The Art Of Christian Living

Exploring & Sharing Life | Lessons | Experiences

Start Where You Are.

Use What You Have.

Do What You Can. Arthur Ashe

In life, some things may work for others and not us but trying things for the sake of seeking help is important. Like I said in the beginning of this series, this book is not meant for everyone, but anyone can benefit from one or two tips or life lessons. This last session will talk about the population who may likely benefit more from this and those who might not.

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The book is easy to understand so that young and old can benefit. As this study also “indicates REBT is useful for a large range of clinical diagnosis and clinical outcomes, efficient in clinical and nonclinical populations, for a wide group of age between 9 to 70 years and for both genders.” (Mangayarkarasi & Sellakumar, 2017) The material applies to both clinical and non-clinical settings.  Since it is a self-help book, individuals not currently in therapy sessions can benefit from it, too.

 Also, the book can be helpful to people dealing with life-threatening diseases such as HIV, cancer, etc. It can help them accept their realities while finding meaning in life and continue living. (Mangayarkarasi & Sellakumar, 2017)

This book can apply many religious or cultural values, because of it’s ‘Acceptance Theory.’ For example, the Christian concept of “Accepting the sinner and not the sin” (Ellis, p.128, 2003). The book advocates for peace and optimism to make life better for all, and the need for joining in the community or social activities.

Ask Ellis – May Not Work

Some cultures or individuals may find REBT too confrontational and less appealing because of its nature. The REBT Model tends to gear toward telling you what to do, how to do it, what to think, and how to think.  It does not leave much room for personal growth or collaboration in some sense. Individuals who have difficulty taking instructions from others may not find this book or REBT Model not appealing due to the lack of cooperation.

Sensitivity: The book may also have limited ability to facilitate change for certain people.  If an individual is unable to identify irrationalities, then change would not occur, especially when treating younger children or intellectually challenged individuals. Especially it’s theory of ‘Acceptance’ of Self, Others, and Life Events may be hard for some individuals, especially abuse victims.

 The book is less sensitive when it comes to spirituality or religion. The book dismissed the concept of ‘afterlife’ as it stated that you “Will almost certainly be the same as your state of being before your parents conceived you – that is, your sensations and feelings will be zero” (Ellis, p.68, 2003). If a person who believes in ‘afterlife’ comes across this portion of the book, the person may feel ‘insulted,’ and this may hamper significant change.

Empathy was not emphasized as necessary for the success of a therapeutic process; instead, it is classified as simply important. The book says that clients should accept themselves regardless of the therapist’s affection or lack thereof (empowering you to accept yourself regardless of who accepts you or not, but sometimes people experiencing issues need more than just self-acceptance to make it through, and that should not be overlooked). 

Photo by Eneida Hoti

Past – The book is not very sensitive to people’s past, stating, “That the past does not dictate everything. People do not get disturbed by their early childhood – but they mainly disturb themselves”(Ellis, p.4, 2003). The past does not matter as long as the individual chooses not to be disturbed and holds rational beliefs about the events in the past.


As we all know, things must come to an end, this is the end of the ‘ASK Ellis’ book review, and I learned a lot of reading and writing the reviews. I believe most of the time we learn from sharing more than if we learn for ourselves. Like the book emphasizes, living, for now, is essential because we can do a lot more in the now than in the past or even the future.

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past, and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” George Harrison

Acceptance was one of the main concepts surrounding the book. Acceptance is empowering and freeing. To tell yourself the truth like you haven’t known yet accepting anything that comes from hard times or events in life demands hard work and patience.

Some will surely say, “Well, I’ve tried, and it’s just so hard.” That may well be true, but each time that thought pops into your mind you have to ask yourself, “Am I willing to carry this baggage around for the rest of my life, or will I finally choose to do something about it.”  Marquita A. Herald

Food For Thought

  • “No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” C. JoyBell C.

Moving on in life is part of the process of living; you might as well learn to look at it on the bright side.  Let every ending cheer you up for better beginnings because with each new chapter indicates growth on our part.

  • “Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad, and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending.” C. JoyBell C

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