Baylor Psychology Professor Awarded For Suicide Research

Sept. 19, 2001

by Judy Long

Dr. David Rudd, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University and director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology, was awarded the prestigious Aleteia Award this summer from the Aleteia International School of Cognitive Therapy in Enna, Italy.

Rudd, who traveled to Italy in June to receive the award, was honored for his contributions to the field of cognitive therapy, applying the approach to the treatment of patients with suicidal tendencies.

"Cognitive therapy is a technique in psychotherapy that trains patients to develop a different approach to information processing," says Rudd, who last year published the well-received book, Treating Suicidal Behavior, with Gilford Press in New York. "Some people interpret their experiences through a negative filter that was shaped by past negative experiences. Cognitive therapy helps them adopt a more accurate way of interpreting their world."

Rudd has found the approach to be successful in dealing with individuals battling severe suicidal behavior. Of the various approaches to psychotherapy, cognitive therapy has yielded the greatest success, he said.

After years of research and development of his techniques, Rudd said he is gratified to receive the award and believes the international attention is significant. "It is most rewarding to know that my work is gaining a broad acceptance, and I will be interested in seeing how these techniques will be applied in various cross-cultural contexts," said Rudd, noting that his book is currently being translated into Korean.

A 1983 cum laude graduate of Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in psychology, Rudd earned his master's degree in 1984, followed by a doctorate in 1987, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to study cognitive therapy at the Beck Institute in Philadelphia from 1994-96.

Rudd currently serves as chair of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, a post to which he was appointed by then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and served as chief of the psychotherapy section at Scott and White Hospital in Temple from 1993-99.

He is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, American Association for Behavior Therapy, American Association of Suicidology and the International Association of Cognitive Therapy. The author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, he also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, International Journal of Occupational and Mental Health and Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. Rudd has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee of the Suicide Research Center at the Las Vegas School of Medicine and serves as a scientific associate with the Texas/World Health Organization Collaborating Center, which conducts cross-cultural research and training in mental health and psychological factors in health.

Rudd's additional honors include the 1998 Texas Psychological Association Award for outstanding scientific contribution and the 1999 Edwin Shneidman Award for early career contribution in suicidology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Behavioral Psychology and a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and has been named in Who's Who in the South and Southwest and Who's Who Among Health Service Professionals.

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