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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ellis's Tough-Love Liberalism, May 16, 2001
This review is from: The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (Paperback)
Ellis makes no effort to hide his political and social liberalism. He's quite open about his Atheism, advocacy of sexual freedom and skepticism about the values of capitalism. (For the last, refer to his 1968 book, _Is Objectivism a Religion?_, unfortunately now out of print.)
But unlike the whining victimization now embraced by liberal and leftist intellectuals, Ellis takes a refreshingly old-fashioned, but nonetheless effective, approach towards helping people with their problems. He emphasizes over and over again that people upset themselves with their irrational and unscientific thoughts about their situations in life. Emotional disturbance is a self-inflicted philosophical and ideological disorder.
Sure, people can be hurt or exploited by circumstances beyond their control, but how they respond to these circumstances determines whether they meet adversity effectively or not. Not that long ago, facing adversity with head held high was called "strength of character." Because so many people in our wealthy society grow up sheltered from real threats to their health and safety (as compared with children in those impoverished or war-torn places we see on the evening news), psychological "threats" assume an importance all out of proportion to their actual danger. The suffering is real, nonetheless, and Ellis has spent his life well in developing techniques for helping the emotionally dysfunctional to straighten out their emotions by identifying and disputing irrational beliefs.
This book contains a wonderful survey of Ellis's writings, showing all aspects of his thought and career. If you want to learn how to improve your emotional health, this book is a good place to begin.
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Initial post: Aug 28, 2009 2:05:57 PM PDT
Bravo! Good job!
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