Albert Ellis

Albert EllisAlbert Ellis was born in September 27, 1913 and was die in July 24, 2007. Albert Ellis was an American psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

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.

During the his early career Ellis married twice. The first ended in an annulment and the other ended after about three years with no reports of rancor. Neither of these marriages nor the numerous paramours in his life ever provided him with children. However, his numerous love interests resulted in short-lived and conflicted relationships. There was a benefit in these relationships, in that it provided him with the background necessary to write his numerous books and articles about human sexuality. In his fifties he would commence his longest enduring relationship with Janet Wolfe an intern who would rise to be Executive Director of the Albert Ellis institute. In the early 2000′s Ellis began a relationship with Debbie Joffee, an Australian Psychologist who had come to the United States to study at the Albert Ellis Institute. This relationship became increasingly intimate and culminated in marriage in 2004. This, his final relationship, lasted until his death in 2007.

Despite the prominence he achieved from his publications and expertise in matters relating to human sexuality led to Ellis being one of the only psychologists in New York able to earn his entire income from psychological practice. Although continually modifying his technique, he was still primarily using psychoanalytic methods with his clients. However, the growth of his client base made the passivity and marginal efficacy of the psychoanalytic approach increasingly apparent. Having a penchant for efficiency he began exploring new methods that would more active and more effective. The approach that became increasing apparent was that was based on a consistent pattern he induced from his clients. He noted that virtually all people labeled as neurotics had in common the tendency to invoke irrational and rigid thinking. What Ellis noted was a major advance from the “misery, stupidity and symptoms” of Dollard and Miller (Dollard and Miller, 1950). In their integration of psychoanalytic and behavioral concepts, they proposed that neurosis was caused by the conditioned repression of thoughts or behaviors that resulted in anxiety.

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 controversial in some camps, 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. In the mid 1990s he renamed his psychotherapy and behavior change system Rational Emotive Behavior 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.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.

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