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Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
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Albert Ellis, whose innovative straight-talk approach to psychotherapy made him one of the most infl

Albert Ellis, whose innovative straight-talk approach to psychotherapy made him one of the most influential and provocative figures in modern psychology, died yesterday at his home above the institute he founded in Manhattan. He was 93.

http://news.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/modern-psychotherapy/

Albert Ellis, whose innovative straight-talk approach to psychotherapy made him one of the most influential and provocative figures in modern psychology, died yesterday at his home above the institute he founded in Manhattan. He was 93.

Where the Freudians maintained that a painstaking exploration of childhood experience was critical to understanding neurosis and curing it, Dr. Ellis believed in short-term therapy that called on patients to focus on what was happening in their lives at the moment and to take immediate action to change their behavior. “Neurosis,” he said, was “just a high-class word for whining.”

What do you think is the best approach to psychotherapy?

97 comments so far...

  • 1.

    I think we still know very little about how the mind works and about the function and source of our emotions. Until we have a better understanding, we have a deal with a lot of trial and error in psychotherapy.
    In the meantime, there is no doubt that the consumption of psychopharmacological drugs has to be reduced dramatically. It is evident that they serve no other purpose than generating profit for the pharmaceutical industry. Most patients would be better off without them. Serious overconsumption of drugs is a deep shame for all working in the health care industry.

    — Posted by Edo Smitshuijzen

  • 2.

    Certainly not Albert Ellis’s approach! This pathological narcissist rejected introspection because he was such a psychic disaster himself. His shallow and ineffective treatment cannot match Freudian psychoanalysis in terms of explanatory power, depth, and therapeutic results.

    — Posted by Anton

  • 3.

    For those who have unlimited funds, psychodynamic methodologies are quite effective. However, those of us with managed care, luckily, there are less expensive ways to improve. RET has a wide range of application. I will never forget the very colorful diction of Dr. Ellis. He was quite expressive. The air was frequently blue.

    — Posted by David Whitten

  • 4.

    As a pretty neurotic, depression prone Jewish guy from the suburbs of NYC, I spent years in therapy with different psychologists and have used various anti-depressants. For my particular “crooked thinking” the activist, behavior changing philosophy advocated by Ellis worked. I found a great psychologist and spent time with him learning to see how my own thinking was getting in the way of my natural ability to be happy. It took time and real work but I am now out of therapy, use no anti-depressants and deeply content with my life. This type of talk therapy did more than prevent me from thinking about suicide - it taught me to live unafraid, to truly cherish each day and to be aware of self-aggressive thinking. I am truly, truly grateful.

    — Posted by Ted

  • 5.

    Dr. Ellis was years ahead of his time, yet drew on ancient sources for the wisdom that informs REBT. In particular, his homage to the Greco-Roman Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, was a brilliant use of classical ideas and ideals–Ellis and Epictetus both believed that humans largely create their own problems, and can think their way out of them with a rational approach to life. Dr. Ellis will be greatly missed. –Ronald Pies MD (psychiatrist)

    — Posted by Ronald Pies MD

  • 6.

    I think REBT goes deeper than mere CBT, although they overlap. CBT looks at cognitive distortions, whereas Ellis’ approach examined the demands that cause cognitive distortions. For example, “I always perform poorly” may be a distortion, but it is llikely to arise from the premise, “I must do well.”

    I believe that Ellis’ clinical approach/personal style was often imitated, but not captured, by many psychologists. There was often a philosophical underpinning in his seemingly off the cuff remarks.

    — Posted by Nando Pelusi

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