Beck was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He completed
hi undergraduate studies at Brown University and received his
M.D. in Psychiatry at Yale University in 1946. He was
initially trained as a psychoanalyst and conducted research on
the psychoanalytic treatment of depression. With out the
strong ability to collect data to this end, he began exploring
cognitive approaches to treatment.
these experiments, Beck identified patterns of thinking that
correlated with symptoms of depression. In an effort to
better understand depression and related illness, he developed
the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the
Scale for Suicide Ideation. Beck is best known for his
cognitive approach to the treatment of disorders, especially
depression, and for doing much of the initial research on the
theory that distorted or inaccurate thoughts are a precursor
in the development and maintenance of depression.