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18-12-2018 | Obituary | Uitgave 3/2019

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 3/2019

Our Memories of Maxie C. Maultsby Jr. 1932–2016

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy > Uitgave 3/2019
Mariusz Wirga, Michael DeBernardi, Aleksandra Wirga


In this article, the authors present the life and work of Dr. Maxie C. Maultsby, Jr, the most distinguished and influential black psychiatrist, as well as the founder of Rational Behavior Therapy (RBT), a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral therapeutic model. We document the pioneering ideas and concepts formulated by Dr. Maultsby and present RBT as a distinct form of theory-driven cognitive-behavior therapy, grounded in neurophysiology, its singular learning theory, unique concepts, and specific therapeutic techniques. His exceptional idealism of making mass mental health prevention and therapeutic interventions accessible to the underserved populations produced the unparalleled self-help features of RBT, allowing for its effectiveness and lasting results to be attainable to the average person. Dr. Maultsby was innovative in identifying clear criteria for healthy thinking that were empowering, patient-centered, and applicable to all forms of beliefs including spiritual, religious, existential, and deeply philosophical. His thorough knowledge of cognitive neuroscience and its underlying mechanisms of learning and re-learning of emotional habits gave rise to a radical reformulation of existing concepts like the traditional ABC model of emotions. This article is the first in a series about RBT and its founder.

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