REBT was founded in the mid 1950s believed that the role of the therapist was to help the client understand and act on the understanding that his/her personal philosophy contains beliefs that lead to his/her own emotional pain. He stresses actively working to change a clients self-defeating beliefs and behaviors by demonstrating their irrationality and rigidity.
Is an active-directive, solution-oriented therapy which focuses on resolving cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems in clients.
It differs from psychoanalysis in that it places little emphases on explaining the past, but instead, focuses on changing the current evaluation and philosophical thinking about our lives, others, and ourselves. (wikipedia)
Emotional suffering results primarily, thought not completely, from our evaluations of a negative event, not solely by the event per se. In other words, human beings, on the basis of our belief system, actively, though not consciously, disturb themselves and even disturb themselves about their disturbances.( Wikipedia)
We incorporate what Ellis calls “isms” or “ must urbations” into our lives…the “shoulds”, “oughts” and “musts” and rigidly and forcefully emotionally subscribe to these absolutisms and needlessly disturb ourselves. From these absolutes can develop feelings of anxiety, depression, rejection, rage, guilt and alienation.( Wikipedia)
Childhood - when and where they were uncritically embraced
Environmental factors – those event that happened in our lives that we allowed to be negatively reinforced
Strong, inborn biological tendencies – illogical over- generalizing, negative personality. Ellis states here that “people are born and reared with the ability to look at the data of their lives, particularly the negative things that happen to them against their goals and interests, and to make inaccurate inferences and attributions about these data.” (Wikipedia)
REBT teaches the client to identify irrational and self-defeating tendencies which by nature are unrealistic, illogical and absolutist. The counselors role is to forcefully and emotionally dispute them and replace them with more self-helping ones.
The goal is to show the client that whenever unpleasant events occur in their lives, people have a choice: Making themselves feel healthy and self-helpingly sorry, disappointed, frustrated and annoyed…or causing them feel unhealthy and self-defeated horrified, terrified, panicked, depressed, self hating and self-pitying. (Wikipedia)
Ellis developed the three Core Beliefs that cause disturbances:
“ I MUST be thoroughly competent, adequate, achieving and loveable at all times, or else I am an incompetent and worthless person”. This belief usually leads to feelings of anxiety, panic, depression, despair and worthlessness
Other significant people in my life MUST treat me kindly and fairly at all times or else I can’t stand it and they are bad, rotten, and evil persons who should be severely blamed, damned, and vindictively punished for their horrible treatment of me”. This leads to feelings of anger, rage, fury, vindictiveness and leads to actions like fights, feuds, wars, genocide, and ultimately an atomic holocaust.
Things and conditions absolutely MUST be the way I want them to be and MUST
never be too difficult or frustrating. Otherwise life is awful, terrible, horrible, catastrophic and unbearable”. This leads to low-frustration tolerance, self-pity, anger, depression and to behaviors such as procrastination, avoidance and inaction
The activating event or the adversity a person faces. Example: a challenge.
Represents the evaluation (cognitive-affective-behavioral) of the activating event
The emotional consequence and self-defeating behaviors
The key to REBT thought is the evaluation of the event, not the activating event itself, causes the emotional consequence. We are largely responsible for creating our emotional disturbances through beliefs we associate with the events in our lives. By attaining a more rational evaluation of ourselves, others and the world, we are more likely to behave and emote in a more life-serving and adaptive way
Ellis believes that people can best accomplish this goal (rational behavior) by:
Avoiding pre-occupying themselves with A (the challenge)
Acknowledge yet resist the temptation to dwell endlessly on the emotional consequences at C.
Choose to examine, challenge, modify and uproot B –the irrational events they hold about the activating events in A. (Corey).
Unconditional self-acceptance, other-acceptance and life-acceptance are of prime importance in achieving mental wellness.
People and the world are fallible, and that people better accept themselves, life’s hassles and unfairness and others “as is”.
People better consider themselves valuable just as a result of being alive and kicking; and are better off not to measure their “self” or their “being” and give themselves any global rating because all humans are far too complex to rate, and all humans to both good and bad deeds and have both good and bad attributes and traits. (Wikipedia).
According to Ellis, “we humans have a strong tendency not only to rate our acts and behaviors as “good”, “bad”, “worthy” or “unworthy”, but also to rate ourselves as a total person based on our performances.
Group leaders will teach members how to separate the evaluation of their behaviors from the evaluation of themselves.
Homework assignments are more effectively carried out in groups than 1-1 therapy.
Effective milieu for several techniques
Group acts as a lab, behavior is directly observed, the group exists in a social context so many of group can be more easily assessed and explored than they might be individually
Learn how to apply the A-B-C Model to upsetting situations and then learn how to correct faulty thinking and behaving, learning from others and their application of the model to their situation.
Seeing change in group members
Self-disclosure will hopefully lead to unconditional self-acceptance. Learning that taking risks in revealing may pay off.
By groups being what they are in nature, may encourage those individuals who are rigid and bound by old patterns of dysfunctional behavior to accept the challenge and reevaluate those patterns and adopt new ones. (Corey)