Working Through the Childhood Wounds that Feed Depression

Judith Beck on Understanding Emotions Intellectually

Helping a client overcome depression when they’re struggling with problems in their adult life is never easy; helping them when the source of their depression goes back to childhood is even more challenging. As adults, clients may know on an intellectual level that the childhood wounds they’re clinging to shouldn’t be so debilitating, but that doesn’t change the emotional responses they’re having.

In this clip, Judith Beck, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, talks about an intellectual technique that she uses when doing childhood work with adult clients suffering from depression.

Through this technique, Judith is able to help clients pinpoint the moment in their childhood that they developed the debilitating thought or belief that is feeding their depression. Then they can begin to work on understanding this source on an intellectual level, rather than continuing to negatively dwell on the emotional responses it stirs.



Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day. 

Judith Beck

As President of Beck Institute, Judith S. Beck, PhD, provides the vision and leadership to further our mission: to improve lives worldwide through excellence and innovation in Cognitive Behavior Therapy training, practice and research. She is also Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches psychiatric residents. She received her doctoral degree from Penn in 1982.