Tag Archives: Albert Ellis


Albert Ellis has passed away at 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.”

The cognitive therapies, for which Ellis stands as one of the key originators, mostly buried the quaint psychodynamic therapies of the early 19th century. Ellis discovered that the ‘subject’ is capable of being objectively pragmatic about their problems and for an array of problems this insight caused a seachange. Just as important, his therapeutic methods were demonstrated to be effective in well-defined applications; which is more than one can say about the odd methods of Freud, Jung, et al. Ellis’s work is one of the cornerstones of short-term therapy, and, elaborated phenomenologically, his theories enrich interesting perspectives on cognitive complexity, social cognition, and folk psychology.

Ellis was a great influence on my own exploration of pragmatic adult learning.

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Curt Rosengren over at The Occupational Adventure has clipped part of an article (original) and the tag he provides reminds me of a basic tool I’ve been researching with my colleague Linda over the past few years. The tool, called Control Panel is a fairly straightforward exercise in REBT. It’s used at trigger points. It will be fully revealed in the up-and-coming squareONE web site reconfiguration. For now I affirm the general concept: take control of your dials!

Good worry is: an exercise in constantly looking for and anticipating possible problems, thus enabling us to take quick action to minimize the problem or eliminate it before it happens. And in the event it happens anyway, the right kind of worry can give us ready-made solutions that can be implemented quickly…

The other kind of worry is TOXIC worry. This is not good. Toxic worry produces negative feelings like vulnerability and powerlessness. These feelings tend to immobilize us. Or it’s ruminative…worry that keeps on going in circles, over and over the same problem ground, producing only frustration without any forward progress or toward actions to solve the source or cause of the worry.

The article goes on to suggest ways to both turn down the volume on your toxic worry once it starts, and avoid it altogether. read more: Good Worry vs. Toxic Worry

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