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Over 1,500,000 copies sold
A Guide to Rational Living
by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. and Robert A. Harper, Ph.D.
Foreword by Melvin Powers
A Guide to Rational Living
From the Foreword by Melvin Powers:
Years ago, after two decades of burning the midnight oil, reading manuscripts which professed to have all the virtues this one actually possesses, I found the original New Guide to Rational Living—a gem that has become a classic in the field of psychology.

Since then, I am delighted to say, I have sold 1.5 million copies of this book in previous editions. Numerous readers have thanked me for making the book available and have related how positively it has affected their life. Undoubtedly this new, updated third edition will prove particularly valuable to present-day readers, who face unprecedented challenges in daily living.

Those who have read a large number of euphoric and inspirational books without achieving lasting success will particularly appreciate this book. For although A Guide to Rational Living makes no promises, it can help readers more than all the other books put together.

In the first chapter of this extraordinary new edition of A Guide to Rational Living, Drs. Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper express the hope that readers will not “jump to the conclusion that we hand out the same old hackneyed, Pollyannaish message that you may have long ago considered and rejected as having no practical value.”

Because they use such words as “creativity,” “happiness,” “love,” “maturity,” and “problem-solving,” they are concerned that people will accuse them of adding one more book to the already lengthy list of those that promise to make everyone rich, happy, powerful, and emotionally mature—all quickly and easily.

They need not worry. Drs. Ellis and Harper have refreshing humility in this era of dogmatic formulas for living, and they see that constant happiness remains as elusive as moonbeams. As proof of this conviction, they have termed the chapter dealing with happiness “Refusing to Feel Desperately Unhappy.” What a realistic approach!

Actually, their associates had to talk these two prominent psychologists into doing their original book about the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) they practice, and they had to feel it would truly help others before they wrote a word. They still believe intensive individual therapy is desirable in serious cases, but they have also come to believe that a book can help a certain percentage of people who have the capacity for honest self-evaluation.

This book, unlike others you have probably read, employs none of the jargon usually associated with psychology or psychiatry, and it may well prove to be the best book on psychotherapy for laymen ever written. It can provide emotionally disturbed individuals with many answers they seek, and it can help everyone to feel better about themselves and to deal with their lives more effectively.

The authors use a unique method of projecting their solutions to common problems. Thus, they point out that the individual who feels inadequate and insecure suffers from, for example, “Irrational Belief No. 2: The idea that you must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving.

Drs. Ellis and Harper use ten such ideas to bring out the scope of their psychotherapy, with subtle, helpful solutions that reflect their vast experience as therapists. They have training and a host of case histories, taken from their office charts, to buttress their advice. This not only makes for a more interesting book but creates confidence in the reader concerning the techniques suggested, all of which have proven effective in a clinical setting.

Probably many readers will remember Dr. Albert Ellis as a sexologist who has done so much valuable work in this area that critics frequently compare him to the other Ellis—Havelock, a pioneer in sexual research. His books in this field have done an incalculable amount of good, particularly in freeing people of feelings of guilt stemming from their environments.

Dr. Harper has a similar background, and he possesses added knowledge of anthropology and sociology, both disciplines desirably supplemental to psychology. He has collaborated with Dr. Albert Ellis previously and has worked on other books in the area of rational therapy.

In this new edition of A Guide to Rational Living, as in the original, Drs. Ellis and Harper dissect the main emotional problems that humans tend to have. They present their ideas in a brilliant and all-encompassing manner—so brilliant, in fact, that I believe the reader will find more answers than he or she would in the average vis-à-vis confrontation. I say this despite the disclaimers of both authors who ethically point out the limitations of “absent” therapy.

For one thing, the book proves less maddening than many personal visits to therapists who subscribe to the passive, nondirective method still used by many psychologists and psychiatrists. In this type of therapy all questions are answered by, “You tell me.”

Drs. Ellis and Harper make it clear they do not practice as the “orthodox psychoanalyst...with whom we respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree.” Rather than maintain the traditional Freudian silence, both therapists, in the early part of the treatment, indicate where the “emotionally disturbed individual...seems off the beam.”

Their direct, get-to-the-heart-of-the-problem methods show wide variance with most orthodox treatments that drag on interminably with clients never quite knowing where they stand. As far as I can see, here certainly lies, along with group therapy, the direction psychotherapy will take if it intends to make a real contribution to comprehensive health.

If you feel you have the rigorous honesty necessary to conduct self-analysis, this book will be the most important one you have ever read. And it will seem a boon to those who cannot pay the high fees charged for individual treatment.

I find so many excellent techniques explored in this book that I would like to mention many more. I feel deterred only by the fact that the authors speak very well for themselves.

You have my best wishes as you join the 1.5 million people who have read and greatly benefited from A Guide to Rational Living since my publication of the first edition. You have chosen to read a book that has set the standard and that likely will remain the standard for years to come.

Melvin Powers, Publisher
Wilshire Book Company

(This title is also available in a Spanish book edition as Nueva Guía Para Una Vida Racional.)

A Guide to Rational Living
304 pages....$17.00

Available wherever books are sold or from the publisher. Send $17.00 (CA res. $18.53) plus $4.00 per book S/H ($20.00 per book for airmail outside USA) to:
Wilshire Book Company, 9731 Variel Avenue, Chatsworth, CA  91311-4315.
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