ALBERT ELLIS: HIS LIFE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Albert Ellis is the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and the President of the Albert Ellis Institute. He has been referred to as one of the most influential psychotherapists in America (see: Davison, Neale and Kring, 2003) and has written or edited more than 50 books and monographs as well as published over 700 articles. In addition, Ellis has received numerous awards from such prestigious organizations as the American Psychological Association, the American Humanist Association, the American Academy of Psychotherapists, the Society for the Study for Scientific Sex, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and the Academy of Psychologists in Marital and Family Therapy. The purpose of this paper is to examine the life of Albert Ellis. The paper focuses on his formative experiences, his theory and methods of therapy (emphasizing their contribution to psychology), and also reviews the research findings related to his work. The next section of the paper presents some critiques of REBT in relation to contemporary views of psychology. The paper ends with a brief summary and the formulation of conclusions formulated based on the reviewed material.
As to the influences that facilitated his many accomplishments, Weiner's (1988) biography of Albert Ellis indicates that there were two life-changing situations in Ellis' life. Born in 1913 in New York City, when Ellis was four and a half years of age and living in the Bronx, he was hospitalized for ten months for nephritis. He said that he had a lot of anxiety over this and was lonely a good deal of the time. This period is identified by Ellis as formative because it led to his earliest "experiments" in rational thinking. For example, he thought a good deal about death and dying, concluding, "If I die, I die..It's not the end of the world."
From this point on, Ellis handled life's disappointments and f...