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Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Legacy of Albert Ellis

  • ID: 2175103
  • Book
  • November 2010
  • Region: Global
  • 324 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Albert Ellis, one of the world s most influential psychologists, founded Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in the 1950s. Over the years, this pioneering form of cognitive behavior therapy has advanced the emotional well–being of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Yet while Ellis s innovative approaches for helping people with emotional difficulties are well known, his views on the pursuit of personal happiness which have also influenced generations of people both with and without such problems are far more elusive. Ellis s powerful arguments in favor of the rational pursuit of happiness are set out for the very first time in this book.

Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness presents Ellis s views on how the principles of rational living can be used by anyone to achieve lifelong happiness. Transcripts of private counseling sessions and public forums reveal the great power of rationality and the self–defeating nature of irrationality. Drawing on 50 years of Ellis s writing, Michael Bernard shows how the emotional misery that arises from irrational thinking of the human psyche can obstruct our innate potential for self–actualization and happiness. In doing so, he firmly establishes Ellis as a pioneer of positive psychology and a human being whose superior intellect and years of public education and psychotherapy experience offer genuine insights into the eternal question of what makes for a happy life.

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About the author.


1 Albert Ellis and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The Early Life and Times of Albert Ellis.

Albert Ellis′ (Generally) Pleasurable and Happy Personal Life.

Albert Ellis′ Professional Life was Self–actualized.

Ellis Speaks Common Sense.

The Dual Nature of the Human Psyche.

Nature Nurture.

The Purpose and Goals of Life.



Ellis Abandons Self–esteem.

Finding Happiness: No Apologies Needed.

2 Why We Get Unhappy.

What is Unhappiness?

Thinking Makes It So.

Irrational Thinking.

Irrational Beliefs that Create Unhappiness.

The Strength of Irrational Convictions.

People Upset Themselves About Being Upset.

3 Refusing to Become Desperately Unhappy.

The Development of REBT.

The ABCs of REBT.

Disputing Methods and New Rational Effects.

The Elegant Solution.

Fun and Humor.

4 The Philosophy of Happiness: Principles of Rational Living.

Rational Principle 1: Self–interest.

Rational Principle 2: Social Interest.

Rational Principle 3: Self–direction.

Rational Principle 4: Self–acceptance.

Rational Principle 5: Tolerance of Others.

Rational Principle 6: Short–term and Long–term Hedonism.

Rational Principle 7: Commitment to Creative, Absorbing Activities and Pursuits.

Rational Principle 8: Responsible Risk–taking and Experimenting.

Rational Principle 9: High Frustration Tolerance and Willpower.

Rational Principle 10: Problem Solving.

Rational Principle 11: Scientific Thinking and Flexibility.

The Rational Mindset of a Happy and Fulfilled Person.

5 Love.

Love Slobbism.

Romantic Love.

Jealousy and Possessiveness.

Keeping Love Alive.

6 Relationships.

Encountering Suitable Partners.



7 Sex.

The Right to Sexual Enjoyment.

Ellis on Sexual Morality.

A Rational Approach to Sex Problems.

8 Women.



Dating and Mating.


Programs for Women.

9 Homosexuality.

Irrationality and Homosexuality.

REBT Counseling.


10 Work.

Emotional Problems about Practical Problems at Work.

Enhancing Decisiveness.

Poor Self–Esteem in the Workplace.



11 Children and Parents.

Parenting Styles and Discipline.

Overcoming the Emotional Stresses of Parenting.

How Parents Can Help Solve Problems of Their Children.

Relating to Your Parents.

12 Death and Dying.

A Humanistic Conception of Death.

Rational Living with Dying.

13 Rational Living in an Irrational World.

14 Albert Ellis Interviewed by Michael E. Bernard.

On a Philosophy of Life as Therapy.

On Religion.

On Spirituality.

On Politics.

On the Mental Health of People in the Twenty–first Century.

On the Future of the Human Race.

On the Future of REBT.

On Rational Beliefs and the Degree of Self–acceptance.

On the Need to Strengthen Rational Beliefs.

On Self–downing.

On Self–Actualizing.

On Homosexuality.

On Marriage.

On Sex.

On the Use of REBT in Diverse Cultures.

On the Use of REBT with Men and Women.

On Dispelling Myths about REBT.

On the Professional Acceptance of REBT.

On His Work Ethic.

On His Morning Mindset.

On Dealing with Physical Ailments.

On Satisfying Moments Over the Years.

On His Recent Pleasurable Moments.

On His Regrets.

If He Had to Do It All Over Again?

A Rational Approach to Happiness (Article by Michael E. Bernard).

References and Acknowledgment of Copyright.


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Michael E. Bernard
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