On This Day … 18 July

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 1990 – Karl Menninger, American psychiatrist and author (b. 1896).

Aaron T. Beck

Aaron Temkin Beck is an American psychiatrist who is professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is regarded as the father of both cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. His pioneering theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression and various anxiety disorders. Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety, notably the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) which became one of the most widely used instruments for measuring depression severity. In 1994, he and his daughter, psychologist Judith S. Beck, founded the non-profit Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy providing CBT treatment, training, and research. Beck currently serves as President Emeritus of the organisation.

Beck is noted for his research in psychotherapy, psychopathology, suicide, and psychometrics. He has published more than 600 professional journal articles, and authored or co-authored 25 books. He has been named one of the “Americans in history who shaped the face of American Psychiatry”, and one of the “five most influential psychotherapists of all time” by The American Psychologist in July 1989. His work at the University of Pennsylvania inspired Martin Seligman to refine his own cognitive techniques and later work on learned helplessness.

Karl Menninger

Karl Augustus Menninger (22 July 1893 to 18 July 1990) was an American psychiatrist and a member of the Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

Beginning with an internship in Kansas City, Menninger worked at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and taught at Harvard Medical School. In 1919, he returned to Topeka where, together with his father, he founded the Menninger Clinic. By 1925, they had attracted enough investors, including brother William C. Menninger, to build the Menninger Sanitarium. His book, The Human Mind, which explained the science of psychiatry, was published in 1930.

The Menninger Foundation was established in 1941. After World War II, Karl Menninger was instrumental in founding the Winter Veterans Administration Hospital, in Topeka. It became the largest psychiatric training centre in the world. He was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.

In 1946 he founded the Menninger School of Psychiatry. It was renamed in his honour in 1985 as the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Science. In 1952, Karl Targownik, who would become one of his closest friends, joined the Clinic.

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