Albert Ellis

Last updated

Albert Ellis
Albert Ellis (1913).jpg
Born(1913-09-27)September 27, 1913
DiedJuly 24, 2007(2007-07-24) (aged 93)
Known forFormulating and developing rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy
Awards2003 award from the Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (UK), Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 1996 Outstanding Clinician Award, American Psychological Association 1985 award for Distinguished professional contributions to Applied Research, American Humanist Association 1971 award for "Humanist of the Year", New York State Psychological Association 2006 Lifetime Distinguished Service Award, American Counseling Association 1988 ACA Professional Development Award, National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists' Outstanding Contributions to CBT Award, American Psychological Association 2013 Award For Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology
Scientific career
Fields Clinical psychology, philosophy and psychotherapy

Albert Ellis (September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007) was an American psychologist and psychotherapist who founded Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He held MA and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University, and was certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He also founded, and was the President of, the New York City-based Albert Ellis Institute. [1] He is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and an early proponent and developer of cognitive-behavioral therapies. [2]


Based on a 1982 professional survey of US and Canadian psychologists, he was considered the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third). [3] [4] Psychology Today noted that, "No individual—not even Freud himself—has had a greater impact on modern psychotherapy." [5]

Early life

Ellis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in The Bronx borough of New York City from a young age. His paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire, [6] while his maternal grandfather originated from Galicia, Poland in Austria-Hungary. He was the eldest of three children. Ellis' father, Harry, was a broker, often away from home on business trips, who reportedly showed only a modicum of affection to his children. By his teenage years, his parents divorced, and he lived solely with his mother. [7]

In his autobiography, Ellis characterized his mother, Hattie, as a self-absorbed woman with a bipolar disorder. At times, according to Ellis, she was a "bustling chatterbox who never listened." She would expound on her strong opinions on most subjects, but rarely provided a factual basis for these views. Like his father, Ellis' mother was emotionally distant from her children. Ellis recounted that she was often sleeping when he left for school and usually not home when he returned. Instead of reporting feeling bitter, he took on the responsibility of caring for his siblings. He purchased an alarm clock with his own money and woke and dressed his younger brother and sister. When the Great Depression struck, all three children sought work to assist the family. Ellis was sickly as a child and suffered numerous health problems throughout his youth. At the age of five he was hospitalized with a kidney disease. [8] He was also hospitalized with tonsillitis, which led to a severe streptococcal infection requiring emergency surgery. He reported that he had eight hospitalizations between the ages of five and seven, one of which lasted nearly a year. His parents provided little emotional support for him during these years, rarely visiting or consoling him. Ellis stated that he learned to confront his adversities as he had "developed a growing indifference to that dereliction". Illness was to follow Ellis throughout his life; at age 40 he developed diabetes. [9]

Ellis had exaggerated fears of speaking in public and during his adolescence, he was extremely shy around women. At age 19, already showing signs of thinking like a cognitive-behavioral therapist, he forced himself to talk to 100 women in the Bronx Botanical Gardens over a period of a month. Even though he did not get a date, he reported that he desensitized himself to his fear of rejection by women. [10]

Education and early career

Ellis entered the field of clinical psychology after first earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from what was then known as the City College of New York Downtown in 1934. [11] He began a brief career in business, followed by one as a writer. These endeavors took place during the Great Depression that began in 1929, and Ellis found that business was poor and had no success in publishing his fiction. Finding that he could write non-fiction well, Ellis researched and wrote on human sexuality. His lay counseling in this subject convinced him to seek a new career in clinical psychology.

In 1942, Ellis began his studies for a PhD in clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, which trained psychologists mostly in psychoanalysis. He completed his Master of Arts in clinical psychology from Teachers College in June 1943, and started a part-time private practice while still working on his PhD degree—possibly because there was no licensing of psychologists in New York at that time. Ellis began publishing articles even before receiving his PhD; in 1946 he wrote a critique of many widely used pencil-and-paper personality tests. He concluded that only the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory met the standards of a research-based instrument.

In 1947, he was awarded a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Columbia, and at that time Ellis had come to believe that psychoanalysis was the deepest and most effective form of therapy. Like most psychologists of that time, he was interested in the theories of Sigmund Freud. He sought additional training in psychoanalysis and then began to practice classical psychoanalysis. Shortly after receiving his PhD in 1947, Ellis began a Jungian analysis and program of supervision with Richard Hulbeck, a leading analyst at the Karen Horney Institute (whose own analyst had been Hermann Rorschach, the developer of the Rorschach inkblot test). At that time he taught at New York University, Rutgers University, and Pittsburg State University [12] and held a couple of leading staff positions. At this time, Ellis' faith in psychoanalysis was gradually crumbling. [13]

Early theoretical contributions to psychotherapy

The writings of Karen Horney, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm and Harry Stack Sullivan would be some of the influences in Ellis's thinking and played a role in shaping his psychological models. Ellis credits Alfred Korzybski, [14] his book, Science and Sanity, [15] and general semantics for starting him on the philosophical path for founding rational therapy. In addition, modern and ancient philosophy (particularly stoicism), and his own experiences heavily influenced his new theoretical developments to psychotherapy. [16] Ellis acknowledged that his therapy was "by no means entirely new", as in particular Paul Charles Dubois's "rational persuasion" had prefigured some of its main principles; Ellis stated he had read him some years after inventing his therapy, but had studied Émile Coué since a young age. [17]

From the late 1940s onwards, Ellis worked on rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), and by January 1953 his break with psychoanalysis was complete, and he began calling himself a rational therapist. Ellis was now advocating a new more active and directive type of psychotherapy. In 1955, he presented rational therapy (RT). In RT, the therapist sought to help the client understand—and act on the understanding—that his personal philosophy contained beliefs that contributed to his own emotional pain. This new approach stressed actively working to change a client's self-defeating beliefs and behaviours by demonstrating their irrationality, self-defeatism and rigidity. Ellis believed that through rational analysis and cognitive reconstruction, people could understand their self-defeatingness in light of their core irrational beliefs and then develop more rational constructs.

In 1954, Ellis began teaching his new techniques to other therapists, and by 1957, he formally set forth the first cognitive behavioral therapy by proposing that therapists help people adjust their thinking and behavior as the treatment for emotional and behavioral problems. Two years later, Ellis published How to Live with a Neurotic, which elaborated on his new method. In 1960, Ellis presented a paper on his new approach at the American Psychological Association (APA) convention in Chicago. There was mild interest, but few recognized that the paradigm set forth would become the zeitgeist within a generation. At that time, the prevailing interest in experimental psychology was behaviorism, while in clinical psychology it was the psychoanalytic schools of notables such as Freud, Jung, Adler, and Perls. Despite the fact that Ellis' approach emphasized cognitive, emotive, and behavioral methods, his strong cognitive emphasis provoked the psychotherapeutic establishment with the possible exception of the followers of Adler. Consequently, he was often received with significant hostility at professional conferences and in print. [18] He regularly held seminars where he would bring a participant up on stage and treat them. His own therapeutical style was famed for often being delivered in a rough, confrontational style; however, it should not be confused with his rational-emotive and cognitive-behavioral therapy school that is practiced by his students and followers in a large variety of therapeutic styles (e.g., often depending on client's personality, client's clinical problem, and evidence-based information regarding the appropriate intervention, but also including therapist's own preference).

Despite the relative slow adoption of his approach in the beginning, Ellis founded his own institute. The Institute for Rational Living was founded as a non-profit organization in 1959. By 1968, it was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents as a training institute and psychological clinic.

Work as sexologist and sex and love researcher

By the 1960s, Ellis had come to be seen as one of the founders of the American sexual revolution. Especially in his earlier career, he was well known for his work as a sexologist and for his liberal humanistic, and in some camps controversial [19] opinions on human sexuality. He also worked with noted zoologist and sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and explored in a number of books and articles the topic of human sexuality and love. Sex and love relations were his professional interests even from the beginning of his career. Norman Haire, in his preface to Ellis' 1952 book Sex Beliefs and Customs, applauded the work of the Society for the Prevention of Venereal Disease while he ridiculed its rival, the National Council for Combating Venereal Disease, who argued that preventive measures such as condoms would encourage vice: Haire called them "the Society for the Prevention of the Prevention of Venereal Disease". [20]

In 1958, Ellis published his classic work Sex Without Guilt which came to be known for its advocacy of a liberal attitude towards sex. He contributed to Paul Krassner's magazine The Realist ; among its articles, in 1964 he wrote if this be heresy... Is pornography harmful to children? [21] In 1965, Ellis published a book entitled Homosexuality: Its Causes and Cure, which partly saw homosexuality as a pathology and therefore a condition to be cured. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association reversed its position on homosexuality by declaring that it was not a mental disorder and thus not properly subject to cure, and in 1976, Ellis clarified his earlier views in Sex and the Liberated Man, expounding that some homosexual disturbed behaviors may be subject to treatment but, in most cases, that should not be attempted as homosexuality is not inherently good or evil, except from a religious viewpoint (See "Ellis and religion", below). Near the end of his life, he finally updated and re-wrote Sex Without Guilt in 2001 and released as Sex Without Guilt in the Twenty-First Century. In this book, he expounded and enhanced his humanistic view on sexual ethics and morality and dedicated a chapter on homosexuality to giving homosexuals advice and suggestion on how to more greatly enjoy and enhance their sexual love lives. While preserving some of the ideas about human sexuality from the original, the revision described his later humanistic opinions and ethical ideals as they had evolved in his academic work and practice.

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

Ellis published his first major book on Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in 1962. [22] REBT is an active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy, the aim of which is to resolve emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and to help people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. [23] REBT is seen as the first form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). [24] [25] [26]

Unconditional Self Accepting

Ellis advocated the importance of accepting yourself just because you are alive, human and unique - and not giving yourself a global rating, or being influenced by what others think of you. [27]

Integrity assessment studies

In 1979 and during the next two decades Ellis focuses part of his research on behavioral integrity through applied experimental psychology, focusing on reliability, honesty and loyalty as psychosocial behavior. Organizational commitment as a cognitive norm, evaluating concretely through images developed in his Institute.

In his book Personality Theories [28] developed with Mike Abrams and Lidia Dengelegi Abrams establish the opinions of evaluation of integrity understanding the reason of each personality can have a change in their attitude, reliability is the common factor of their samples taken and of the which great advances were obtained to look for a tool to work with the human mind.

Ellis and religion

In his original version of his book Sex Without Guilt, Ellis expressed the opinion that religious restrictions on sexual expression are often needless and harmful to emotional health. He also famously debated religious psychologists, including Orval Hobart Mowrer and Allen Bergin, over the proposition that religion often contributed to psychological distress. Because of his forthright espousal of a nontheistic humanism, he was recognized in 1971 as Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. By 2003, he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto. [29] Ellis most recently described himself as a probabilistic atheist, meaning that while he acknowledged that he could not be completely certain there is no god, he believed the probability a god exists was so small that it was not worth his or anyone else's attention. [30]

While Ellis' personal atheism and humanism remained consistent, his views about the role of religion in mental health changed over time. In early comments delivered at conventions and at his institute in New York City, Ellis overtly and often with characteristically acerbic delivery stated that devout religious beliefs and practices were harmful to mental health. In "The Case Against Religiosity", a 1980 pamphlet published by his New York institute, he offered an idiosyncratic definition of religiosity as any devout, dogmatic and demanding belief. He noted that religious codes and religious individuals often manifest religiosity, but added that devout, demanding religiosity is also obvious among many orthodox psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, devout political believers and aggressive atheists.

Ellis was careful to state that REBT was independent of his atheism, noting that many skilled REBT practitioners are religious, including some who are ordained ministers. In his later days, he significantly toned down his opposition to religion. While Ellis maintained his firm atheistic stance, proposing that thoughtful, probabilistic atheism was likely the most emotionally healthy approach to life, he acknowledged and agreed with survey evidence suggesting that belief in a loving God can also be psychologically healthy. [31] Based on this later approach to religion, he reformulated his professional and personal view in one of his last books The Road to Tolerance, and he also co-authored a book, Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach, with two religious psychologists, Stevan Lars Nielsen and W. Brad Johnson, describing principles for integrating religious material and beliefs with REBT during treatment of religious clients.

Political views

Ellis was a lifelong advocate for peace and an opponent of militarism. [32] [33] [34] He also praised libertarian economist Walter Block's book, Defending the Undefendable. [35]

Later life

Professional contributions

While many of his ideas were criticized during the 1950s and '60s by the psychotherapeutic establishment, his reputation grew immensely in the subsequent decades. From the 1960s on, his prominence was steadily growing as the cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) were gaining further theoretical and scientific ground. [36] From then, CBT gradually became one of the most popular systems of psychotherapy in many countries, mainly due to the large body of rigorously conducted research that underpinned the work of the cognitive therapy school (a key part of the CBT family) founded by Aaron T. Beck. In the late 1960s, his institute launched a professional journal, and in the early 70s established "The Living School" for children between 6 and 13. The school provided a curriculum that incorporated the principles of RE(B)T. Despite its relative short life, interest groups generally expressed satisfaction with its programmer. [36] Many schools of psychological thought became influenced by Albert Ellis, including Rational Behavior Therapy created by a student of his, Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr. [37] Ellis had such an impact that in a 1982 survey, American and Canadian clinical psychologists and counsellors ranked him ahead of Freud when asked to name the figure who had exerted the average influence on their field. Also in 1982, in an analysis of psychology journals published in the US it was found that Ellis was the most cited author after 1957. [36] In 1985, the APA presented Dr. Ellis with its award for "distinguished professional contributions".

He held many important positions in many professional societies including the Division of Consulting Psychology of the APA, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, American Association of Marital and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Psychotherapists and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists. In addition Ellis also served as consulting or associate editor of many scientific journals. Many professional societies gave Ellis their highest professional and clinical awards.

In the mid-1990s, he renamed his psychotherapy and behavior change system rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). (It was originally known as rational therapy and then rational-emotive therapy.) This he did to stress the interrelated importance of cognition, emotion and behaviour in his therapeutic approach. In 1994, he also updated and revised his original, 1962 classic book, Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy. [38] During the remainder of his life, he continued developing the theory that cognition, emotion and behaviour are intertwined, and that a system for psychotherapy and behaviour change must involve all three.

Public appearance

Ellis's work extended into areas other than psychology, including education, politics, business and philosophy. He eventually became a prominent and confrontational social commenter and public speaker on a wide array of issues. During his career he publicly debated a vast number of people who represented opposing views to his; this included for example debates with psychologist Nathaniel Branden on Objectivism and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz on the topic of mental illness. On numerous occasions he critiqued opposing psychotherapeutic approaches, and questioned some of the doctrines in certain dogmatic religious systems, i.e.:spiritualism and mysticism.

From 1965 until the end of his life he led his famous Friday Night Workshops, in which he conducted therapy sessions with volunteers from the audience. The 1970s found him introducing his popular "rational humorous songs" which combined humorous lyrics with a rational self-help message set to a popular tune. Ellis also held workshops and seminars on mental health and psychotherapy all over the world until his 90s.

Final years

Until he fell ill at the age of 92 in 2006, Ellis typically worked at least 16 hours a day, writing books in longhand on legal tablets, visiting with clients, and teaching. On his 90th birthday in 2003, he received congratulatory messages from well-known public figures such as then-President George W. Bush, New York senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Dalai Lama, who sent a silk scarf blessed for the occasion. [39] [40] In 2004, Ellis was taken ill with serious intestinal problems, which led to hospitalization and the removal of his large intestine. He returned to work after a few months of supportive care.

In 2005, he was removed from all professional duties and from the board of his own institute after a dispute over the management policies of the institute. [41] Ellis was reinstated to the board in January 2006 after winning civil proceedings against the board members who removed him. [42] On June 6, 2007, lawyers acting for Albert Ellis filed a suit against the Albert Ellis Institute in New York state court. The suit alleges a breach of a long-term contract with the AEI and sought recovery of the 45 East 65th Street property through the imposition of a constructive trust. [43]

Despite his series of health issues and profound hearing loss, Ellis never stopped working with the assistance of his wife, Australian psychologist Debbie Joffe Ellis. [44] In April 2006, Ellis was hospitalized with pneumonia, and spent more than a year shuttling between hospital and a rehabilitation facility. He eventually returned to his residence on the top floor of the Albert Ellis Institute where he died on July 24, 2007 in his wife's arms. Ellis had authored and co-authored more than 80 books and 1200 articles (including eight hundred scientific papers) during his lifetime. He died aged 93. [8]

During his final years he worked on his only college textbook with longtime collaborator Mike Abrams [45] with whom he co-authored 3 books along with several research articles and chapters, including the textbook Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives. [46] Ellis' penultimate book was an autobiography entitled "All Out!" published by Prometheus Books in June 2010. The book was dedicated to and included contributions by his wife, Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis, to whom he entrusted the legacy of REBT. In early 2011, the book Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by Albert and Debbie Joffe Ellis was released by the American Psychological Association. [47] The book explains the essentials of the theory of REBT for students and practitioners of psychology as well as for the general public.

In eulogy of Albert Ellis, APA past president Frank Farley states:

Psychology has had only a handful of legendary figures who not only command attention across much of the discipline but also receive high recognition from the public for their work. Albert Ellis was such a figure, known inside and outside of psychology for his astounding originality, his provocative ideas, and his provocative personality. He bestrode the practice of psychotherapy like a colossus… [48]

In the opening ceremony of the 2013 American Psychological Association Convention, Ellis was posthumously awarded the APA Award For Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. It highlights the profound and historic role played in the life and evolution of the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. [49]

Philosophical works

The Road To Tolerance (Prometheus Books, 2004) explains the philosophies underlying REBT - particularly an attitude of tolerance - and relates it to many religious, philosophical and social movements.

Prevention of unhappiness

"I think I can honestly say that I am one of the relatively few people in the United States, and perhaps in the entire world, who has not had a seriously miserable day since I created REBT in 1955. I find it almost impossible to feel intensely depressed, hostile, or upset for more than literally a few minutes at a time. ... Whereas I was desperately unhappy for a good part of my childhood and teens, this feeling is virtually unknown to me today. Instead, these days I almost automatically go after self-disturbances and quickly eliminate them. Not squelch, suppress, or repress them – I mean really eliminate. ... I derive considerable pleasure, enjoyment, and sometimes sheer bliss out of life. What more can one ask?" Albert Ellis, "The Road To Tolerance." p. 77

"Final wisdom"; 'what works best for you'

In the 'Final wisdom' chapter of his 2001 book, "Feeling better...", Ellis proposed that people try different tools to see what works best for them. "What works best for you may be radically different than what works for other people." [50]

Autobiographical works

Most of the books Ellis wrote after inventing REBT had a strong autobiographical element. He used anecdotes from his personal life to explain how the insights of REBT occurred to him and how they helped him cope with personal problems such as shyness, anger and chronic illness. [51] [52] [53] He also used anecdotes from client sessions to illustrate how his therapy worked. [52] [54] Two of Ellis last books were explicitly autobiographical. Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy: It Works for Me -- It Can Work for You (Prometheus Books, 2004) recounts his early life and crises in an unusually candid way. It illustrates the way he handled his problems, at first through philosophy, and later through the application of his emerging therapeutic skills and insights. All Out!: An Autobiography (Prometheus Books, 2009) —published after his death—is a more traditional narrative of his life and work (though it also meant to be an inspirational story of the use of rational thinking in self-help).


In his obituary in the British newspaper The Guardian, it was reported that some members of the psychotherapeutic establishment accused him of misinterpreting Freud and demanded evidence for his claims. [55] It was noted that others, such as Aaron T. Beck, had conducted more rigorous testing than Ellis. [55]

Ellis was often criticised for his language and his aggressive behaviour, [41] such as in his debate with Ayn Rand follower Nathaniel Branden. [56]

Published works

See also

Related Research Articles

Aaron T. Beck American psychiatrist

Aaron Temkin Beck is an American psychiatrist who is professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is regarded as the father of both cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. His pioneering theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression and various anxiety disorders. Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety, notably the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) which became one of the most widely used instruments for measuring depression severity. In 1994, he and his daughter, psychologist Judith S. Beck, founded the nonprofit Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy providing CBT treatment, training, and research. Beck currently serves as President Emeritus of the organization.

Irrationality is cognition, thinking, talking, or acting without inclusion of rationality. It is more specifically described as an action or opinion given through inadequate use of reason, or through emotional distress or cognitive deficiency. The term is used, usually pejoratively, to describe thinking and actions that are, or appear to be, less useful, or more illogical than other more rational alternatives.

A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern involved in the onset or perpetuation of psychopathological states, such as depression and anxiety.

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), previously called rational therapy and rational emotive therapy, is an active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy, the aim of which is to resolve emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and to help people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

Low frustration tolerance (LFT), or "short-term hedonism," is a concept utilized to describe the inability to tolerate unpleasant feelings or stressful situations. It stems from the feeling that reality should be as wished, and that any frustration should be resolved quickly and easily. People with low frustration tolerance experience emotional disturbance when frustrations are not quickly resolved. Behaviors are then directed towards avoiding frustrating events which, paradoxically, leads to increased frustration and even greater mental stress.

Cognitive restructuring (CR) is a psychotherapeutic process of learning to identify and dispute irrational or maladaptive thoughts known as cognitive distortions, such as all-or-nothing thinking (splitting), magical thinking, over-generalization, magnification, and emotional reasoning, which are commonly associated with many mental health disorders. CR employs many strategies, such as Socratic questioning, thought recording, and guided imagery, and is used in many types of therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). A number of studies demonstrate considerable efficacy in using CR-based therapies.

Daniel David is a Romanian academic. He is "Aaron T. Beck" professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. He was the head of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy of the Babeş-Bolyai University between 2007 and 2012. Daniel David is also an adjunct professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is the head of the Research Program at Albert Ellis Institute in New York.

Cognitive therapy (CT) is a type of psychotherapy developed by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. CT is one of the therapeutic approaches within the larger group of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and was first expounded by Beck in the 1960s. Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behavior are all connected, and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behavior, and distressing emotional responses. This involves the individual working collaboratively with the therapist to develop skills for testing and modifying beliefs, identifying distorted thinking, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors. A tailored cognitive case conceptualization is developed by the cognitive therapist as a roadmap to understand the individual's internal reality, select appropriate interventions and identify areas of distress.

<i>Your Erroneous Zones</i>

Your Erroneous Zones is the first self-help book written by Wayne Dyer and issued on August 1, 1976. It is one of the top-selling books of all time, with an estimated 35 million copies sold. The book spent 64 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list through November 13, 1977, including a spot at number one on the week of May 8, 1977.

History of psychotherapy

Although modern, scientific psychology is often dated from the 1879 opening of the first psychological clinic by Wilhelm Wundt, attempts to create methods for assessing and treating mental distress existed long before. The earliest recorded approaches were a combination of religious, magical and/or medical perspectives. Early examples of such psychological thinkers included Patañjali, Padmasambhava, Rhazes, Avicenna and Rumi.

Arnold Allan Lazarus was a South African-born clinical psychologist and researcher who specialized in cognitive therapy and is best known for developing multimodal therapy (MMT). A 1955 graduate of South Africa's CHIPS University of the Witwatersrand, Lazarus' accomplishments include authoring the first text on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) called Behaviour Therapy and Beyond and 17 other books, over 300 clinical articles, and presidencies of psychological associations; he received numerous awards including the Distinguished Psychologist Award of the Division of Psychotherapy from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Board of Professional Psychology, and three lifetime achievement awards. Lazarus was a leader in the self-help movement beginning in the 1970s writing books on positive mental imagery and avoiding negative thoughts. He spent time teaching at various universities in the United States including Rutgers University, Stanford University, Temple University Medical School, and Yale University, and was executive director of The Lazarus Institute, a mental health services facility focusing on CBT.

Rational behavior therapy (RBT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy developed by psychiatrist Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr., a professor at the Medical College at Howard University. RBT is designed to be a short term therapy which is based on discovering an unsuspected problem which creates unwanted mental, emotional and physical behaviors.


RETMAN is a comics’ character, associated to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Through it, REBT tries more efficiently address children, adolescents and the general public. This form of therapy approaches the treatment of emotional disorders and the promotion of mental health by modifying maladaptive/irrational behaviors and cognitions (thoughts).

Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr.

Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr. was an American psychiatrist, author of several books on emotional and behavioral self-management, Elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. He is the founder of the method of psychotherapy called Rational Behavior Therapy, the emotional self-help technique called Rational Self-Counseling, and the New Self-Help Alcoholic Relapse Prevention Treatment Method. He was an Emeritus Professor at the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington D.C.

Logic-based therapy (LBT) is a proposed modality of philosophical counseling developed by philosopher Elliot D. Cohen beginning in the mid-1980s. It is a philosophical variant of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), which was developed by psychologist Albert Ellis. However, there have been no independent, controlled studies to measure its therapeutic value or advantages over classical REBT.

Psychagogy is a psycho-therapeutic method of influencing behavior by suggesting desirable life goals. In a more spiritual context, it can mean guidance of the soul. It is considered to be one of many predecessors to modern psychology.

Mike Abrams (psychologist)

Mike Abrams is an American psychologist and co-author with Albert Ellis of several works on rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). He is best known for extending CBT to include principles of evolutionary psychology and collaborating with the founder of CBT Albert Ellis to develop many new applications to for these clinical modalities. His new clinical method which applies evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics to CBT is called Informed Cognitive Therapy (ICT).

Kishor Moreshwar Phadke, also known as K. M. Phadke, is an Indian psychologist, practitioner and trainer in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He held M.A. degree in Psychology from Pune University. He is first Indian psychologist who enjoys the unique distinction of being a Fellow and Supervisor of Albert Ellis Institute, New York City. He is best known as a pioneer of REBT in India. Due to his distinguished contributions to REBT, Indian psychologists consigned a unique title to his therapy – Ellis-Phadke therapy. He has authored 9 Marathi books, several popular articles and papers and co-authored 5 English books.


  1. Albert Ellis Institute
  2. Knapp, Paulo; Beck, Aaron T. (2008). "Cognitive therapy: foundations, conceptual models, applications and research" (PDF). Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria . 30(Suppl II): 54–64. doi: 10.1590/s1516-44462008000600002 . PMID   19039445.
  3. New York Times: Despite Illness and Lawsuits, a Famed Psychotherapist Is Temporarily Back in Session December 16, 2006
  4. Smith, D. (1982). "Trends in counseling and psychotherapy". American Psychologist. 37 (7): 802–809. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.37.7.802. PMID   7137698.
  5. Epstein, R. (2001). "The Prince of Reason". Psychology Today.
  6. "United States Census, 1920". Archived from the original on March 18, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  7. "United States Census, 1930". Archived from the original on March 18, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  8. 1 2 New York Times: Albert Ellis, Influential Psychotherapist, Dies at 93
  9. An Interview with Albert Ellis, PhD Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy Archived December 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Ellis, Albert (August 1, 2000). How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You. Citadel. ISBN   978-0806521367.
  11. "Baruch College Alumni Magazine" (PDF).
  12. "Founder of rational emotive behavioral therapy to speak about coping with disasters at SUNY New Paltz – SUNY New Paltz News". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  13. "Albert Ellis Biography by Dr. Mike and Dr. Lidia Abrams". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  14. Ellis A. (1991). General semantics and rational-emotive therapy: 1991 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture. Institute of General Semantics
  15. Korzybski A. (1933). Science and Sanity. Institute of General Semantics, 1994, ISBN   0-937298-01-8
  16. Albert Ellis institute: A Sketch of Albert Ellis Archived April 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  17. Robertson, D (2010). The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy: Stoicism as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. London: Karnac. p. 19. ISBN   978-1-85575-756-1.
  18. Dr. Mike and Dr. Lidia Abrams: A Brief Biography of Dr. Albert Ellis 1913–2007
  19. Elis A. (2009) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: It Works for Me - It Can Work for You, 2009, ISBN   1-59102-184-7
  20. Diana Wyndham. (2012) "Norman Haire and the Study of Sex". Foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG. (Sydney: "Sydney University Press"., p.395
  21. Albert Ellis, Ph.D. (1964) if this be heresy... Is pornography harmful to children?, in The Realist No.47 pp.17-8, 23
  22. Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy.
  23. Ellis, A. (1994) Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy: Comprehensive Method of Treating Human Disturbances : Revised and Updated. New York, NY: Citadel Press
  24. Ellis, A. (2007) All Out! An Autobiography. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
  25. Velten, E. (2010) Under the Influence: Reflections of Albert Ellis in the Work of Others. Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press
  26. Velten, E. & Penn, P. E. REBT for People With Co-occurring Problems: Albert Ellis in the Wilds of Arizona. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.
  27. p13, Feeling better, getting better, staying better, Albert Ellis, 2001
  28. Ellis, Albert (2009). Personality Theories. United States of America: SAGE. pp. Cap 9. ISBN   9781412914222.
  29. "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  30. Nielsen, Stevan Lars & Ellis, Albert. (1994). A discussion with Albert Ellis: Reason, emotion and religion, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 13(4), Win 1994. pp. 327–341
  31. Ellis A. (2000). Can rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) be effectively used with people who have devout beliefs in God and religion?. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31(1), Feb 2000. pp. 29–33
  32. "Page No Longer Available - UC Irvine Libraries". Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  33. "1,493 Notable Peacemakers Throughout History". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  34. "Index". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  35. Walter Block (May 1, 2008). "Defending the Undefendable". Mises Institute. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  36. 1 2 3 Yankura J. & Dryden W. (1994). Albert Ellis. SAGE.
  37. Maultsby, M.C. Jr. & Ellis, A. (1974). Techniques for Using Rational-Emotive Imagery (REI). New York: New York: Institute for Rational Living.
  38. Ellis A. Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy, Revised Edition, 1994, ISBN   1559722487.
  39. Recollection of Stevan Lars Nielsen, Ph.D. who was present at the 90th birthday party
  40. The New Yorker: The Human Condition – Ageless, Guiltless
  41. 1 2 "Behaviorists Behaving Badly - Why Albert Ellis Isn't Allowed at the Albert Ellis Institute - Nymag".
  42. NY Courts: Ellis v Broder (2006 NY Slip Op 26023)
  43. William Knaus, Jon Geis, Ed Garcia. A Message in Support of Dr. Albert Ellis from Three Former Directors of Training of the Albert Ellis Institute Archived March 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  44. "Home - Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  45. Abrams, Dr. "Psychologists NJ - Dr. Mike Abrams and Dr. Lidia D. Abrams - New Jersey Psychologists in Psychology for NJ, LLC". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  46. Ellis, A. & Abrams, M. (2008) presented a completed Rational Emotive theory of personality. Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, Ca.:Sage Publications.
  47. Ellis, Albert; Debbie Joffe Ellis (2011). Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. American Psychological Association. ISBN   978-1433809613.
  48. Farley, F. (2009). Albert Ellis (1913–2007). American Psychologist, Vol 64(3), pp. 215–216
  49. September 2013 edition of the American Psychological Association's "Monitor on Psychology" journal, Volume 44, No. 8, Page 10
  50. Feeling better, Getting better, Staying better, 2001, p235
  51. Ellis, A. (2003) Ask Albert Ellis. Atascadero, CA: Impact Publishers
  52. 1 2 Ellis, A. (1994) Reason and Emotion is Psychotherapy. New York, NY: Citadel Press
  53. Ellis, A. (1998)Optimal Aging: Get Over Getting Older. Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing Company
  54. Ellis, A. (1980) Growth Through Reason. Chatsworth CA: Wilshire Book Company
  55. 1 2 Burkeman, Oliver (August 10, 2007). "Obituary: Albert Ellis". the Guardian. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  56. "REBT vs. Objectivism… – Archiving Albert Ellis: Psychologist and Creator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy".

Further reading

Main websites

Articles and features