Academic journal article et Cetera

The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever

Article excerpt

Albert Ellis. The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2005.

Many psychologists preach the importance of self-esteem, but on closer analysis the meaning of self-esteem often amounts to little more than basing our sense of self-worth on the success of our achievements or relationships. In this insightful exploration of authentic "self-acceptance," Albert Ellis, the author of more than seventy-five books and the president emeritus of The Albert Ellis Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy, criticizes the traditional definition of self-esteem, calling it "Conditional Self-Acceptance" (CSA) - i.e., we feel good about ourselves only on condition that we fulfill certain ambitions and personal desires.

Dr. Ellis proposes instead "Unconditional Self-Acceptance" (USA) learning to appreciate our unique personalities no matter what good or bad actions we do or how successful our relationships turn out to be. This more realistic approach, Ellis points out, helps us to avoid the common pitfall of failing to live up to our (often unrealistic) expectations and the consequent feelings of selfdenigration, low self-esteem, and depression, which impede our ability to tackle life's challenges. …

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