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Dr Albert Ellis Recognized with Posthumous American Psychological
Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to

It is with great pleasure that Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis, shares that her late husband Dr Albert Ellis will be honoured through the posthumous presentation of the prestigious American Psychological Association ”Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology”.
Past recipients include Drs Albert Bandura and B.F. Skinner.
This recognition of the significance of the work and creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy,
which laid down the intellectual foundations for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other popular approaches in therapy, will be given during the 100th year anniversary of his birth.

REBT was first presented in 1955, some 12 years before CBT.
Dr Ellis almost singlehandedly revolutionized the focus of psychology, pulling it away from Freudian Psychoanalysis which dominated the field at that time.
His writings and public stands on civil and humanistic issues changed societal views.
He created one of the most widely used approaches of psychotherapy used across the world today.

Albert Ellis, a Fellow of 12 Divisions of the APA, author of over 85 books and over 800
Academic Papers, and a striking and brilliant communicator, helped millions
of people to learn the tools for changing destructive emotions
and behaviours into healthy ones by choosing to think in healthy ways.
Embedded in his approach is the life-enhancing philosophy of tolerance and unconditional acceptance.

Dr Donald N. Bersoff, President of the APA, will present the award to Dr Debbie
Joffe Ellis, (to whom Dr Albert Ellis entrusted the legacy of REBT) at the 2013 annual APA convention in Honolulu, Hawaii in August.
She will accept it on behalf of her late husband and hopes that the recognition will encourage even more health professionals to learn and practice the impactful approach of REBT.

Dr Albert Ellis passed away on July the 24th 2007 with an important wish:
“…my wife and partner, Debbie Joffe Ellis and our supporters can preserve the original and modified theory of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, to see that its philosophy is practiced by its teaching professionals and students and that its integrity as a theory is backed by empirically orientated research”.

Dr Joffe Ellis added:

I firmly believe the following about my husband:
If Al were here, he would have been very happy to accept the award.
Not for any self-aggrandizing reasons: Al was in many ways a most humble man, but because of the depth of his care about people and his desire to help as many as possible to suffer less emotional misery and to help them enjoy and relish the gifts of life as much as possible.

He would have realized that the honor would bring fresh attention to his contributions, which include his vigorous and empowering approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and his hope would have been that as a consequence of the award more people would want to learn REBT and apply it. He would have hoped that they would particularly notice its emphasis on Unconditional Acceptance of oneself, others and life.
If he were alive, I believe that he would have graciously accepted the award at the APA Opening Ceremony, smiling his large, engaging and handsome smile. He would have said some words about the benefit to one and all when REBT is applied, and he would have urged all present to enjoy their lives fully and to help others to do so as much as possible.
He may have included a colorful phrase or two, bringing laughter from the large audience who enjoyed his unconventional character and fine wit!

After the ceremony and any other conference commitments for that evening we would have gone to our hotel room, talked some about what had happened, but not for over-long, as he would have wanted to give attention to the work ahead, and discuss our work plans going forward.

Sadly it will not be Al accepting the award on August 1st. 2013, but me without his physical presence.
Wherever I go however he is with me in my heart and mind.

It is possible that many attendees at the ceremony who remember Al will have an experience or memory of his vigorous spirit, brilliant mind and caring heart when the award is given.
And I share Al’s wish – that the wisdom of REBT will continue to touch the minds and hearts of many, making their lives more inspired, sweet and happy.

Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis

Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis and Robin Thorburn will be offering training courses and
seminars in REBT.

Robin W. Thorburn  Visit the published article in CBT Today