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The Myth of Self-esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever Paperback – October 3, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] stimulating examination of how the teachings of the world’s greatest thinkers and philosophers dovetail (or don’t) with Ellis’s three core concepts: unconditional acceptance of the self, others and the world....The book, which includes multiple self-acceptance exercises, may be among his best: Every page offers a fresh insight into rational emotive behavior therapy, Ellis’s doctrine of modern stoicism."
—Psychology Today

"Albert Ellis is a contemporary prophet whose ideas will be remembered along with those of Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu and Sartre. In this important book, he shows how to develop self-acceptance as well as to learn how to create healthy relationships. In a world of increasing involvement with machines (i.e., computers, televisions, video games) and decreasing involvement with people, nothing could be more needed."
—Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, ABPP
Distinguished Professor, Governors State University

"This wonderful book, as it helps us move toward greater compassion for ourselves, for others, and for our troubled world, is one more significant contribution by Dr. Ellis—not only toward greater personal happiness, but also toward a better world."
—Howard C. Cutler, M.D.
coauthor (with the Dalai Lama) of The Art of Happiness, A Handbook for Living

About the Author

Albert Ellis, Ph.D. (New York, NY), the author of more than seventy-five books, including many popular best-sellers, is the president of The Albert Ellis Institute for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. He has practiced psychotherapy, marriage and family counseling, and sex therapy for over sixty years. Other books by Albert Ellis available from Prometheus Books are: The Road to Tolerance, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: It Works for Me—It Can Work for You; Overcoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and Behaviors: New Directions for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy; and (with Raymond J. Yeager) Why Some Therapies Don’t Work: The Dangers of Transpersonal Psychology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (October 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591023548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591023548
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

(1913-2007) Albert Ellis held M.A and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. He was the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the pioneering form of the modern Cognitive Behavior therapies. He was the president of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York, where he practiced individual and group psychotherapy, supervised and trained psychotherapists, and presented many talks and workshops at the Institute and throughout the world. He published over seven hundred articles and more than sixty books on psychotherapy, marital and family therapy, and sex therapy.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Timothy M. Arends on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Albert Ellis performs a valuable service with this book. The mantra of "Self Esteem" has indeed become pervasive in today's society, but not due to Dr. Ellis. We are told that some children don't do well in school because they suffer from "low self-esteem," that people commit crimes for the same reason, and that if we can only figure out how to universally raise people's self esteem, all societal problems will vanish.

Last night I was reading the old book "Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow" (not written by Dr. Ellis). Good title, but by the second chapter, the author starts implying that if we're not in work we love, it must be because we suffer from (you guessed it) "low self-esteem." The rest of the book is devoted to telling us how we can supposedly "raise" it.

Ellis' point is that "self-esteem" is NOT the root cause of all mental problems, contrary to what many self-help "experts" tell us. In fact, "self-esteem" can even be counter-productive. If you have high self-esteem, for example, you may think that you "deserve" to be happy, satisfied and fulfilled no matter what job you have or what circumstances you are in. Dr. Ellis' point is that we must get away from obsessing over "self-esteem," both as individuals and as a society, and start dealing with the real false beliefs that cause us distress.

This book is not so much about not trying to achieve significant things in life as it is about not blaming ourselves when we fail, as we occasionally will.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Just what is self-esteem? Many believe we must have it; but here's a famous psychologist to say it's all a myth, and he bases his contention on the thoughts of some of the finest religious thinkers and philosophers of our times. Instead Albert Ellis in THE MYTH OF SELF-ESTEEM (1591023548 ) explains his Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as an alternative to achieve unconditional self-acceptance, using exercises which promote such acceptance over the more commonly held self-esteem.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By George Weir on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Many Americans are `self-esteem' nuts. They have been obsessed for long time to seek building and enhancing `self-esteem'.

But what is `self-esteem' anyway? Typically, in the mind of most people in America, it means `overall rating of your worth as a person'.

If you're an intelligent person capable of critical thinking and are willing to seriously think about the concept of this `self-esteem' stuff, you'll tend to feel that it's very confusing.

`I speak very well, so I feel good about my self'; then `I'm overweight, so I feel lousy about myself'; then `my school grade is A+, so I'm better than most people in the class'; then `I failed to enroll in Harvard, what a loser I am'; then `Cathy didn't invite me for her wedding, so I must be not good enough, I feel depressed', etc, etc. So, how much is your 'total worth'? No wonder so many people's `self-esteem' is in the hands of other people.

In order to rate your `total worth' (self-esteem) against other people, you have to enlist all of your strength and weakness and opinion of every people you know, and enlist all the attributes of other people you can imagine, and weigh them on a magic balance.

How this is possible? What's your overall worth to yourself?

THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! It's absurd to rate your `total worth'. It's absurd that `your total worth' depends on comparison with and opinion of other people.

As a person, you value your own existence, care for your own needs and naturally want to enjoy your life. So, based on reality, naturally you want to develop some skills and abilities to earn a decent living and also to seek to realize you potential. That's all. You're not perfect (not even close to being perfect). No one really is. You don't have to rate your `total worth'.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Bailey on December 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love the philosophy in this book. Well thought out and helpful. This helps you understand the philosophy behind REBT. It also points out how self acceptance is a much better thing to teach than self esteem.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A central issue in Rational-Emotive Therapy. Achieving USA (Unconditional Self-acceptance) is an important quest for everyone who is concerned with long-lasting happiness.
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By Pathcan on December 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Someone commented that it seems like two books in one. I think that is true as not only are issues of self esteem addressed, but also a great deal of comparison of RET philosophy and strategy with various views of other philosophies and therapies makes for interesting larger picture ideas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ellis gives various insights into what self-esteem and self-acceptance involve. His writing style keeps my interest. A good aspect of this book is that Ellis discusses the strengths and weaknesses of other well-known books on his topics.
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By Tomas A. Serrano on August 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a philosophical, logical, practical and scientifically sound study of self-acceptance and its psychotherapy applications.
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