Memory of Arthur Freeman

Memory of Arthur Freeman

Arthur Freeman, psychotherapist, researcher and cognitive behavioral scholar with multiple interests, has disappeared, probably due to a coronavirus infection.

Freeman historically participated in the elaboration of the classic cognitive behavioral model developing it in different directions from the initial ones of depression and anxiety disorders, encouraging its application to clinical scenarios hitherto little explored such as group therapy for adolescents and children (Christner , Stewart and Freeman, 2007), cognitive interventions in crisis situations and emergency intervention (Dattilio and Freeman, 1994), social intervention (Freeman, 2006) or educational and scholastic intervention (Mennuti, Freeman and Christner 2006) and above all cognitive therapy for personality disorders, working with Beck himself on the drafting of the reference text “Cognitive therapy of personality disorder” (Beck, Davis, Freeman, 2015).

Already this work of widening the field of application of classical cognitive behavioral therapy signaled Arthur Freeman’s open-mindedness, yet it was not enough for him. Freeman also collaborated in the development of cognitive treatments other than Beck’s, such as Ellis’ rational emotional and behavioral therapy or Mahoney’s constructivist orientations. Here he is, therefore, to write a work of analysis of the action of irrational thoughts together with direct students of Ellis such as Daniel David and Raymond DiGiuseppe (David, Freeman, DiGiuseppe, 2010) or to curate with Mahoney a book on cognition in a broad sense in psychotherapy (Freeman, Mahoney, DeVito, Martin, 2004). At conferences it was easy to meet him at round tables of comparison between different models, tables in which he represented both the exponent of Beck’s classic model and the critical spirit that sought stimuli, points of discussion but also of contact. His was not an easy eclecticism, given that he kept firmly on the differences between the various orientations, but an indefatigable confrontation that was rigorous and scientifically based.

He was a friendly man and open to cooperation. A few weeks ago at the Sigmund Freud University in Milan, unfortunately not in person but online due to the coronavirus, he gave one of his last lectures dedicated to the influences of psychodynamic therapy on cognitive behavioral therapy. This last argument of his also testifies to the variety of his interests. In hindsight we understand that he was already tried for coronavirus infection but he did not want to cancel the meeting. His aforementioned book on personality disorders has been translated and published in Italy, unfortunately out of print for some time. However we are happy to announce that we are curating a new translation and publication for next year. That’s the best hello we can give Freeman.