In a debate, recorded in , Thomas Szasz and Albert Ellis argue over the concept of mental illness. Szasz argues forcefully and humorously for his position that mental illness is a sort of metaphor for problems in life. Albert Ellis maintains that mental illness is a useful concept that should not be dismissed. Ellis and Szasz are giants in the field of psychology. Ellis started a therapeutic revolution away from the Freudian approach to a more philosophic approach based on Stoicism.
Albert Ellis was a clinical psychologist and a marriage counselor. He was born on September 27, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ellis originated the rational-emotive therapy movement, which ignores Freudian theories and advocates the belief that emotions come from conscious thought "as well as internalized ideas of which the individual may be unaware. He was executive director of the Institute for Rational Living, Inc. Despite his health issues, Ellis never stopped working with the assistance of his wife, Australian psychologist Debbie Joffe Ellis. In April , Ellis was hospitalized with pneumonia, and had to stay in either the hospital or the rehabilitation facility. He eventually returned to his home the top floor of the Albert Ellis Institute.