chapter  6
Pages 27

Albert Ellis began his career in the helping pro­ fessions as a sex, marital and family counsellor in the early 1940s. As a result of his experiences as a marital counsellor, he concluded that 'in most instances disturbed marriages (or pre-marital rel­ ationships) were a product of disturbed spouses; and that if people were truly to be helped to live happily with each other they would first have to be shown how they could live peacefully with them­ selves1 (Ellis, 1962, p.3). This conclusion led Ellis to embark on intensive psychoanalytic train­ ing, believing then that psychoanalysis was the preferred mode of treatment for such disturbances. As has been already mentioned, in the early 1950s, Ellis became increasingly disillusioned with both the theoretical validity and clinical effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment and began to see more clearly that human disturbance had profound ideolog­ ical roots. Drawing upon the work of early Stoic philosophers (e.g. Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus) who stressed that people are disturbed not by events but by their views of these events, he began to develop a therapeutic approach based upon a perspective of human disturbance that stressed philosophic determinants and de-emphasized psycho­ analytic psychodynamic ones and applied it to a number of therapeutic modalities including couples therapy.