Joel L. Becker, the clinical director of Cognitive Behavior Associates in Beverly Hills, California, received his doctorate in 1977 from the University of Georgia. He completed his internship at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center where he was a clinical fellow in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Becker founded Behavior Associates and The Boston Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the late 1970’s. These were the early years of cognitive-behavior therapy and Becker studied and interacted with the pioneers in the field (e.g., Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, B.F. Skinner, and others). During his years in Boston, Becker served on the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, the Veterans Administration, and several psychoanalytical institutes.
From 1990 to 2005, Becker was the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Beverly Hills. In addition to his responsibilities at the center, he remained active in the training of new clinicians. Currently he is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and a clinical associate at the University of Southern California (USC) where he teaches and supervises doctoral candidates in psychology. Becker also holds an appointment as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where he teaches and supervises psychiatric residents.
Becker was a visiting professor during the 1999-2000 academic year at the University of Parma and the University of Florence, Italy. There he was involved in training graduate students in cognitive-behavior therapy. During that year he also attended L’instituto per L’arte and Restauro where he received a certificate in trompe l’oeil and mural painting.