Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness

Michael Bernard’s book describing the powerful insights of Albert Ellis to our understanding of the way people operate at their best and worst recognised as a major contribution to the field of positive psychology.

“Al Ellis was a great psychologist and as Professor Bernard’s book demonstrates eloquently, he was an unsung hero of Positive Psychology”

– Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness

Michael Bernard was fortunate to have worked with Albert Ellis over many years. Professor Bernard has published many books on Albert Ellis’ work for professionals and the general public and was the Co-Director and Founder of the Australian Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy. Michael Bernard has conducted hundreds of professional development workshops and has trained well over 1,000 practitioners in the theory and practice of Ellis’ rational-emotive behaviour therapy (REBT).


Photo of Michael Bernard interviewing Albert Ellis © Michael E. Bernard

This book lays out in the words of Albert Ellis the difference between the psychological architecture of emotional misery he calls irrationality and the psychological architecture of happiness deemed rationality. Both processes operate across the life span (rationality emerging developmentally later around the age of seven) with irrationality contributing to our unhappiness and rationality contributing to self-actualization, happiness, fulfillment and productivity. Ellis and REBT have always focused on people’s rational, self-actualizing potentialities for happiness and their irrational, self-defeating, misery-creating tendencies.

A key to happiness is the ability to solve problems, largely by thinking flexibly and scientifically. As revealed in many of the transcripts of Ellis’ therapy sessions that appear in this book, Ellis worked at helping people rid themselves of their command that life shouldn’t be so hard. Instead, he helps explore with them a variety of problem-solving options for dealing with practical problems that, once resolved, frees individuals to more thoroughly enjoy life.

Another key to happiness is being able to manage your emotions as quickly and painlessly as possible when confronted with the muddles and puddles of life. Naturally, Ellis nominates REBT and the use of cognitive, emotive and behavioural methods for disputing and re-structuring irrational beliefs as a heavy weight contender –but not the only one in the ring.

Michael Bernard’s radio interview on his book Rationality and the Pursuit of Happiness can be listened to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRiDNw6KGW4

The book can also be purchased at:


Michael Bernard is always happy to talk to groups and at conferences on the contributions of rationality to the pursuit of happiness and success (call: 03 9415 8327).

September 16, 2014 5:34 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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This post was written by Bernard Group

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