Ross School - Senior Project 2006-07

Student: Garret Zeidner

Mentor: Marty Cooper

Consultant: Dr. Cohen

Domain: Psychology


Title: The Irrational Mind


My project looked into the human mind. At the start of the project I began looking at many types of therapies. After much research I came across a school of therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy (RET). My goal was to learn the basics of this school of therapy, learn how it is used, and then use its main ideas and concepts to analyze my own psyche.  My end result was a lecture about understanding of RET, and conclusions I have come to about my own irrational thoughts and behaviors.     

Details: The lecture I designed was a 45 min. lecture on RET. It was made up of 30 min. of lecturing, and three 5 min. discussion periods throughout the lecture itself.

Senior Project Lecture Outline


The reason I chose this project was because I have always had an interest in the field of psychology. In fact, I am planning on getting my PhD in psychology and one day opening up a practice. The reason I chose to do my project on Rational Emotive Therapy was because its basic concepts caught my eye and I found them extremely interesting.

My goals for this project were to study RET and develop a good understanding of its basic concepts and to apply that knowledge into creating a easy to understand lecture on RET. I reached these goals by first, researching RETŐs basic concepts, history, and how it is used. I took the information I learned and broke it down into a more simplified form that could be used to lecture a class. I feel I met my first goal, because I have gained a very strong understanding of the basic concepts of RET. As far as whether or not my lecture was understandable, that would have to be determined by the class. However, I have gotten good feedback on it, so I feel it is safe to say that I reached that goal.

RET was ŇcreatedÓ by a man named Albert Ellis. Ellis began his career as a psychotherapist who practiced psychoanalyses between the late 1940Ős and the early 1950Ős. While he was practicing, he found that no matter how much insight or understanding he gave his clients about their past and how it connected to their current problem, that it didnŐt quite treat the client. After many years of observation and analyses, he realized that the true cause of these psychological and emotional problems where irrational beliefs and that in order to treat a person, he needed to turn these irrational into rational beliefs. In order to do that, he created a more aggressive form of therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy.

In conclusion, I feel I have met all of my goals and in the process learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I need to manage my time better because I have seen that I am not the type of person who can perform well under pressure. It also taught me that I have a talent in understanding psychological techniques. I have seen that I have an even greater passion for psychology then I ever had before.

Bibliography or Works Cited

Cooper, Marty, E-mail Interview. 21 Nov. 2006.

Cooper, Marty, Personal Meeting. 1 Dec. 2006.

Cooper, Marty, Personal Meeting. 13 Dec. 2006.

Corsini, Raymond J. and Contributors. Current Psychotherapies. Itasca, Illinois: F.E. Peacock Publishers, Inc., 1979.

Davison, Gerald C. and Neale, John M. Abnormal Psychology 3ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1982.

Dr. Cohen, Personal Meeting. 11 Oct. 2006.

Ellis, Albert. Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy. Secaucus, New Jersey: The Citadel Press, 1962.

Ellis, Albert. Humanistic Psychotherapy. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1973.

Community Member (Details)

My Community Member is Dr. Cohen. He is a practicing Psychologist who I heard about through the school.