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    Korea University professor receives Aaron T. Beck Distinguished Research Award

    On March 2 (Sat), Professor Choi Kee-hong from the School of Psychology, Korea University, received the Aaron T. Beck Distinguished Research Award at the 8th Asian CBT Congress held at the All India Institutes of Medical Science (AIIMS) in India.

    The Beck Institute, established by Dr. Aaron Beck who is regarded as the father of cognitive therapy, and the World Confederation of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (WCCBT) decided to recognize researchers in Asia at the congress who have been most active in conducting research on cognitive behavioral therapy by presenting them with the Aaron T. Beck Distinguished Research award from Asia.

    Professor Choi, who also leads the KU Mind Health Institute, oversaw the 10th WCCBT in June 2023 as a co-chairperson of the organizing committee together with Professor Chung Kyong-mee at Yonsei University. The conference, co-hosted by the Korean Clinical Psychology Association and the Korean Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, was successful to promote the status of cognitive behavioral therapy in Korea to the world. With Professor Choi receiving the award this time, it was reaffirmed that Korea has heightened its status in the field of cognitive behavioral therapy in Asia.

    “Cognitive behavioral therapy is scientifically proven to be most effective in treating people who have a mental illness, and to properly provide the therapy to patients, it is important that therapists are equipped with required skills and expertise,” said Professor Choi during his acceptance speech. He added, “Many Asian countries including Korea have already acknowledged the dissemination of cognitive behavioral therapy as one of the national mental health policy tasks, but the system should be overhauled and revamped so that only therapists who complete disciplined training and education are allowed to provide cognitive behavioral therapy to patients. I will take this award as a carrot for me to encourage myself, as a researcher and clinician, to strive to disseminate cognitive behavioral therapy in Korea.”

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychological treatment that has been regarded as most effective in dealing with a wide range of psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy, recognized as a scientifically proven treatment, is provided as a primary therapy for mental illnesses in those countries with advanced mental health service systems such as the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia.