In Brief

New research suggests that suicidal tendencies, personality disorders and even schizophrenia can be effectively addressed with cognitive therapy, said Judith Beck, PhD, at a plenary session at APA's 2006 Annual Convention. Randomized controlled trials have already shown the technique to be effective in treating a variety of other conditions, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse, she noted.

"Cognitive therapy has made huge advances in terms of refining and treating a wide range of disorders in the last 30 to 35 years," she said.

One particular area for new research has been in suicide prevention, noted Aaron T. Beck, MD, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Helping suicide-prone clients to reinterpret their feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness and to try alternative courses of action when those thoughts arise are just some of the methods cognitive therapists are developing to decrease suicide attempts, he said.

--S. Dingfelder