Vera BekesDr. Vera Békés, assistant professor of clinical psychology at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, has had two papers published.

Békés co-authored a study about the role of trauma-related negative cognitions in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, titled “Trauma-Related Negative Cognitions Mediate the Relationship Between Avoidant Personality Beliefs and Impeded Response to Psychotherapy for PTSD.”

“A main focus of my research,” explained Dr. Békés, “is trauma and understanding how to best help those suffering from post-traumatic symptoms. In general, I am interested in studying specific processes that lead to improvement in the psychotherapy for PTSD, such as changes in defensive processes and trauma-related beliefs as well as predictors of therapy outcomes such as personality pathology, gender and therapist-patient relationship. In this latest study, my colleagues and I aimed to understand how pre-trauma personality beliefs affected the efficacy of trauma treatment.”

Dr. Békés co-authored another study, “Psychological masochism: A systematic review of the literature on conflicts, defenses, and motives,” for Psychotherapy Research. “Psychological masochism is a highly significant and common but understudied clinical phenomena in psychotherapy,” she noted. “The paper investigated this from a psychodynamic perspective, using a new and unique approach to identify core aspects of masochism using observer-rated standardized measures of defenses, motives and psychodynamic conflicts. This study touched upon my other focus of interest, which is translating largely abstract and theoretical psychodynamic concepts to observable, measurable phenomena, allowing us to identify and assess them as they occur and to improve psychotherapy interventions accordingly.”

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