Robert L. Leahy

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Robert L. Leahy
Born (1946-03-08) 8 March 1946 (age 78)
Alma materYale University
Occupation(s)Psychologist, author

Robert L. Leahy is a psychologist and author and editor of 29 books dedicated to cognitive behaviour therapy. He is Director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York[1] and Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Leahy was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of James J Leahy, a salesman, and Lillian DeVita, an executive secretary. His parents separated when he was 18 months old and his mother moved Robert to New Haven, Connecticut.[3] He was educated at Yale University (B.A, M.S, MPhil., PhD) and later completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School under the direction of Aaron T. Beck, M.D., the Founder of Cognitive Therapy.

Career and research interests[edit]

Leahy became interested in Beck's Cognitive Therapy model after becoming disillusioned with the psychodynamic model which he felt lacked sufficient empirical support.[3] Many of his clinical books have been instrumental in disseminating the cognitive therapy model in its application to the treatment of depression,[4] bipolar disorder,[5][6] anxiety disorders,[7][8][4] jealousy,[9] and emotion regulation.[10] In addition, he has published widely on the application of the cognitive model to the therapeutic relationship,[11] transference and counter-transference, resistance to change,[12] and beliefs about emotion regulation[10][13] that may underpin problematic strategies for coping with or responding to emotions in the therapeutic context.[14] His clinical and popular audience books have been translated into 21 languages. Leahy has expanded the cognitive model with his social cognitive model of emotion which he refers to as Emotional Schema Therapy.[15][16][14] According to this model individuals differ in their beliefs about the legitimacy of certain emotions, their duration, the ability to express emotions, the need to control emotions, how similar their emotions are to those of others and the ability to tolerate ambivalent feelings.[14] These beliefs and the strategies connected to them are referred to as "emotional schemas".[15][14] The Emotional Schema Model draws on Beck's cognitive model, the metacognitive model advanced by AdrIan Wells, the Acceptance and Commitment Model advanced by Steven C. Hayes, and on social cognitive research on attribution processes and implicit theories of emotion. Leahy has described how his model can help in understanding and treating jealousy,[9] envy,[9] ambivalence and other emotions[8] and how these emotional schemas can impact intimate relationships and affect the therapeutic relationship.[11]

In addition to his work on emotional schemas, Leahy has written about problematic styles of judgment and decision making[17] that are relevant in depression and anxiety disorders. These include biased evaluations in over-estimating or under-estimating risk, sunk-cost effects, regret anticipation, rumination over regret, and inaccurate predictions of emotions following anticipated outcomes.[17]

Awards and achievements[edit]

In 2014, Robert L. Leahy received the Aaron T. Beck Award from the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.[18] In 2021 he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Organisational affiliations[edit]

He is Past President of The Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies,[19] The Academy of Cognitive Therapy,[20] and The International Association of Cognitive Therapy.[21] He is the former Editor of The Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy and current Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cognitive Theapy.


  • Bipolar Disorder: A Cognitive Therapy Approach (2001) ISBN 1557987890
  • Psychology And The Economic Mind: Cognitive Processes and Conceptualization (2002) ISBN 082615042X
  • Psychological Treatment of Bipolar Disorder (2003) ISBN 9781593852306
  • Roadblocks in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities for Change (2003) ISBN 1593853734
  • The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You (2005) ISBN 9781400097661[7]
  • Contemporary Cognitive Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice (2006) ISBN 1401921647
  • The Therapeutic Relationship in the Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapies (2007) ISBN 0415384370
  • Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You (2009) ISBN 0415384370
  • Treatment Resistant Anxiety Disorders: Resolving Impasses to Symptom Remission (2009) ISBN 1138881724
  • Emotion Regulation in Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guide (2011) ISBN 1609184831[10]
  • Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders, 2e (2011) ISBN 9781609186494[22]
  • Overcoming Resistance in Cognitive Therapy (2012) ISBN 1572309369
  • Emotional Schema Therapy (2015) ISBN 9781462540792[15][16]
  • Cognitive Therapy Techniques, Second Edition: A Practitioner's Guide (2017) ISBN 1462528228
  • Science and Practice in Cognitive Therapy: Foundations, Mechanisms, and Applications (2018) ISBN 9781462533404
  • Emotional Schema Therapy: Distinctive Features (2019) ISBN 1138561142
  • The Jealousy Cure: Learn to Trust, Overcome Possessiveness, and Save Your Relationship (2018) ISBN 1626259755
  • Don't Believe Everything You Feel: A CBT Workbook to Identify Your Emotional Schemas and Find Freedom from Anxiety and Depression (2020) ISBN 1684034809
  • If Only... Finding Freedom from Regret (2022) ISBN 9781462547821


  1. ^ "The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy - Home". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  2. ^ "Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D. | Weill Cornell Medicine". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  3. ^ a b Leahy, Robert (October 2017). "Standing on the shoulder's of giants". Advances in Cognitive Therapy Newsletter. 17: 2 and 14.
  4. ^ a b Leahy, Robert L. (2012). Treatment plans and interventions for depression and anxiety disorders. Holland, Stephen J., McGinn, Lata K. (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60918-649-4. OCLC 743275897.
  5. ^ Psychological treatment of bipolar disorder. Johnson, Sheri L., Leahy, Robert L. New York: Guilford. 2005. ISBN 1-59385-230-4. OCLC 61528890.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ Bipolar disorder : a cognitive therapy approach. Newman, Cory Frank., American Psychological Association. (1st ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2002. ISBN 1-55798-789-0. OCLC 46725727.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b Schillinger, Liesl (2005-10-30). "Taking Anxiety Down a Notch". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  8. ^ a b Leahy, Robert L. (2005). The worry cure : seven steps to stop worry from stopping you (1st ed.). New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 1-4000-9765-7. OCLC 57531355.
  9. ^ a b c Leahy, Robert L. The jealousy cure : learn to trust, overcome possessiveness & save your relationship. Oakland, CA. ISBN 978-1-62625-975-1. OCLC 993999601.
  10. ^ a b c DeGrush, Elizabeth (May 2013). Geller, Jeffrey L. (ed.). "Emotion Regulation in Psychotherapy: A Practitioner's Guideby LeahyRobert L., Ph.D., TirchDennis, Ph.D., and NapolitanoLisa A., Ph.D., J.D.; New York, Guilford Press, 2011, 304 pages, $33.18". Psychiatric Services. 64 (5): e04. doi:10.1176/ ISSN 1075-2730.
  11. ^ a b The therapeutic relationship in the cognitive behavioral psychotherapies. Gilbert, Paul, 1951 June 20-, Leahy, Robert L. London: Routledge. 2007. ISBN 978-0-415-38437-7. OCLC 68693817.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ Leahy, Robert L. (2003) [2001]. Overcoming resistance in cognitive therapy (Pbk. ed.). New York: Guilford. ISBN 1-57230-936-9. OCLC 53708256.
  13. ^ Leahy, Robert L. (2011). Emotion regulation in psychotherapy : a practitioner's guide. Tirch, Dennis D., 1968-, Napolitano, Lisa A. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60918-483-4. OCLC 712765603.
  14. ^ a b c d LEAHY, ROBERT L. (2019). EMOTIONAL SCHEMA THERAPY. [S.l.]: GUILFORD. ISBN 978-1-4625-4079-2. OCLC 1083714823.
  15. ^ a b c Edwards, Emily R.; Wupperman, Peggilee (2019). "Research on emotional schemas: A review of findings and challenges". Clinical Psychologist. 23 (1): 3–14. doi:10.1111/cp.12171. ISSN 1742-9552.
  16. ^ a b Jill H. Rathus, Ph.D. "Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders, Second Edition" (PDF). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews.
  17. ^ a b Contemporary cognitive therapy : theory, research, and practice. Leahy, Robert L. New York: Guilford Press. 2004. pp. 116–140. ISBN 1-59385-062-X. OCLC 55228722.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ "Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies Lifetime Achievement Aw - Academy of Cognitive Therapy". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  19. ^ "ABCT | Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  20. ^ "Past Presidents - Academy of Cognitive Therapy". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  21. ^ "About IACP". Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  22. ^ Jill H. Rathus, Ph.D. (2014). "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews" (PDF).

External links[edit]