Albert Ellis shows how to use his signature approach during a session with a difficult patient: using rationality, strong language and forceful directions , his method is extraordinarily effective, even in a single session.
Orville would like to reduce his addiction to marijuana, alcohol and hallucinogens , but he doesn’t know how. Ellis immediately focuses on the patient’s poor ability to tolerate frustration and the self-destructive tendencies underlying the irrational beliefs that fuel his drug and alcohol addiction. Ellis manages to “dismantle” Orville’s belief that if his behavior is not always correct, it means that he is a bad person. After clarifying that it is certainly preferable to behave well, Ellis reiterates that we are all fallible human beings and, sometimes, we can make mistakes. Orville’s high distractibility and his tendency to divert from the main topic , taking refuge in secondary stories, put a strain on Ellis’s attempts to keep the patient on the right path. Clinicians will therefore be impressed by Ellis’ ability to stay focused on the problem, pushing Orville to face beliefs that are difficult to change and addictive behaviors that are difficult to defeat.