DBHDD partners with Beck Center to provide cognitive therapy training

Graduates of the Beck Initiative from the Region 1 Field Office.

DBHDD providers in north Georgia recently welcomed 20 more graduates of the Beck Initiative, a clinical and educational program that focuses on cognitive therapy training and consultation for community mental health networks.

The training was conducted by faculty from the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania whose founder and namesake is widely recognized as the father of cognitive therapy and one of the world’s leading researchers in psychopathology. Participants engaged in workshops and hands-on training by working with people in recovery, including individuals with severe mental illness and substance use disorders, and people who experience chronic homelessness.

“The Beck Initiative has been transformative for our state,” said Monica Parker, director of DBHDD’s Division of Behavioral Health. “This evidence-based treatment model provides clinicians, case managers, and many others with tools they can use to not only effectively engage individuals in services, but also produce outcomes that lead to recovery.”

The department’s partnership with the Aaron Beck Center began three years ago with a pilot program in southwest Georgia. DBHDD provided funding to disseminate the Cognitive Training Recovery model across the state to community providers, as well as DBHDD hospital staff. Georgia State University’s Center of Excellence for Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health, a DBHDD partner whose goal is to develop and implement a sustainable System of Care that is individualized and driven by child and family needs, will continue training efforts.

“The training implementation has been successful and we are pleased that hundreds of people have participated and demonstrate a commitment to continuing to use the skills gained through the trainings,” said Parker.

The Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania develops and evaluates treatments for psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and suicide behavior.

Correction: The original story referred to the Aaron Beck Center incorrectly as the Aaron Beck Institute.