Dear colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Dr. Albert Ellis, a member of our Institute, passed away at home in New York City in his apartment on the top floor of the Albert Ellis Institute shortly after midnight on the morning of July 24, 2007. I believe that by his death, we are witnesing the end of an era in psychotherapy dominated by “genius and giant personalities” (e.g., Ellis, Erickson, Freud, Jung, Perls, Rogers), the new leaders of the current period being centered – according to the modern rules of the field – on the “scientist-practitioner” rather than “spiritual leader” model.

Albert Ellis is the grandfather of cognitive-behavioral therapy and the father of rational emotive behavior therapy. Beyond this astonishing contribution to the health field (e.g., the ABC model, which is the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapies), some of his more specific innovations in psychotherapy are related to (1) the use of humor and a “confrontational” style in cognitive restructuring, in well-established conditions (e.g., depending on the type of client, type of problems etc.); (2) the role of demandigness and catastrophizing cognitive processes in psychopathology and the role of cognitive process of acceptance in health promotion; and (3) the role of metacognition (i.e., secondary disturbances) and metaemotions (i.e., secondary emotions in his terms) in the psychotherapy process. Rational-emotive & cognitive-behavioral therapy (REBT/CBT) is today widely acclaimed as a pioneering approach to psychotherapy and the foundation of modern cognitive behavior therapies. In 2003, the American Psychological Association named Dr. Ellis one of the most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century. More info. about the extraordinary activity and life of this giant of psychology and psychotherapy can be found here, here and here.

Our recent tribute to him is the “RETMAN CONCEPT”. RETMAN was a cartoon character, invented at the Albert Ellis Institute during the ’80s in order to better promote REBT/CBT in children and adolescents; he was modeled to represent Albert Ellis himself, the original Rational Emotive Therapist. Recently, we have updated the character, for modern times, and now, deeply sorrowed by the death of Dr. Albert Ellis (the real “RETMAN”), we will dedicate this new character to his memory. You will be able, for a long time from now, to meet RETMAN here.

The Great Albert Ellis will always survive in our work, hearts, and memories.

Yours, “Aaron T. Beck” Professor, Ph.D., Daniel David

Head of Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy