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In these lively and occasionally outrageous interviews, Albert Ellis, who many consider the founder of cognitive behavioural therapy, shares about the life experiences and intellectual influences that shaped his career and led him to create Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).

Considered by many to be the founder of cognitive behavioural therapy and one of the most influential psychologists of all time, Albert Ellis, founder of REBT, is nothing if not controversial. In two separate interviews with Drs. Arthur Freeman and Myrtle Heery we meet Ellis face-to-face, providing viewers with insight into the core principles of REBT, as well as the passionate and irreverent man behind this popular, confrontational approach to change.

With his characteristic style that some have called audacious and even obnoxious, Ellis unabashedly shares his convictions on everything from how "woefully ineffective" psychoanalysis is, to how most therapists placate their clients out of their own "dire need to be loved," to how self-esteem is "the greatest sickness known to man." He describes how he overcame fear and shame by forcing himself to give public talks and approach women for dates, and discusses his evolution from psychoanalyst to renegade innovator of his own approach, influenced largely by his studies in philosophy, general semantics, and his unwavering belief in the liberating power of unconditional self-acceptance.

One thing you won’t be wondering after watching these two interviews is, “What does Ellis really think about people?” In a refreshingly authentic, no-holds-barred manner, Ellis shares his honest thoughts and strong opinions on such topics as human nature, neurosis, self-esteem, therapists, spirituality, and death. When describing himself he says, “I have the guts to call a spade a spade,” and his no-nonsense attitude certainly comes through in these lively interviews. While he uses a lot of four-letter words and can come across as somewhat harsh and righteous, the heart of his message is actually quite loving and even spiritual: accept yourself and others unconditionally, no matter what, and don’t take everything so personally.

In the first interview with Philip Kendall, Ellis shares his opinions on a host of theorists in the field of psychotherapy, including Carl Rogers, Sigmund Freud, Aaron Beck, and Fritz Perls. This gives viewers a deeper understanding of each of these theories and how Ellis perceives other approaches, which makes for an even richer learning experience.

By watching this video, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the origins of REBT and how it evolved over time.
  • Describe the three irrational beliefs that underlie most neuroses.
  • Learn the key principles and techniques of the REBT model.

About Albert Ellis, PhD

Albert Ellis, MA, PhD (September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007) was an American clinical psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). He is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and the founder of cognitive-behavioural therapies.

Ellis published his first book on REBT, How to Live with a Neurotic, in 1957. Two years later he organized the Institute for Rational Living, where he held workshops to teach his principles to other therapists. The Art and Science of Love (1960), was his first really successful book, and later he has published 54 books and over 600 articles on REBT, sex and marriage. Many of his books are still amongst Amazon bestsellers (How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything - Yes, Anything! (1988); How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You (1998); How to Make Yourself Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbed (1999); Overcoming Destructive Beliefs: New Directions for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (2001) etc.)

A winner of the Outstanding Clinician Award (American Psychological Association 1996), Lifetime Achievement Award (Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies 2005), Lifetime Distinguished Service Award (American Counseling Association 2006) and many others, Ellis prior to his death was described as the “greatest living psychologist” by Psychology Today.

"I love my work and work at my loving," Ellis said. "That is the secret of my unusually happy state."


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