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Albert Ellis Essay

1810 words - 8 pages

Albert Ellis was born on September 27, 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in New York. He was the oldest of the three Ellis children and played the role of their main caregiver due to their parent’s lack of interest in such things. Their father was somewhat nonexistent and although their mother was present in their lives she was much the same. Ellis described his mother as a self absorbed woman with a bipolar effect (Ellis, Abrams, and Abrams, 2012, para. 1). He was a sickly child and developed a serious kidney disorder which led to multiple hospitalizations. These hospitalizations “turned his attention from sports to books” (Ellis Institute, 2014, para. 2) and he found enjoyment ...view middle of the document...

Shortly after receiving his masters degree in 1943 he opened up a private practice specializing in family and sex counseling. While at school he also wrote and published multiple articles on personality tests which he was “harshly critical” of (“Albert Ellis” 2013, para. 3). He received his doctorate in 1947 and soon after took teaching positions at Rutgers and New York University. Along with the teaching positions, he also became a clinical psychologist at a New Jersey mental hygiene clinic.
During his time at Columbia, Ellis found the topic of psychoanalysis quite interesting and decided to make that his focus. He sought out all the information he could on the topic and started to practice psychoanalysis under the supervision of Richard Hulbeck at the Karen Horney Institute. The more Ellis learned and researched he “began to question the effectiveness of psychoanalysis” (“Albert Ellis” 2013, para. 6). He soon stopped practicing psychoanalysis with the goal of finding a better form of psychotherapy.
In 1952, Ellis started working full time at his sex and marriage private practice. He soon found that patients he would see on a daily basis “progressed just as well when he saw them daily” (Ellis Institute, 2014, para. 8). He was continually changing his methods, but still primarily used a psychoanalytic approach. After using many different techniques on patients, he found a new pattern. He saw that when he played an active role and took a direct approach in his counseling that patients improved much quicker than when he used passive methods. This pattern would eventually lead to what would be known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, or REBT.
His newly found approach of psychoanalysis was slow to be accepted in the psychology world, but this did not stop Ellis from moving forward. In 1959 he founded the Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy in New York. He continued to research, practice his therapy, and serve as president at the institute until his death on July 24, 2007.

Albert Ellis contributed many things to psychology, but is most well known for a type of psychotherapy called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) which led to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In the 1950’s, Ellis finally found a better, more direct form of psychotherapy which he initially called Rational Therapy. This name was later changed to what is known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy in 1993. When he first introduced this new type of therapy, Ellis (2011) says he was “ostracized and criticized” (p. 5) by most of the psychology world. Now it is used by many professionals in psychology and psychiatry with great success. REBT is a combination of “cognitive, multimodal, and integrative therapy” (Ellis and Ellis, 2011, p. 5). It also contains influences from many important philosophers of past and present, work of other psychotherapists and behavioralists, and personal life experiences from Ellis. A quote that captures the main theme of this complex...

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