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EP95 Invited Address 01a - The Evolution of Albert Ellis and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) - Albert Ellis, PhD

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Topic Areas:
Invited Addresses |  Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) |  History of Psychotherapy |  Psychotherapy
Evolution of Psychotherapy |  Evolution of Psychotherapy 1995
Albert Ellis, PhD |  Aaron Beck, MD
1 Hour 19 Minutes
Audio Only
Original Program Date:
Dec 13, 1995
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My own physical disabilities as well as my performance anxiety during my childhood and adolescence impelled me to read many ancient and modern philosophers who had worked on the philosophy of human happiness and unhappiness. Thinking about their views and adapting them to my own life, I made myself distinctly less disturbed as well as less disturbable. After I tried several psychotherapy systems-especially psychoanalysis with my clients for the first dozen years of my practice, I found them all woefully inefficient and often iatrogenic. So, I went back to philosophy, welded some of its best elements with experiential and behavioral methods that I had also effectively used on myself, formulated Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and have kept developing and adding to it for the past forty years.

Educational Objectives:

  1. To list three reasons why Albert Ellis originated REBT in 1985.
  2. To describe four important changes in REBT over the past 40 years.
  3. To list four of the differences between REBT and other cognitive-behavior therapies today.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*



Albert Ellis, PhD's Profile

Albert Ellis, PhD Related Seminars and Products

Albert Ellis, PhD, was an American psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He held M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University and American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He also founded and was the President of the New York City-based Albert Ellis Institute for decades.

He is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and one of the founders of cognitive-behavioral therapies.[2]

Based on a 1982 professional survey of US and Canadian psychologists, he was considered as the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third).[3][4] Psychology Today noted, "No individual—not even Freud himself—has had a greater impact on modern psychotherapy."[5] 

Aaron Beck, MD's Profile

Aaron Beck, MD Related Seminars and Products

Dr. Aaron T. Beck, M.D. is University Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) in the Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center. Based on his research on the psychological processes involved in depression and other disorders, he developed and tested Cognitive Therapy (also known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy), the most widely used form of psychotherapy in the world. He has personally trained large numbers of professionals in this specialized approach and helped to form centers for Cognitive Therapy throughout the world, devoted to both research and serving countless numbers of patients. Starting in 2007, he has directed the Beck Initiative partnership in collaboration with Arthur Evans, former Commissioner of Mental Health of Philadelphia, serving the Medicaid patients in the city. He and his group have been training providers, offering services to the most disadvantaged individuals in the city and state: severely mentally ill individuals confined to hospitals and jails, and also the homeless.

For several decades, Beck conducted research on the psychological and social factors involved in schizophrenia and developed a humanistic approach involved in activating the individual’s latent goals, motivations, and capacities, and has helped to restore large numbers to meaningful lives. His innovative approach in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania has now been extended to other states such as Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Utah. In collaboration with the National Association of State Commissioners of Mental Health, he and his Center have started to disseminate his approach throughout the country. In addition, he and his team are working with Gary Gottlieb, Chief Executive Officer of Partners in Health to adapt cognitive therapy to the needs of individuals in 27 developing countries.

Beck has described his work extensively in 637 publications, including 24 books. He has been named by Medscape as one of the 50 Most Influential Physicians in History: 20th on the list and 1st among the living. He has received the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, which “transformed the understanding and treatment” of mentally ill individuals, the 2006 National Academy of Medicine: Lienhard Award for the advancement of health services, the 2013 Kennedy Community Health Award, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Lifetime Achievement Award (June, 2017).