Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Part One: Life’s Hardships,withDebbie Joffe Ellis

Books Mentioned In This Interview

Debbie Joffe Ellis, wife of the late Albert Ellis, founder of REBT, is a a licensed Australian psychologist and is licensed in NY as mental health counselor. She has a doctorate in alternative medicine from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines in affiliation with the World Health Organization, from which she has also received a gold medal (1993) in recognition of her service in the field of alternative medicine. She is coauthor, with her late husband, of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and also his autobiography, All Out! She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Teachers College.

REBT is based on the notion that we can replace our irrational and dysfunctional belief patterns with rational beliefs that better serve us and improve our lives. She notes that there are interesting parallels between REBT and certain (but not all) aspects of Buddhism. She describes trying life circumstances in which REBT enabled her to function and enjoy life. She lists many of the philosophical influences on REBT, particularly the ancient stoics such as Epictetus who was a slave. She also tells the story of her parents who were holocaust survivors. She points out that research supports the use of rational and cognitive approaches in therapy. She also discusses the role of gratitude; and emphasizes the importance of unconditional acceptance of self and others.

(Recorded on January 20, 2016)

Published on January 22, 2016


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