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Albert Ellis papers, 1920-2007 bulk 1965-1997 

Ellis, Albert, 1913-2007,.
Phys. Desc: 
218 linear feet (218 linear feet 215 record cartons 1 document box 6 oversize document boxes)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Albert Ellis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 27, 1913 to Hettie and Henry Oscar Ellis. He was the eldest son, with a brother, Paul, and sister Janet. Not long after Ellis was born, his family moved to New York City, where he was raised. When Ellis was 12 years old, his parents divorced. As a child, he also suffered from kidney disorder. He became a voracious reader, focusing on philosophy, and used many of these philosophic teachings to train himself to tackle his shyness and overall anxiety about a variety of undertakings in life. Ellis wanted to be a writer, more specifically a novelist. Between the ages of 19-28, he sent multiple book-length manuscripts out for publication. After continuous rejection, he decided to attempt non-fiction instead. He began to write about sex and many of his friends and family sought his advice. He enjoyed counseling and decided to become a professional therapist. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the City College of New York in 1934, and M.A. (1943), and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University in 1947. During the 1940s, Ellis taught at Rutgers and New York University. He also acted as senior clinical psychologist at the New Jersey Mental Hygiene Clinic, served as Chief Psychologist of the New Jersey State Diagnostic Center and at the New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies. In addition, he acted as consultant in clinical psychology to the New York City Board of Education and to the Veterans Administration. Ellis originated Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in 1955 as a cognitive behavioral system of psychotherapy. REBT teaches clients to use cognitive, emotive, and behavioral methods to counter their self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors. During the 1960s and 1970s, similar forms of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) were developed, many of which drew on REBT. In 1957, Ellis published his first book on REBT, How to Live with a Neurotic. He went on to publish 54 books and hundreds of articles. He founded and organized the Institute for Rational Living (Albert Ellis Institute) in 1959, in Manhattan where it is still operating presently. He gave Friday Night Workshops, which demonstrated REBT methodology in a public forum, at the Institute for over 30 years. Ellis served as President Emeritus of the Institute until his death on July 24, 2007. Ellis is survived by his wife, Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, who continues his legacy by advocating for REBT through presentations, articles, and counseling. Ellis served as President and fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division of Consulting Psychology. He was a president, of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, and was a fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of Applied Anthropology. He was a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, of the Clinical Hypnosis of the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, of the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists, and of the American Board of Sexology. Ellis has been President of the Advisory Council of Distinguished Humanists, has served as Vice-President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, as Chairman of the Marriage Counseling Section of the National Council of Family Relations, and as Executive Committee Member of the Divisions of Psychotherapy and of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and of the New York Society of Clinical Psychologists. Ellis has served as Consulting or Associate Editor of the following journals: • Journal of Marital and Family Therapy • The International Journal of Sexology • Existential Psychiatry • The Journal of Individual Psychology • The Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy • Journal of Sex, Research • Voices: the Art and Science of Psychotherapy • Cognitive Therapy and Research • Psychological Reports • Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy • Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy • Psychotherapy in Private Practice • Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality • International Journal of Eclectic and Integrative Psychotherapy

Scope and Contents

This collection encompasses the professional and personal life of psychologist and pioneer of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Albert Ellis. This collection consists of materials related to Albert Ellis's long career as a psychologist, sexologist, and pioneer of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Records consist of correspondence, publications, photographs, notebooks, notecards, reel to reel audio tapes, audio cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and Dictaphone tapes.