A Guide to Personal Happiness

by Albert Ellis | Health, Mind & Body |
ISBN: 0879803959 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wing6of8wing of Silver Spring, Maryland USA on 12/1/2021
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wing6of8wing from Silver Spring, Maryland USA on Wednesday, December 1, 2021
One of many books that I recently acquired for the purposes of sharing it with others.

My review: Albert Ellis is revered as one of the founders of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because of his development of Rational Emotive Therapy. Irving Becker also gets high marks for his work in my textbooks. And this book was published in 1982, meaning that it resounds with the mindset of the 70s and is outdated. Even when I consider these mitigating factors, if I were to meet either author after reading this book I would be hard-pressed not to slap him. This is the most arrogant (even more so than Freud) piece of psychological writing I have encountered. While many of the ideas are sound, the tone is condescending and pedantic and dripping with cis/het white male upper class privilege.

I might have had more tolerance for the book if I had literally not just finished The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Many of the teachings are the same, but the tone is vastly different. Where Brown approaches the reader as a peer and a co-discoverer of problematic thinking styles, Ellis and Becker berate the reader as having a poor attitude, limited understanding of their own minds, and completely ignorant of objective truth.

Therapy and self-knowledge/self-assessment are luxuries many people cannot access due to the pressures of everyday life, lack of resources, and societal stigma. Ellis and Becker appear incapable of grasping this fact and are happy to lecture that the cause of all unhappiness and frustration in an individual's life is derived from one's attitude regardless of life circumstances. As someone who has worked in community mental health, that is bigoted at best.

In addition, the authors seem to believe that there is no such thing as right or wrong or any basis for morality. They emphasize their focus on maximizing personal happiness and state only that it should not harm others. But they also seem to have very strict definitions of harm. For example, they advocate overcoming a sense of personal shame by performing shameful acts in public, including men accosting female store clerks to order large amounts of condoms and demanding a discount for bulk buying!! I don't care how much this behavior might improve your personal happiness, it is wrong and gross and should not be encouraged by respected professionals.

Journal Entry 2 by wing6of8wing at Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland USA on Friday, May 20, 2022

Released 1 mo ago (5/21/2022 UTC) at Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland USA

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Journal Entry 3 by Melydia at Rockville, Maryland USA on Monday, May 23, 2022
This was leftover at the end of the 2022 Gaithersburg Book Festival. I hope to continue its journey soon.

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