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Rational Emotive Family Therapy Essay

1667 words - 7 pages

The father of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is Albert Ellis. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1913, New York became Dr. Ellis’ home since his family move there when he was four years old. Ellis struggled with health problems and physical ailments from childhood until his death in 2007. As a child, Ellis survived on his own as his parents were absent. His father was a traveling business person and his mother was emotionally absent (Albert Ellis Institute, 2012). The foundation of REBT developed when a youthful Ellis utilized a philosophy of viewing life to deal with his physical and family issues (Corey, 2013).

In 1934, Ellis received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the City University of New York. Ellis discovered eight years later through giving advice to friends that he liked counseling as well as writing. So in 1942, he returned to school to pursue a graduate degree in clinical-psychology from Columbia University (Albert Ellis Institute, 2012). After earning his master’s degree in 1943, he had a private practice in family and sex counseling as he was earning his doctoral degree. In 1947, Ellis received his doctor of philosophy degree from Teachers College at Columbia University. During graduate school, Ellis believed that psychoanalysis was the most effective form of therapy (Corey, 2013).

Initially, Ellis decided to become a psychoanalyst but most psychoanalytic institutes rejected novices who were not medical doctors (Corey, 2013). He located an analyst with the Karen Horney group who decided to train with him. Ellis completed a full analysis and practiced psychoanalytic therapy with a focus on the areas of personality assessment and marriage and family therapy. In the late 1940’s, Ellis taught at Rutgers and New York University. Additionally, he was the senior clinical psychologist at the Northern New Jersey Mental Hygiene Clinic during this period. Later, Ellis became the chief psychologist at both the New Jersey Diagnostic Center and then New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies (Albert Ellis Institute, 2012).

In the 1950s, Ellis grew dissatisfied with the effect of analytic forms of therapy since he discovered that his clients progressed as well when saw them bi-weekly, weekly, or daily. At that point, Ellis took a more active role counseling people with family or sex problems. Furthermore, Ellis discovered his clients seemed to progress more rapidly than when he used passive psychoanalytic procedures. By 1955, Ellis had abandoned psychoanalysis entirely with his clients. Moreover, Ellis concentrated on altering client’s behavior by challenging them with their irrational beliefs and influencing them to apply rational ones. This new method was more suited to Ellis’ personality since he could be more himself (Corey, 2013).

Ellis believed rational-emotive suited his own personality processes. In 1957, Ellis published his first book, How to Live with a Neurotic, based...

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