The Myth of Self-esteem by Albert Ellis
How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever

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Synopsis

What exactly is self-esteem? Most people, as well as many psychologists and educators, believe we need it, that it's good for our emotional well-being, and that it makes us more successful. World-renowned psychologist Albert Ellis says NO, it's all a myth.

According to Ellis, self-esteem is probably the greatest emotional disturbance known to humans. Self-esteem results in each of us praising ourselves when what we do is approved by others. But we also damn ourselves when we don't do well enough and others disapprove of us. What we need more than self-esteem, Ellis maintains, is self-acceptance!

In The Myth of Self-Esteem, Ellis provides a lively and insightful explanation of self-esteem and self-acceptance, examining the thinking of great religious teachers, philosophers, and psychologists, including Lao Tsu, Jesus, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Buber, Heidegger, Sartre, Tillich, D.T. Suzuki, the Dalai Lama, Carl Rogers, and Nathaniel Branden, among others. He then provides exercises for training oneself to change self-defeating habits to the healthy, positive approach of self-acceptance. These include specific thinking techniques as well as emotive and behavioral exercises.

He concludes by stressing that unconditional self-acceptance is the basis for establishing healthy relationships with others, along with unconditional other-acceptance and a total philosophy of life anchored in unconditional life-acceptance.
 

About Albert Ellis

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Albert Ellis was a clinical psychologist and a marriage counselor. He was born on September 27, 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ellis originated the rational-emotive therapy movement, which ignores Freudian theories and advocates the belief that emotions come from conscious thought "as well as internalized ideas of which the individual may be unaware." At first, Ellis' books on marital romance and sexuality were criticized by some as being radical and sensational; however, few realized that Ellis was merely laying the groundwork for modern sex education. Ellis was educated at the City College of New York Downtown and at Columbia University, where he received a Ph.D. in psychology in 1943. He taught for a number of years at Rutgers University, New Jersey, and the Union Graduate School. He was executive director of the Institute for Rational Living, Inc., in New York City. Ellis was the author of Sex and the Liberated Man, Sex Without Guilt, and Sex Without Guilt in the Twenty-First Century. Despite his health issues, Ellis never stopped working with the assistance of his wife, Australian psychologist Debbie Joffe Ellis. In April 2006, Ellis was hospitalized with pneumonia, and had to stay in either the hospital or the rehabilitation facility. He eventually returned to his home --- the top floor of the Albert Ellis Institute. He died there on July 24, 2007 in his wife's arms. Ellis had authored and co-authored more than 80 books and 1200 articles during his lifetime. He was 93 when he died.
 
Published October 3, 2005 by Prometheus Books. 344 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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