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Kendra Cherry

Albert Ellis (1913-2007)

By July 25, 2007

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Influential psychotherapist and founder of rational emotive behavior therapy, Albert Ellis, died Tuesday at the age of 93 following an extended illness. His work and theories provided the basis for what is today known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has become an effective treatment approach for many different disorders.

While Ellis's ideas were initially met with resistance within the psychological community, a 1982 survey of clinical psychologists ranked Ellis as the second most influential therapist (behind Carl Rogers and ahead of Sigmund Freud).

In 2005, Ellis became involved in legal disputes with the institute that he had founded after he was removed from its board and his weekly Friday seminars were canceled. While he was reinstated last year after a judge ruled that he had been wrongly removed, his relationship with the institute remained strained.

"We all owe a great debt to Dr. Ellis," said Robert O'Connell, the executive director of the Albert Ellis Institute. "His students and clients will remember him for his tremendous insight and dedication as a psychotherapist."

Read More: Image courtesy of the Albert Ellis Institute


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