About Albert Ellis Ph.D.
"There is virtually nothing in which I delight more," says Albert Ellis, "than throwing myself into a good and difficult problem." Rational emotive behavior therapy is a direct and efficient problem-solving method, well suited to Ellis' personality. His self-assurance -- some would even say arrogance -- enables him to confront his clients about their beliefs and tell them what is rational and what isn't. The success of his clinical practice, his training institute, and his books testify that his methods work for many and that he is one of America's most influential therapists.
Ellis was born in Pittsburgh in 1913 and raised in New York City. He made the best of a difficult childhood by using his head and becoming, in his words, "a stubborn and pronounced problem-solver." A serious kidney disorder turned his attention from sports to books, and the strife in his family (his parents were divorced when he was 12) led him to work at understanding others.
In junior high school Ellis set his sights on becoming the Great American Novelist. He planned to study accounting in high school and college, make enough money to retire at 30, and write without the pressure of financial need. The Great Depression put an end to his vision, but he made it through college in 1934 with a degree in business administration from the City University of New York. His first venture in the business world was a pants-matching business he started with his brother. They scoured the New York garment auctions for pants to match their customer's still-usable coats. In 1938, he became the personnel manager for a gift and novelty firm.