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Albert Ellis

Albert EllisBorn: 27-Sep-1913
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA
Died: 24-Jul-2007
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Kidney failure
Remains: Buried, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Psychologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Rational emotive behavior therapy

Prior to becoming a psychologist, Albert Ellis worked in the menswear and gift and novelty businesses. His friends turned to him for advice, and thanked him afterwards. They urged him to make a career of his talent for listening and offering good advice. He became one of the twentieth century's most influential psychotherapists. A prolific author of brisk-selling self-help books, he helped millions of people come to terms with their inner turmoil, and became controversial for his declaration that religion is a form of mental illness, and neurosis is "just a high-class word for whining".

"Freud was full of horseshit", he said. "He invented people's problems and what to do about them. Tell me one thing about the past. I'll prove it's not what upset you. It's how you philosophized about it that made you disturbed."

He earned his doctorate at Columbia University, and opened a private practice dealing with patients' marital and sexual problems. Based on what worked best in those sessions, along with his readings of Greek, Roman and modern philosophers, Ellis became one of the early practitioners of cognitive therapy, the branch of psychotherapy more interested in easing patients' psychiatric symptoms than in offering revelations about the unconscious or facilitating personal growth. His theories culminated with rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), which seeks to help patients confront and take control of otherwise self-defeating thoughts, feelings.

He founded the Albert Ellis Institute on Manhattan's Upper East Side, but eventually accused the Institute's management of abandoning his therapeutic techniques. After he went public with his criticisms he was removed from the Institute's board, which also canceled his popular once-weekly seminars and barred him from teaching there. During the dispute, he continued teaching his public seminars, at a rented building next door to the Institute. After years of legal wrangling, Ellis won a 2006 legal ruling against the Institute, when a court found that he had been improperly removed from the board, and ordered him reinstated.

Wife: Debbie Joffe Ellis (therapist)

    University: BA Business Administration, City University of New York (1934)
    University: MS Psychology, Columbia University (1943)
    University: PhD Clinical Psychology, Columbia University (1947)

    American Psychological Association
    Humanist of the Year 1971
    Risk Factors: Tonsillitis

Author of books:
The American Sexual Tragedy (1954)
A Guide to Succesful Marriage (1961, with Robert A. Harper)
A Guide to Rational Living (1961, with Robert A. Harper)
The Encyclopedia of Sexual Behavior (1961, with Albert Abarbanel)
Sex Without Guilt (1962)
A New Guide to Rational Living (1975, with Robert A. Harper)
Handbook of Rational-Emotive Therapy (1977)
Anger: How to Live With and Without It (1977)
Brief Psychotherapy in Medical and Health Practice (1978, with Eliot Abrahms)
The Case Against Religion: A Psychotherapists View and the Case Against Religiosity (1980)
Overcoming Resistance: Rational-Emotive Therapy with Difficult Clients (1985)
Clinical Applications of Rational-Emotive Therapy (1985, with Michael E. Bernard)
The Essential Albert Ellis: Seminal Writings on Psychotherapy (1990)
A Guide to Rational Living (1990, with Robert A. Harper)
When AA Doesn't Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol (1992, with Emmett Charlton Velten)
The Art & Science of Rational Eating (1992, with Michael Abrams and Lidia Dengelegi)
How to Keep People from Pushing Your Buttons (1994, with Arthur J. Lange)
Better, Deeper, and More Enduring Brief Therapy: The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach (1996)
The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being: Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (1998, with Shawn Blau)
Optimal Aging: Get Over Getting Older (1998, with Emmett Charlton Velten)
Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach (2001, with Stevan L. Nielsen and W. Brad Johnson)
At the Dawn of the Sexual Revolution: Reflections on a Dialogue (2002, with Ira L. Reiss)
Ask Albert Ellis: Straight Answers and Sound Advice from America's Best-Known Psychologist (2003)
Albert Ellis live! (2003, with Windy Dryden)
Dating, Mating, and Relating: How to Build a Healthy Relationship (2003, with Robert A. Harper)
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: It Works for Me, It Can Work for You (2004)
The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever (2006)


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