Albert Ellis dies at 93

Albert EllisThe famed inventor of Rational Emotive Therapy, Albert Ellis, died in New York yesterday at the age of 93. RET was one of a number of popular reactions against psychoanalysis that was developed in the 1950s (other influential challengers including Carl Rogers’ client-cenered therapy, Aaron Beck’s cognitive therapy, Joseph Wolpe’s behavioral therapy, and Fritz Perls’ Gestalt therapy). At first RET, which focuses on changing maladaptive behaviors by changing conscious beliefs, was dismissed by many “depth” psychologists as simplistic and superficial, but it gradually gained a steady following, and the flamboyant Ellis was ultimately lauded by the American Psychological Association for his distinguished professional contribution in 1985. A full obituary is available on-line (for those registered) at the New York Times website.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.