conducts research on cognitive mechanisms and cognitive therapy treatments for psychiatric disorders. Dr. Rector has an active clinical practice and is also involved in training and supervision.

Neal Stolar, MD-PhD, is a Medical Director and Director of the Cognitive Therapy for the Treatment of Psychosis Special Project at Project Transition in the Philadelphia area; a psychiatric consultant for Creative Health Services and Penn Behavioral Health; a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Psychopathology Research Unit and Schizophrenia Research Center; and in private practice. Dr. Stolar is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has lectured internationally on cognitive therapy of schizophrenia.

Paul Grant, PhD, is Director of Schizophrenia Research and a Fellow in the Psychopathology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Grant’s research interests include cognitive psychopathological models of positive and negative symptoms as well as cognitive therapy of schizophrenia. He is the author of several journal articles and book chapters.

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