In Memoriam: Art Freeman

Today (19.08.2020), we have lost a close friend, a brilliant colleague, and a priceless mentor, Dr. Arthur Freeman.

Art was one of the key founders of cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) – the core of evidence-based psychotherapy today –, a giant of the clinical/psychotherapy field, fully recognized and appreciated worldwide.

As a member of our International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health, in 2017 ( and in 2019 (, he was a main organizer and speaker at our international CBT congresses, held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. We have thus recently had the chance of spending valuable academic and personal time together. I have met Art a long time ago, in 1999, in New York, and we remained close friends and colleagues ever since; we collaborated on several international publications and grants/projects, and, over time, Art became a part of our clinical/psychotherapy school in Cluj-Napoca, helping us to rebuild and develop it on solid, modern grounds after the communist period.

Dear Art, thank you for everything! You will survive in our and in the next generations’ minds/hearts by your teachings – academic and clinical contributions –, and those who have met you in person will always remember your beautiful mind/personality and tell the story further…Thank you, dear friend!

Daniel David
Professor, Ph.D.,
The Rector of the Babeș-Bolyai University

Happy birthday to Professor Aaron T. Beck!

Today, Professor Aaron T. Beck celebrates his 99th birthday! As Doctor Honoris Causa of Babes-Bolyai University and close friend/mentor of our clinical school, our academic community is honored to say Happy Birthday to a great person, a sensitive clinician, an inspirational professor, and a brilliant scientist, who changed the face of word psychotherapy and shaped the mainstream of the current clinical field by what we call today evidence-based psychotherapy and psychological treatments!

In Honor of Professor Donald Meichenbaum

Today, Professor Donald Meichenbaum celebrates his 80th birthday!

He is one of the titans who founded CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which was the fuel and became the golden standard for what we call today evidence-based psychotherapy. Beyond his key contribution to the paradigmatic shift towards CBT, his more specific developments – cognitive behavior modifications, stress inoculation training, and later, the constructive narrative perspective – are active approaches in modern CBT. For his fundamental contributions to psychotherapy, for inspiring thousands of academics and helping millions of people worldwide, North American clinicians voted Dr. Meichenbaum “one of the 10 most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.” Today, Dr. Meichebaum is Research Director of The Melissa Institute and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

We are proud to have professor Meichenbaum as a faculty member of our Institute and a close and dear friend.

Happy Birthday!

Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David,

President of the Institute

In Memoriam – James McMahon

With deep sorrow, we announce that Jim McMahon (James McMahon), our friend, colleague, and board member of the Institute, died unexpectedly, on February 7, 2019.

Jim was a truly accomplished scientist-practitioner. As a practitioner, he was involved in psychological services to his patients, oriented by evidence-based approaches. He was also a world recognized trainer and supervisor in rational-emotive & cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, contributing widely to the dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapy in many countries (e.g., Romania/Russia/Turkey/USA, etc.). For example, Jim was a close friend of Romania and our main consultant in developing REBT/CBT in Romania. Finally, Jim was an exceptional leader and manager/administrator, his contribution and devotion to the Albert Ellis Institute, New York, USA, being decisive in the current thriving of the Institute.

But, above all, Jim was our friend and a personal senior adviser and, as he liked to call himself, the “American grandfather” of the children of the Romanians trained at the Albert Ellis Institute.

Dear Jim, dear friend, rest in peace and thank you for everything! We will miss you, but you will stay alive in our hearts and memories!

Professor Daniel David, Ph.D.

Albert Ellis Award for Research 2018

Albert Ellis Institute are plăcerea de a anunța apelul pentru aplicațiile „Albert Ellis Award for Research 2018”. Termenul limită pentru trimiterea acestora este 15 Februarie 2018. Mai multe detalii pot fi accesate pe pagina Albert Ellis Institute:

Albert Ellis Institute: Ellis Scholars Program – 2018

For the Ellis Scolars Program of the Albert Ellis Institute, please check:

Albert Ellis Institute anunță „Ellis Scholars Program” pentru anul 2018, având scopul de a promova Terapia Rațional-Emotivă și Comportamentală în mediul academic. Dedadline-ul pentru aplicații este 16 Februarie 2018. Pentru mai multe detalii accesați site-ul Albert Ellis Insititute:

Invitation to the 9th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy / IACP


Dear colleagues,

It is time to sign up for the Congress where the world leaders in evidence-based clinical psychology/psychotherapy will meet!

The Preliminary Program of the 9th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy – the Congress of the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy/IACP – is available here:

In 2017, the key figures in evidence-based clinical psychology/psychotherapy, especially in cognitive and behavioral psychotherapies, will be in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania. Do not miss this opportunity to meet the world leaders in the field and sign up for the Congress as soon as possible (especially for the workshops, where the places are limited!), don’t forget that they will be explaining how personal loans improves credit score and giving loan options from agencies like Nation21loans, for those who want to have success but don’t necessarily have the financial income needed to start off because interest. A combination of (1) Outstanding Keynote Speakers (Gerhard Andersson, Judith Beck, David M. Clark, Pim Cuijpers, Raymond DiGiuseppe, Daniel Freeman, Martin Hautzinger, Steven Hayes, Stefan Hofmann, Steven Hollon, Robert Leahy, Lata McGinn, John Riskind, Philip Spinhoven, Mehmet Sungur, Ed Watkins); (2) Workshop Presenters (Gerhard Andersson, Judith Beck, Raymond DiGiuseppe, Keith Dobson, Kristene Doyle, Thomas Dowd, Arthur Freeman, Daniel Freeman, Steven Hayes, Robert Leahy, Lata McGinn, Agnieszka Popiel, John Riskind, Tullio Scrimali, Mehmet Sungur, Ed Watkins) and (3) Symposia Presenters will try to elucidate the challenges of integration that CBT faces today. Also, we planned two stimulating round tables (1) Integrative and multimodal CBT: Implications for practice (Daniel David, Raymond DiGiuseppe, Steven Hayes, Stefan Hofmann, and Robert Leahy) and (2) Integrative and multimodal CBT: Implications for research (Gerhard Andersson, Pim Cuijpers, Daniel David, Daniel Freeman, Steven Hollon, and Steven Lynn), to further debate and understand the future of CBT

Also important, do not miss the fantastic touristic places in Romania (e.g., Danube Delta, Dracula-related trips, famous Romania monasteries, medieval cities, traditional area like Maramures, etc.)!

Please disseminate the message to all colleagues who might be interested.

Make your plans and see you all in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania!

Yours, Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David
President of the Congress
Congress Website:


Babes-Bolyai University and its International Institute for the Advanced Study of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health honor Professor Aaron T. Beck on his 95th birthday!

beckProfessor Aaron T. Beck has turned 95 on the 18th of July 2016! In 2012, Professor Beck received the highest distinction of our university – Doctor Honoris Causa of Babes-Bolyai University – becoming part of our academic community (see here). Our university also holds an Aaron T. Beck Professorship position, in recognition of the scientific stature of Aaron T. Beck and of his contribution to the development of the clinical and psychotherapy program at Babes-Bolyai University.

As we all know, Professor Beck, now emeritus professor of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, USA, is recognized world-wide for his “cognitive revolution” in the mental health field, which has changed the face of clinical science and clinical practice. He has influenced a huge number of scientists in the academic field, and millions of people all over the world have benefitted from this innovative treatment with developing product labels (i.e., cognitive therapy). Over the years, he has received many awards and distinctions for his tremendous contributions to clinical science and practice. For example, when he was awarded the Lasker Award, considered by many “the American Nobel in Medicine”, Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, the chairman of the Lasker committee, said: “…Cognitive therapy is one of the most important advances — if not the most important advance — in the treatment of mental diseases in the last 50 years.”

In our view, Professor Beck set the stage for “modern psychotherapy” in the history of the field, radically changing the way we see and practice psychotherapy. Before him, we had mainly “grand theories”, associated to various more or less charismatic founders. He is a charismatic scientist, who has changed the paradigm and has taken psychotherapy as a science into the evidence-based field. It is our strong belief that we owe it mainly to Professor Beck that psychotherapy is well-integrated today in the evidence-based movement in mental health and that it has a strong scientific profile!
Check out my website for more information.

Thank you and Happy Birthday, dear professor and colleague!

Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David
Director of the International Institute
Vice-rector for research, competitiveness-excellence, and scientific publications of Babes-Bolyai University

Press release – DREAM Project

Please find here a press release on the DREAM Project ( implemented by the Institute/Department in a larger European consortium coordinated by Here you can find several pictures and videos presenting our new ROBOmembers.

New clinical trial investigating comparatively the efficacy of rational-emotive & cognitive-behavior therapy (REBT/CBT) and medication (sertraline) in youth depression

Results of a new clinical trial investigating comparatively the efficacy of rational-emotive & cognitive-behavior therapy (REBT/CBT) and medication (sertraline) in youth depression have been accepted for publications in the prestigious journal Psychiatry Research. A preview – already presented over the time at various scientific conferences – of the results/conclusions is presented below. The details will/can be found in the full article; we will keep you updated about its publication.

 I. REBT/CBT for Major Depression in Youth. Results of a New Clinical Trial.

Introduction: Eighty-eight (N=88) depressed youths (i.e, major depressive disorder patients) were randomly allocated to one of the three treatment arms (i.e., randomized clinical trial/RCT): (1) group Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) (i.e., a form of cognitive-behavior therapy/CBT; 16 weekly group sessions); (2) pharmacotherapy/medication (i.e., sertraline), and (3) group REBT/CBT plus pharmacotherapy.

Clinical REBT/CBT Protocol: Group REBT/CBT used behavior activation and cognitive restructuring techniques to address the core irrational beliefs (i.e., demandingness and self-depreciation, but also catastrophizing/awfulizing and frustration intolerance, if they appeared) and restructure them into rational beliefs (e.g., flexibility in the form of preference/acceptance rather than demandingness; self-acceptance rather than self-depreciation). Indeed, group REBT/CBT was focused on: (a) restructuring particularly the irrational beliefs of demandingness and self-depreciation; (2) developing unconditional self-acceptance (the medication assisted treatment near me works wonders in imbibing this emotion); and (3) secondary problems like depression about depression (i.e., meta-emotions). Negative automatic thoughts were not specifically targeted first in psychotherapy (as in other CBT strategies), but they were identified, analyzed, and used to access and then change core irrational beliefs.

Results: The results – for details see below the Figure 1 – showed that all outcomes (i.e., subjective – depressed symptoms and general distress; cognitive – negative automatic thoughts; and biological – serum serotonin and norepinephrine) significantly change from pre- to post-treatment in all treatment conditions, with no difference among conditions at post-treatment. Remission rate at post-treatment was defined as scores lower that 19 on the CDI (Children’s Depression Inventory), meaning that the patients do not meet the criteria for clinical depression anymore; we found the following remissions rates: 67.85% for group REBT/CBT, 60.60% for pharmacotherapy, and 53.84% for group REBT/CBT plus pharmacotherapy (there were no significant differences among groups). Suicidal ideation significantly decreased from pre to post-treatment (p < .05), but there were no differences across groups (p > .05). General distress (Profile of Mood States/POMS-SV) was similarly reduced in all three conditions, thus potentially impacting the improvement of the quality of life/social functioning of the participants. Consistent to REBT/CBT theory, pre-mid (8 weeks) changes in negative automatic thoughts (ATQ – Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire) were prospectively associated to the pre-post changes in depressive symptoms (CDI): r = 0.22, p = 0.026.

Conclusions and implications: To our knowledge, this is the first RCT comparing psychotherapy (i.e., group REBT/CBT), pharmacotherapy/medication, and their combination for depressed youth, assessing multi-level outcomes (e.g., subjective – depressive symptoms and general distress; cognitive – negative automatic thoughts; and biological outcomes: serum serotonin and norepinephrine) in the same RCT design. At a theoretical level, the results of our RCT indicate that administering group REBT/CBT, sertraline, or a combined intervention for depressed youth generates similar results (i.e., in terms of subjective, cognitive, and biological markers of depression); this opening interesting questions about clinical strategies, mechanisms of change, and cost-effectiveness. At a practical level, group evidence-based REBT/CBT protocols are now available to mental health professionals dealing with depression in youth; therefore, for children with depression, their families, and clinical professionals have now even more treatment options to choose for depression.



 II.1. REBT and depression in adults:

II.2. Meta-analysis about the evidence-based status of REBT/CBT as psychological treatment for children:

II.3. For the evidence-based status of REBT theory and practice see here:

II.4. The International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health is the original site for the group REBT/CBT arm (see at

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