Saturday, November 10th, 2007
Remember that we are often unstoppable without even knowing it. The unimagined that is yet to be imagined can become the easy and mundane in a moment. A blind man who once was told he could never see again suddenly is introduced to a modern technological miracle—he can now see in a modified way. The unimagined that is yet to be imagined can become the mundane.
And so it is with great thoughts and great thinkers….unless a modicum of appreciation is practiced.
Albert Ellis founded Rational Emotive Therapy in 1955. He is the originator of RET, REBT, and modern day CBT. There are those that would like to erase his name and own his contribution to modern psychology. There also those will not allow this erasure to take place. REBT is a living gift that Ellis gave to each of us; such generosity cannot be erased if there if even a few who pledge to remember and remind us.
Albert Ellis developed an entire school of thought and life based upon the Epictetus notion that people are disturbed by not by things, but by their thoughts about things. Dr. Ellis died at home on July 27, 2007. His wife, Debbie Joffee Ellis, cared for him during his final days. The world owes him a large debt of gratitude, as he tirelessly pursued a belief in the power of the individual to shape his/her own thought, feelings, actions, and life.
His views have shaped my own to a profound extent. He was one of the greatest thinkers of all time. He encouraged us to “have a ball” in our lives by teaching us specific ways to influence our emotions through scientific thinking. He reminded us that we’re human, and he encouraged us to accept all that comes with our humanity.
I pray for his widow, for patients yet to benefit from his work, and for the perpetuation of the philosophy that he created and shared.
You can use REBT for many purposes. One great purpose in using it is to help you to learn to think more rationally. Why? Because rational thinking helps you to create a healthy emotional environment—one that allows you to reach your goals. When your mental energy is freed, you can harness your greater creativity and passion as you pursue that which has meaning for you.
Remember that the shoulds that you place upon yourself are causing you agony, guilt, and shame. The shoulds you place upon others are causing you anger—you are hurting yourself with your shoulds on others. The shoulds that you place upon life are causing you anxiety, fear, anger, and disappointment.
It is only the “conditional should” that is not damaging—you can tell you have one because it fits into the “if-then” format, linking an action and an exact consequence. (For example, “If I want to keep my teeth healthy then I should brush my teeth”) Ellis urged us to look for our shoulds, uncover them, reveal them, and hold them to the light of scrutiny.
We love to be reminded of the truth. A wise friend recently told me that we already deeply know the truth, we just love to be reminded because truth is often obscured through living. She said that we are like an onion, each layer upon us symbolizing the obscuring of the truth. She said that each time we are reminded of the truth, it is as though a layer is peeled back, returning us to our original onion core—the core that remembers the original truth that we once knew. REBT helps to remind us and reawaken us to our own personal truths.