A Guide to Rational Living

by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper | Wilshirebook Co. © 1997 · 283 pages

Albert Ellis has been recognized as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century (#2, in fact, right ahead of Freud and behind Carl Rogers). Ellis was, essentially, the founder of the modern cognitive behavioral movement and in this Note we’ll have fun exploring some Big Ideas on how to get our minds right—from understanding the roots of neurosis, the ABC’s of suffering, and the importance of action, you’ll feel inspired and empowered by the end!

Can we really change such well-practiced mental attitudes? Definitely. Will it be easy? No—but those who diligently work with the cognitive, emotive, and behavioral “tools” of REBT have an excellent chance of success.
Albert Ellis & Robert A. Harper

“Thus, you may reduce your depression by using drugs or relaxation techniques. But unless you begin to think more clearly and surrender some of your Irrational Beliefs, you will tend to depress yourself again when you stop the drugs and exercises. To effect permanent and deep-seated improvements, philosophic changes seem to be best.

Again, we often encourage our clients to use medication, relaxation techniques, movement therapy, yoga exercises, or other physical approaches. We believe that these techniques may help. And we teach, as we shall show later, many emotive, dramatic, fantasy, self-management, and behavior modification methods. More than most other schools of therapy, REBT [Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy] employs a comprehensive, integrative approach to treatment.

We still hold, however, that if you would most thoroughly and permanently change your disturbed feelings, you’d better use considerable reasoning. Because a large element (though not the whole) of destructive emotion stems from unrealistic, illogical, and self-sabotaging thinking.”

~ Albert Ellis & Robert A. Harper from A Guide to Rational Living

Well, that’s officially the longest intro quote I think we’ve had in these Notes and this is #114. But it captures the essence of A Guide to Rational Living quite well so we’ll stick with it. :)

Albert Ellis, the co-author of this straight-talking book all about getting our thoughts in order so we can live happier, more fulfilled lives, was one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. In fact, he’s been ranked as the #2 top psychologist ever—right behind Carl Rogers (see Notes on On Becoming a Person) and ahead of Sigmund Freud.

He’s essentially the founder of the modern cognitive behavioral therapy movement that’s been scientifically proven to be one of the most powerful ways to help people get out of a funk and this book is a no-nonsense, kinda old-school guide to rockin’ it.

It’s packed with Big Ideas so let’s jump in!

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About the authors


Albert Ellis

Author of a timeless self-help classic.

Robert Harper

Author of a timeless self-help classic