Arnold Allan Lazarus (born 27 January 1932 - 1 October 2013) was a South African psychologist who is known for his contributions to behavior therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, and eclectic psychotherapy. He was a former president of several professional associations and societies, and received many honors and awards for his contributions to clinical theory and therapy. Among them are the Distinguished Psychologist Award from APA’s Division of Psychotherapy, the Distinguished Professional Contributions Award from APA’s Division of Clinical Psychology, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Board of Professional Psychology, three Lifetime Achievement Awards, the first Annual Cummings PSYCHE Award, and the first Albert Ellis Humanitarian Award.
With 18 books and over 350 professional and scientific articles to his credit, Dr. Arnold Lazarus was widely recognized as an authority on effective and efficient psychotherapy and gave innumerable talks and workshops both here and abroad. In addition to his academic and scholarly activities, as a licensed psychologist he maintained an active psychotherapy practice from 1959 through 2007.
From the late 1950s into the 1970s, at the same time that Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck were pioneering cognitive therapy, Lazarus was developing what was arguably the first form of "broad-spectrum" cognitive behavioral therapy. In 1958, he introduced the terms "behavior therapy" and "behavior therapist" into the professional literature (i.e., Lazarus, A. A. "New methods in psychotherapy: a case study". South African Medical Journal, 1958, 32, 660-664).
He later broadened the focus of behavioral treatment to incorporate cognitive and other aspects (e.g., see Arnold Lazarus's 1971 landmark book Behavior Therapy and Beyond, perhaps the first clinical text on CBT). When it became clear that optimizing therapy's effectiveness and effecting durable treatment outcomes often required transcending more narrowly focused cognitive and behavioral methods, Arnold Lazarus expanded the scope of CBT to include physical sensations (as distinct from emotional states), visual images (as distinct from language-based thinking), interpersonal relationships, and biological factors. The final product of Arnold Lazarus's approach to psychotherapy is called Multimodal Therapy which is, perhaps, the most elegant yet comprehensive therapy approach ever devised. What's more, with its emphasis on technical eclecticism and BASIC I.D. concept, Lazarus's Multimodal model transcends standard psychiatric diagnostic nomenclature (e.g., C.N. Lazarus, 1991), all other current psychological therapies, and serves as a complete, biopsychosocial paradigm of human personality and phenomenology (e.g., C. Lazarus and A. Lazarus, In Press).
- Arnold Allan Lazarus at Encyclopedia of Psychology
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