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Albert Ellis: The sickness of self-esteem

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Published on Aug 26, 2007

Excerpt from Jeffrey Guterman's first session with Albert Ellis
January 8, 1986

Guterman: Self-acceptance.

Ellis: Self-acceptance means, I said, I accept myself whether or not I do well, not because I do well. And very few people have that and we have a hard time teaching it to people because they only want to accept themselves when they do well. They're crazy. They're mishuga.

Guterman: It's a little confusing.

Ellis: I know and you better go over it many, many times until you really see the difference between self-esteem, I am a good person because, and self-acceptance, that I can always accept myself even if I murdered 20 people. I wouldn't accept my murdering.

Guterman: What would be the benefit of me accepting myself instead of esteeming myself?

Ellis: Then you wouldn't be anxious.

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