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Drs Albert and Debbie Joffe Ellis

Review of the book:
“Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy”
By Robin Thorburn

This 154 page paperback published by the American Psychological Association is one of Dr Albert Ellis’ very last books and has just been released in 2011.

His wife, partner and co-author Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis was instrumental in the organising and writing of the book. She makes an immense contribution with her knowledge of rational emotive behaviour therapy and it is little wonder that her husband has entrusted his wife to ably continue his work.
This is an outstanding, user friendly guide to help readers understand the uniqueness of this pioneering and very relevant methodology, which inspired Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy.

The monograph discusses the multi-modal effectiveness of REBT; unconditional self/other and life acceptance, the excellent rational emotive imagery technique, shame attacking exercises, group therapy, marriage and relationships, general semantics, disputing of rigid thinking and use of rational coping philosophies. The role of the therapist and client are defined and the aspiring psychotherapist is taken through the basic tenets of this world famous therapeutic approach that has helped millions of people.

The evocative and stimulating presentation of theory, methods and examples includes the presentation by Dr Albert Ellis of a powerful and insightful case history. Ellis, voted one of the most influential psychologists in the last 100 years by American and Canadian psychologists and hugely popular in the UK, explains before the case history why he has used such colourful language throughout his career. He vigorously pursues and effectively challenges the client’s non-self helping thinking. “Most people come in here very relieved. They finally get to talk to somebody who knows how to help them and they’re very happy that I stop the horseshit, and stop asking them about their childhood, and don’t talk about the weather, etc.”!

This is Ellis at his best, vibrant, resilient and determined to help free Sara from the neurotic ground that she so vehemently holds. A summary of the case history enables the reader further to understand this truly brilliant, potent, undiluted REBT approach. This encapsulates REBT in action and majestically crowns the potency of a vibrantly written book that would have the great man smiling with pride and satisfaction as his wife indeed ably continues his work.

This is the definitive training manual for the basics of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and is a must read for all students and practitioners of psychology and counselling-in fact members of the public will be able to benefit from it too!

Robin W. Thorburn ADHP (NC) MNRHP UKCP (H) FNSHP