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At the age of 12 his parents divorced (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997).
These two life-altering events were, in part, what led him to begin focusing his mind on understanding people (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997). In junior high Albert Ellis dreamed of becoming a great novelist (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997) but by the time he reached college age, he decided it might be more practical to become an accountant instead. However, he planned to retire by the age of 30 so that he could then take up writing at his own leisure (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997).
Due in part to the Great Depression, his goals changed but he did go on to graduate college in 1934 with a degree in business (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997). After graduation he and his brother became entrepreneurs and started their own business. They sold pants purchased from the garment district (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Sheehy 1997). In 1938 a gift and novelty firm employed him as their personal manager.
Some of his controversial articles included The Influence of Heterosexual Cultures on the Attitudes of Homosexuals (1951) and Prostitution Re-assessed (1951) both of these articles were written for the International Journal of Sexology (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Ellis 2004).
Albert Ellis’ writings were groundbreaking material that opened the door to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the gay and lesbian rights movement in the 1970’s (Ellis 1992). These writings were controversial at that time and may have stigmatized or put a negative label on Albert Ellis.
However, these writings as well as references from his friends was how he formed his client base (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Ellis 2004). Most of Albert Ellis’ early clients were individuals and couples suffering from sex, love and marital problems (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 1992, , Ellis 2004). Albert Ellis also grew his private practice through publicity from his talks, workshops, radio, and television presentations which led to referrals from a number of psychologists with whom he had no personal relationship with (Ellis 1997).
Besides maintaining a full-time private practice, Albert Ellis also found the time to become the first Chairman of the first Committee on Private Practice of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Ellis 1997). During that time he conducted a study of the members of the American Psychological Association (Ellis 1997). This study showed that only 56% of the American Psychological Association members were engaged in some kind of paid private practice, and only 30% devoted 20 or more hours a week (Ellis 1997).
Only a few individuals including Albert Ellis were in full-time private practices (Ellis 1997). Albert Ellis also worked with Reverend Ilsley Boone on a New York District Federal Court to legally sell nudist magazines (Ellis 1997)_. _ They lost the New York District Federal court case and immediately start working on a brief for the United States Supreme Court and alternately reversed and New York district Federal Court decision (Ellis 1997). This was a major victory for nudists across the country (Ellis 1997). Albert Ellis quickly became an “Idol” for many American nudists (Ellis 1997).
Philosophical and Psychological Beliefs Albert Ellis experimented with various forms of psychotherapy keeping therapies that he believed work better than others and disregarded everything else. Albert Ellis began building his own therapeutic process and started questioning traditional Freudian psychoanalysis. In 1953 Albert Ellis started calling himself a “psychotherapist” instead of the traditional “psychoanalyst” label (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 1997, 2004). Albert Ellis thought that this change of title would separate him from the classical psychoanalytic practices (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 1997, 2004).
Albert Ellis had a passion for reading early philosophy e. g. Epictetus and Spinoza (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 1992). Albert Ellis also read famous works from the leading psychologist of his time e. g. Alfred Adler and Karen Horney (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 1997, 2004). His study of philosophy and psychology also led him to become interested in understanding the philosophy of happiness. Albert Ellis came to the conclusion that if an individual’s basic needs were met, the individual would be happy. He found that basic needs were only part of the equation for personal happiness.
Albert Ellis then focused on negative thoughts. Albert Ellis thought that if people had a rational philosophy of life they would rarely be emotionally disturbed (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 1997, 2004). Albert Ellis formulated a theory that psychological issues and emotional issues of the individual were causing the negative thoughts or what Albert Ellis called irrational beliefs (Ellis 1997, 2004). Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy Basics Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) is a therapy in which individuals change their perceived believes about perceived negative events.
Albert Ellis acquired several disabilities such as diabetes, tired eyes, deficient hearing, as well as other physical handicaps (Ellis 1997). Albert Ellis used Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) to overcome his negative perceptions of his disabilities. ” If you really accept it, and stop whining about it, you can turn some of its lemons into quite tasty lemonade” (Ellis 1997). Albert Ellis used rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), on himself, in 1943 soon after he became a practicing psychologist (Ellis 1997, 2004).
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) is an important and useful therapy still used today. First, an individual must be aware of their irrational thoughts or explain to the individual that the way they perceive an event is irrational. Then, the individual must replace the irrational thought with rational thought. Finally the individual believes in “unconditional self acceptance (USA)” (Ellis 1997, 2004). Unconditional self acceptance (USA) is when an individual learns to accept and love their self for who they are rather than what they do.
The unconditional self acceptance (USA) is reached when the low frustration tolerance (LFT) is raised and ultimately achieves high frustration tolerance (HFT) (Ellis 1997, 2004). The ABC’s of REBT Albert Ellis believed emotional problems that an individual suffers from are the link to a set of irrational beliefs held about themselves, others, and the world they live in. These rational beliefs perpetuate negative self talk in the individual’s consciousness. The negative self talk puts emphasis on “shoulds”, “oughts”, and “musts” of irrational thinking.
Rational emotive behavioral therapy attempts to replace these irrational beliefs with new rational thoughts. The process of helping the client change their irrational believes is a two step process. The first step is setting up or choosing for themselves certain happiness producing values, purposes, goals, or ideals; and effective, flexible, scientific, logico-empirical [sic] ways to achieve these values and goals and upload boarding contradictory or self defeating result (Ellis 1997, 2004). Rational beliefs or irrational beliefs shape who we are how we act.
Albert Ellis created an ABC model to help both the client and the therapist engage and treat unrealistic, immature, and absolutist modes of thinking into realistic, mature, logical, and a realistic approach to thinking (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). The “A” in the ABC model refers to the “activating an event”. Activating events are events that trigger or cause our beliefs and perception. The Activating event could be a real situation that the individual had experience are could be inferred event were individual their own meeting contrary to what the situation was (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 2004).
In Either case the activating event is negative stimuli cause by an event or situation triggers any irrational belief (Ellis 2004). The “B” in the ABC model is beliefs that shape an individual emotions and behaviors (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). In other word, an individual who experiences an activating event then forms a belief based upon that activating event affecting their decision-making about their consequences and/or reaction to other stimuli (Ellis 2004). These Beliefs can either be you’re rational or rational (Ellis 2004).
The “C” in the ABC model stands for the consequences of the irrational beliefs (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). There are emotional and behavioral consequences, either positive or negative, to a set of beliefs about the activating event (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). Individuals that suffer from irrational beliefs about a given situation will likely suffer from unhealthy negative emotions (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). Unhealthy negative emotions are extreme emotions that can manifest themselves in a variety of forms e. g. guilt, anxiety, andor depression (Ellis 2004).
The extreme negative feelings are so intense that the individual afflicted with these emotions often cannot function normally (DiGiuseppe 1989 , Ellis 2004). Albert Ellis does not believe that one should live a life free of negative emotions (Ellis 2004). Albert Ellis believed that healthy negative emotions were emotions that were relatively “low in intensity” (Ellis 2004). Albert Ellis believed that the healthy negative emotions experienced in a mentally healthy individual can modify behavior for the betterment of the individuals’ life (DiGiuseppe 1989, Ellis 2004).
Albert Ellis later added the (D), (E), and (F) to his ABC’s ofRational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (Ellis 2004). The “D” is disputing the irrational beliefs that the individual possesses about the activating event (Ellis 2004). The “E” or effect the person feels is only achieved when the individual or client successfully disputes the irrational belief and replaces the irrational belief with a rational belief (Ellis 2004). This will ultimately lead to a new effect in the persons behavior. The effect will then lead the individual to a healthier and happier way of feeling “F” (Ellis 2004).
The application of the rational emotive behavioral therapy’s ABC model allows people to visualize how their reactions to events are formed (Ellis 2004). Once an individual visualizes how irrational beliefs are formed and changes their behavior negatively therapy will, more than likely, be successful. The 4 steps of applying the ABC model Rational emotive behavioral therapy is an approach that makes the client participates in an active role in the therapy process. There are four steps in applying the ABC model.
As the client Progresses through the four steps will work through an individual’s irrational beliefs and use certain skills to combat any irrational beliefs that may arise after private counseling has ended (Ellis 2004). Step one is to reveal the individuals or clients irrational beliefs in their current mode of thinking (Ellis 2004). In many cases the individuals of clients have had these irrational beliefs for so long that they cannot distinguish their irrational beliefs from normal rational beliefs (Ellis 2004).
Also when the individual or the client has family and friends reinforcing their irrational beliefs, even though the irrational beliefs may not fall into societal norms, only reinforces the idea that their irrational beliefs are rational or normal (Ellis 2004). The first step, basically, outlines the treatment plan and formulates a plan of action to dispute the irrational beliefs. Clients must be aware of their irrational and rational beliefs and distinguish the differences between the two different beliefs.
In step two the client or individual expands their understanding of what is irrational and what is rational (Ellis 2004). This step is similar to step one, but step two the therapy is more in-depth and intense. In step two the client or individual must be made aware of their irrational beliefs and how the individuals’ irrational beliefs are perpetuating their own turmoil (Ellis 2004). If the client or individual continues to think unreasonable or irrational, they will repeat their irrational behavior and have continued unpleasant feeling that interrupt their normal way of life (Ellis 2004).
In showing the individual or client the pattern of their irrational beliefs and the consequences their irrational beliefs impose on them is detrimental to the success of their treatment (Ellis 2004). Only when the client can distinguish the difference between rational beliefs and irrational beliefs, can realize that the negative problems they are having are in direct correlation with their irrational beliefs, and can see the pattern they follow when irrational beliefs are present (Ellis 2004). Step three begins once the previous objectives have been met.
In step three the individual or client will learn how to stop illogical or irrational beliefs and change the irrational and negative pattern into a new logical and rational mode of thinking and behaving (Ellis 2004). This is achieved when the individual ceases the negative self talk and stop the irrational beliefs from affecting their mode of thinking (Ellis 2004). Many individuals have their irrational beliefs so embedded in their mode of behaving and their mode thinking that the individual may not even be aware that their irrational beliefs are irrational (Ellis 2004).
The client with help from their therapist will attempt to identify the irrational beliefs from the rational beliefs (Ellis 2004). In the fourth and final step the client has identified their irrational beliefs (Ellis 2004). The client along with the help of the therapist, work to modify the clients negative way of thinking and identify and change the clients irrational beliefs into rational modes of thinking (Ellis 2004). The therapist works with the client until a new set of rational beliefs are fashioned (Ellis 2004).
Once the irrational belief system is replaced by a more rational and logical belief system the client will notice negative feelings and negative behaviors change into a more positive feelings and positive behaviors (Ellis 2004). The rational emotive behavioral theapry techniques used by the therapist to dispute irrational beliefs can vary from client to client depending on the type of the client and modes of irrational thinking REBT Techniques Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy is a multimodal form of therapy (Ellis 2004).
Some of the different techniques used in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy include “Disputing the client’s irrational beliefs”, “changing the language of the client”, and emotive techniques like “role playing” and “rational emotive inventory” (Ellis 2004). These different techniques can be used to modify several types or irrational behaviors caused by irrational beliefs e. g. anxiety, depression, anger, and addictions (Ellis 2004). These techniques show the client how to refute their irrational beliefs in a precise and rapid method.
Disputing the client’s irrational beliefs technique is a technique that makes the client challenge their beliefs and modes of thinking (Ellis 2004). In this technique the therapist presents a series of questions such as: Why do you assume this? or Why must it be this way? When the client answers these questions the client start to realize that the way they are thinking is irrational (Ellis 2004). The language of the client technique disputes “the shoulds” and “the oughts” in the client’s way of thinking (Ellis 2004). In most cases the language used by the client forms their irrational way of thinking (Ellis 2004).
By changing “the shoulds” and “the oughts” into wishes, wants, and desires may change the client’s irrational beliefs (Ellis 2004). Example of Self-Application of REBT The techniques outlined by Albert Ellis shows how simplistic but meaningful Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) can be (Ellis 2004). Take for example when Albert Ellis gets impatient or angry about his various limitations (Ellis 2004). Albert Ellis says to himself: “Too damn bad! I really do not like taking all this time and effort to deal with my impairments and wish to hell that I didn’t have to do so. But alas, I do.
It is hard doing so many things to keep myself in a relatively healthy condition, but it is much harder in the long run and much more painful and deadly, if I do not keep doing this. There is no reason whatsoever why I absolutely must have it easier than I do. Yes it is unfair for me to be more afflicted than many other people are. But, damn it, I should be just as afflicted as I am! Unfairness should exist in the world—to me, and to whomever else it does exist—because it does exist! Too bad that it does—but it does! ” sic Albert Ellis lived a full and rich life filled with controversy and an outspoken attitude.
Albert Ellis fought for gay and lesbian rights and the right to send uncensored or “obscene” mail through the Federal mail system. Albert Ellis was also one of the first individuals start their own private practice as a psychologist.
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