Albert Ellis

Dr. Albert Ellis, or Al as most called him, is considered by experts to be the second most influential psychotherapist in History - followed by Sigmund Freud.

It is a rather amusing honor considering Ellis stumbled into psychotherapy. Al began his training in psychology after having realized that he had a knack for helping others. He trained as apsychoanalyst. However, after a few years of practice, he became frustrated with the tedious, lethargic and, in his mind, inefficient approach. Based on a number of influences - including chance, Ellis created the first so called cognitive behavioral therapy. REBT was a revolution and 'I was hated by practically all psychologists and psychiatrists,'' he said. ''They thought it was superficial and stupid. They resented that I said therapy doesn't have to take years.'' Now REBT is the basis for almost all therapies, whether they know it or not.

Ellis was a character. He has even been referred to as the Lenny Bruce of psychotherapy a few times. Despite hiseccentrics, Dr. Ellis was devoted to helping others. To his end, he often worked 14 hour days - even from his hospital bed. He wrote and co-wrote more than 70 books, authored around 1000 empirical-journal articles and has taped hundreds of hours of self-help audio and video tapes. Even after his death, his legacy continues to support patients and REBT-practitioners alike.

After years of battling severely-poor health, Al, the tough-minded therapist in a tender-minded profession, died on July 24th 2007 at the age of 93.

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