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Albert Ellis & Cognitive Therapy

Jules Evans writes in Prospect:

Albert Ellis, the foul-mouthed father of cognitive therapy, is a modern Diogenes. Now severely ill, and at odds with the institute he founded, he remains convinced of the value of Stoic wisdom.

Ellis is considered the father of the “cognitive revolution,” which has caused a huge shift in the way we see mental disorders, and has led to the present popularity of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). He is also a colourful character, given to swearing like a fishwife (he has suggested that Freud’s ideas were “horseshit from start to finish”) and insistent on his view that “most human beings are out of their fucking minds.” You could say he is a modern Diogenes: foul-mouthed, free-thinking, trying to liberate us from the mental habits that make us miserable.

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