Life of Albert Ellis: Biography

Albert Ellis: is one of the heroes of psychology, whose life story, thoughts and success story should be examined closely.

I want to sort out a few impressive notes in order to better understand and focus on the life story.

1-) Albert Ellis is the second most psychotherapist in history. (Year 1982 USA and Canada Psychologists Survey)
    first place Carl Rogers, third place Sigmund Freud.


2-)Their father was always away from home. Their mother was irrelevant (Biography).).


3-) His mother was a bipolar patient. He was insensitive to his children, so he took responsibility for his brothers in the family.


4-) In his childhood he had to struggle with a few serious diseases. He spent months at the hospital.


5-) He studied first in business administration. Together with his sister founded a company… But the US sank because of its economic crisis.


6-) At the age of 28, he had many unpublished literature articles.


7-) He graduated from the Department of Psychology at the age of 30. (Second University)


8–) He was extremely shy among women at the age of 19. He also had a phobia of public speaking. At the age of 19, he forced her to speak to 130 women at the Bronx Botanical Gardens for a month. 30 women fled from him. He only managed to get an appointment from a woman. Later, however, he said that he had overcome his fear of being rejected by women and that he had overcome his shyness.


9-) He is the founder of Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT).


10-) Albert Ellis is considered the ancestor of cognitive behavior therapy.

Albert Ellis’s Family

Ellis was born in 1913 in Pittsburgh, USA. There are no published family photographs (parents and siblings), even though he has childhood photographs of herself.
We learn from Albert Ellis’ own writings about his family.


Albert is the eldest child in a family with three children. His father is a salesman who constantly leaves for business trips outside the home. His mother is an amateur actress with bipolar disease. She’s a housewife who’s not interested in housework. His mother was indifferent to his brothers and to his. Albert Ellis has often assumed the responsibility of his two younger siblings. He bought an alarm clock with his own money and woke his brothers to go to school. (source)

In addition, Albert Ellis reported that both of his siblings had depression. Nevertheless, he was never depressed. From these experiences he investigated the traces of depression as not hereditary. ( All Out! An Autobiography )

Albert Ellis’s Childhood Years

Albert was hospitalized due to kidney disease at the age of five. He had tonsillitis and severe streptococcal infection at childhood. Ellis was hospitalized eight times, one of which lasted about a year. He was between five and eight years old.

In later years, Ellis will talk about this period when his mother and father give him very rare and very little emotional support during their illness.
( All Out! An Autobiography )

At the age of nineteen, renal glucosuria was diagnosed with diabetes. His death in 2007 was due to heart and kidney failure.

Albert Ellis’s Youth Years

Dr. In a sense, Ellis has developed the basics of the Emotional Emotional Behavioral Therapy (REBT) approach in his youth to cope with his problems.

He maintained that the experience had left no scars. “I took my father’s absence and my mother’s neglect in stride,” he wrote, “and even felt good about being allowed so much autonomy and independence.”

nytimes.com

He was a successful student in school age. He participated in competitions and won.

The end of dreams and a new beginning

In high school, he had chosen to be America’s most famous novelist. His plan was to write a business section first. When he graduated from this department, he would start a very bright business. When he was thirty years old he would give himself a whole day to read and write.

In 1934, Ellis made the first step towards his dream. He graduated from The City University of New York with a BA in Business Administration. He also started the business by making big money. They started a company with his brother. It was a new attempt. Pants-jackets and coats matching service! So they were making suits in the fashion industry. This attempt failed because of the economic crisis in the US, which began in the 1930s. He went bankrupt and started looking for a job.

Afterwards, Ellis entered a job that was compatible with his dreams of reading and being a writer. He started working as a staff manager in a publishing house. In his spare time, he began writing short stories, plays, novels, satirical poems and articles, and philosophical writing. By the age of 28, he had many unpublished manuscripts. Despite working in the publishing company, he had difficulty publishing his articles. Instead of writing novels or writing poems, he began to give himself up entirely to philosophical writings. Then he continued writing on another subject: Psychology.

Part II

We continue with Albert Ellis’ life story and biography. In the first part, we have included Albert Ellis’ early childhood, family, education age and unsuccessful work experience. In this episode, we will give place to Ellis’ contributions to the field of psychology, his studies and his professional life.

A famous writer and Consultant !!

Albert Ellis’ writings on psychology drew much attention: ” sex-family revolution ” He started to write various articles about ” The sexual psychology of human hermaphrodites “. These articles began to be recognized with. Dr. Ellis began writing and consulting. ( source)


In 1942, he joined the Department of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1943, he completed his Master’s Degree.
 He then opened his own consultancy office and began consulting on sexual matters. Dr. Ellis continued her education and earned a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1947. During his education, he took psychoanalytic oriented psychotherapy trainings.


Albert Ellis found Freud’s work close to him, especially influenced by Freud’s work on sexuality.

The psychoanalyst institute in New York was still a student and did not give him the title of psychoanalyst. However, he did not leave this desire and went to the famous analyst Karen Horney and joined his working group. After completing his own analysis process, he began practicing classical psychoanalysis in the supervision of Karen Horney.

He has taught at Rutgers and New York University as a lecturer and has worked as a senior clinical psychologist at Northern New Jersey Mental Hygiene Clinic. He then worked at the Department of Agencies of New Jersey.

Albert Ellis begins to question the method of psychoanalysis

Although Albert continued his work with psychoanalysis successfully, he began to question the belief in the benefit of clients to this theory. Albert Ellis explained that psychoanalysis and therapies were slow in the following years.

The process of psychoanalysis was progressing very slowly. Some clients left without completing the process. A long time was needed to heal.

Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy

Albert Ellis read antiquity philosophers in his youth and particularly during his psychoanalysis; he realized that the ideas he read contributed to the process of psychoanalysis and accelerated the process. Dr. Albert Ellis: In some sessions, he began teaching his clients, using Epicctatus, Marcus Aurelius, Spinoza and Bertrand Russell. With this method, he began to get faster results in his therapies.

The excitement was growing when I saw the change in the irrational beliefs of people when they began to turn into rationalities.

Significant improvements in the behavior of my clients were motivated by the fact that I was on the right track.

In the late 1940s, Ellis worked on rational emotional behavior therapy (REBT). January 1953 he abandoned the method of psychoanalysis altogether. In 1955, he announced his method of rational emotional behavior therapy (REBT). In 1960 Ellis presented a paper on his new approach to the American Psychological Association (APA) at Chicago. However, he were met with a low interest. He was also subject to a lot of criticism. However, some agreed that REBT would have a huge impact in the future. Although extremely slow, dr. Ellis founded the Institute of Rational Life, its own institute, in 1959. He organized workshops, invited other therapists, and gave them trainings. Together with them formed research groups. The roots of the first cognitive therapy were laid in those years at that institute. His first publication, Cognitive Therapy, was published in 1956 on Rational Therapy.

1957, he published his first book, ın How to Live with a Neurotic ’. In 2 years, he established an institute called Rational Life. In 1959, he announced Rational Therapy as Rational Emotive Therapy.
Dr. Ellis stated in his therapy method that Paul Charles Dubois used some of the main principles of “rational persuasion” method.
Also, Ellis stated that he had been reading the Émile Coué since her young age and was more than impressed.

His work attracted a great deal of attention in psychology. Was selected as the second most influential psychotherapist in history by psychologists in the US and Canada. It is considered the ancestor of cognitive behavior therapy.

In the mid-1990s, he renamed rational emotional behavior therapy (REBT). (He was originally known as rational therapy and then rational-emotional therapy.) This emphasized the importance of cognitive, emotional and behavioral therapy in his therapeutic approach.

In 1994, he updated his original 1962 classic book Mind and Feeling in Psychotherapy. In the rest of his life, he continued to develop the theory that cognition, emotion, and behavior intertwined, and that a system for psychotherapy and behavior change should involve all three.

Dr. In 2006, Ellis continued to work at least 16 hours a day until he was 92 years old. (He wrote books, visited his teachers and taught.)

Despite health problems and profound hearing loss, Ellis never stopped working with the help of his wife, Australian psychologist Debbie Joffe Ellis.
In April 2006, Ellis was hospitalized with pneumonia. On July 24, 2007, Ellis died in the arms of his wife.
During his lifetime, Albert Ellis wrote more than 80 books and 1200 articles (including eight hundred scientific papers). He died at the age of 93. Ellis’ autobiography book was published in June 2010 by Prometheus Books as “All Out!”

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