Albert Ellis, the psychotherapist who played a large role in the development of cognitive behavioral therapy and the self-help movement, passed away in 2007. But a new book chronicles the story of his life, a story which sets the groundwork for his professional work in the field of psychology. The book, Ellis’ autobiography, is titled “ALL OUT!” and was written by Ellis in an attempt to be as forthcoming, as all-out, as possible about his personal successes and failures. One of Ellis’ main personal and professional convictions was that of self-acceptance: “to feel sorry about but unashamed of” one’s personal flaws and mistakes. By owning them, it gives us the opportunity to take them into our own hands and change ourselves for the better.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most widely-used types of psychotherapy. It focuses on working closely with the therapist to identify problems and stresses, then creating individual goals to improve those situations. By working through life’s important issues with a good therapist, a person can become more aware of his or her strengths and weakness, as well as the relationships between beliefs, thoughts, and actual behaviors. Understanding why we respond to things the way we do is one of the chief benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, as it helps us be more aware of ourselves and more conscious of or own behaviors.
In addition to helping develop cognitive behavioral therapy, Ellis developed a specific form of psychotherapy that is considered to be quite successful: rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT. He played a large role in the growth and respect of cognitive behavioral therapy and influenced the self-help movement with his strong belief in self-acceptance and self-improvement as two of the core pillars of personal growth. His autobiography illustrates how Ellis’ own personal experiences led him to the beliefs and understandings that underscored early cognitive behavioral therapy and led to its wide success today.
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