Aaron Beck – a Cancerian pioneer

Dr Aaron T Beck, a pioneer in the field of psychology and father of cognitive therapy, has died aged 100. His work revolutionised the diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychological disorders by prompting patients to focus on distortions in their day-to-day thinking, rather than on conflicts buried in childhood. He touted the idea with an anti-Freudian maxim: “There’s more to the surface than meets the eye.”

  Some psychologists called his method superficial and little more than a morale booster, but it became required training for psychiatry residents and has been used to treat bulimia, panic attacks, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug abuse. He engaged in public and private dialogues with the Dalai Lama and together they concluded that CBT and Buddhism have much in common.

  Born 18 July 1921 Providence, Rhode Island, he was a pro-active and emotional Sun Mars in Cancer; with a penetrating Mercury Pluto also in Cancer in an innovative trine to Uranus. His Uranus was in an adventurous opposition to Jupiter (conjunct Saturn) and square a sociable Venus in Gemini. While his Mercury would dig deep his Venus in social butterfly Gemini would be happier on the surface.

  His Harmonics are particularly marked in the ‘healer’ 12H; and leaving-a-legacy for history 17H; as well as the global-renown 22H.  His spiritual-seeker 7H was also strong.

9 thoughts on “Aaron Beck – a Cancerian pioneer

  1. I primarily use CBT. It evidence based. People’s cognitive distortions are often created early by relatives, clergy and peers. So it does go deep. I prefer Gestalt for dreams. I use art therapy with a mix of Jungian and Gestalt. I support spirituality and culture, as it creates the complexes. For Native Americans it is very helpful to see a medicine person. Nature, art, relaxation, exercise I prescribe for my clients’ self care and my own. I use the Beck Inventory. I use Dialectical Behavior Therapy for trauma. I always ask if they want my interpretations and don’t insist.

    • How wonderful…. your option range!

      My first go at therapy was with a terrific, newly graduated Jungian therapist. Walked into her office and said, “I have an emotional tool belt… and no tools. I know I feel good .. or bad… and nothing more. YOU have letter after your name that indicate you know something and can help me.”

      You have a GREAT tool belt to help people!

  2. Here’s a British astrologer who died this year. British astrologer and educator. Richard Llewellyn….received the Charles Harvey award for Exceptional Service to Astrology in 2013…..founder of the English Huber School….emeritus of Astrological Astrology
    Association, APA. Earlier in life he served in the Royal Navy, and took part in the Normandy
    Landings during WWII. He continued his astrology practice well into his 90’s.
    He was born Aug 14, 1925, 6:20 AM, Sidcup, England, AA rated, and died at home after a long battle
    with cancer, on Feb 9, 2021. He is not the Richard Llewellyn who published Noel Tyl books.
    At death, trans Lachesis, life span, conjunct IC, endings; trans RIP conjunct 8th cusp,
    trans Osiris, god of the afterlife, the dead, the resurrection, conjunct his descendant.
    In his sidereal chart, whole houses, lahiri ayamsa, if we progress his chart by “Releasing
    from Part of Fortune”, his major period was SCORPIO which is on his 4th H. of endings.
    His subperiod was Aquarius, ruled by Uranus on his 8th cusp of death.
    FREE ASTROLOGY PROGRAM…..google “Planet Dance Astrology/Download”, then enter
    your own birth data, then choose Whole Houses and Lahiri….produce your chart which will
    be in Sidereal…..right click on your chart…..then click Classical, then click Zodiacal Releasing
    choose NOW, ie todays date…..click OK or calculate…..see your Major and Subperiod
    See what these periods rule, what Houses they are in and forecast whether things look
    Good or Bad for now.
    Do another chart…..say Queen ELIZABETH II….look at her major and subperiod….how
    do things look now.

  3. Coming from a more traditional psychoanalytic background I never knew much about Beck’s work. And like others probably thought it was all too superficial. But the older I get the more I reckon it’s horses for courses. There is no one size fits all treatment. What works brilliantly for one, doesn’t for others.
    I’ve known therapists who took a ‘superficial’ view and it worked wonders for certain people.
    I’d still be inclined to think that low self-worth which he approached by re-thinking the problem did have its roots in early dysfunction. But if it can be sorted without a major excavation so much the better.

    • I found CBT to be the most effective therapy and I had tried other therapy including gestalt, but CBT definitely addresses the immediate issues at hand, ie it’s a practical method which bypasses all the stuff about your parents! But I know it’s not for everyone, in particular for deep, long term depression, etc. In my experience it is very effective for OCD and related disorders. I can certainly see the connection to the Buddhist concept of mindfulness and indeed meditation in conjunction with CBT can be very helpful. Beck’s Mercury/Pluto in Cancer is not surprising.

    • …I agree with you Delia that he oozes Cancer, he looks kind, which he must have been. There was a program on this on Radio 4 BBC yesterday but had to go out, it was riveting but he knew all have problems, the message was to live the other bits out more consciously, not focus on the dreadful events we all experience through life, but to integrate them consciously. He understood wholeness was not perfection, or anything near it.

  4. I rectified his chart to 3:19:40 pm, Asc 2Sg03 with
    a stellium of Sun-Psyche-Jung-Mars-Mercury-Pluto in his 8th House. Aquarius/Uranus, ruling psychologist, in his 3rd House
    of the mind. Saturn on his MC gives old age of 100.
    In his Solar Return for July 17, 2021, SR Pluto on the SR Asc, 180 SR Sun on SR Desc, both 90 to SR Uranus, on IC, leading to his death on Nov 1, 2021, in Philadelphia.

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