Ellis recommends a “selectivelyeclectic” approach to therapy, usedstrategies interchangeably in nosystematic way but according to theneed of the hour. Following are thestrategies that are common in use, asthe name suggest it includes• Cognitive Techniques• Emotive Techniques• Behavioral Techniques
Cognitive Techniques aims atteaching clients how to deal with selfstatements so that they no longer believethem and encourage them to acquire aphilosophy based on reality.1. Rational analysis2. Disputing irrational belief3. Changing one’s language4. Reframing
RATIONAL ANALYSIS It is the first step in REBT, analysesof specific episodes to teach the client howto uncover and dispute irrational beliefs.These are usually done in session at first;then, as the client gets the idea, they canbe done as homework.
DISPUTING IRRATIONAL BELIEFS It is actively disputing client’sirrational beliefs and teaching them how todo this challenging on their own. Client goover a particular “must”, “should” or “ought”until they longer hold that irrational belief orat least until it is diminished in strength.Disputing with irrational beliefs can bedone both by the therapist and the client.
CHANGE IN LANGUAGE REBT contends that impreciselanguage is one of the cause of distortedthinking processes. Client’s learn that“musts”, “shoulds” and “oughts” can bereplaced by preferences.
REFRAMING Another strategy for getting badevents into perspective is to re-evaluatethem as “disappointing”, “concerning”, or“uncomfortable” rather than as awful orunbearable. A variation of reframing is tohelp the client see that even negativeevents almost always have a positive sideto them
Emotive Techniques helps theclients to understand the value ofunconditional self acceptance andunconditional other’s acceptance, eventhough the behavior may be difficult toaccept, they can decide to see themselvesand others as worth while.1. Rational-emotive imagery2. Role playing3. Shame attacking exercise4. Use of force and vigor
RATIONAL-EMOTIVE IMAGERY It is a form of intense mental practicedesigned to establish new emotional patternsby making the clients imagine themselves theworst thing that could happen, unhealthy andupset feelings, intense experience of feelingsand changing them to healthy and positivefeelings. As clients change their feelings aboutadversities, they stand a better chance ofchanging their behavior in the real situation.
ROLE PLAYING There are both emotional andbehavioral components in role playing.Clients can rehearse certain behaviors tobring out what they feel in a situation withthe therapist in a presumed environment.The focus is on working through theunderlying irrational beliefs that are relatedto unpleasant feelings.
SHAME ATTACKING EXERCISES Ellis has developed exercises to helppeople reduce shame over behaving incertain ways. When we stubbornly refuseto feel ashamed by telling ourself that it isnot catastrophic if someone thinks we arefoolish. The exercises are aimed atincreasing self-acceptance and matureresponsibility.
USE OF FORCE AND VIGOR It is a way to help clients go fromintellectual to emotional insight. Clients areshown how to conduct forceful dialogues byreverse role playing in which therapist adoptsthe client’s belief and vigorously argues for it;while the client tries to convince the therapistthat the belief is dysfunctional. It is especially useful when the clientnow sees the irrationality of a belief, butneeds help to consolidate that understanding.
Behavioral Techniques are one ofthe best ways to check out and modify abelief by act. Clients can be encouraged tocheck out the evidence for their fears andto act in ways that disprove them. Thecommon techniques are1. Exposure2. Risk taking3. Paradoxical behaviour4. Postponing gratification
EXPOSURE Possibly the most commonbehavioural strategy used in REBTinvolves clients entering feared situationsthey would normally avoid. Such exposureis deliberate, planned and carried out usingcognitive and other coping skills.
RISK TAKING The purpose is to challengebeliefs that certain behaviours are toodangerous to risk, when reason says thatwhile the outcome is not guaranteed theyare worth the chance.
PARADOXICAL BEHAVIOR When a client wishes to change adysfunctional tendency, encourage them todeliberately behave in a way contradictoryto the tendency. Emphasise theimportance of not waiting until they feel likedoing it: practising the new behaviour eventhough it is not spontaneous will graduallyinternalise the new habit.
POSTPONING GRATIFICATION Postponing gratification is commonlyused to combat low frustration-tolerance bydeliberately delaying smoking, eatingsweets, using alcohol, sexual activity, etc.
REBT CBT Modify the Modify client’s underlying core current behavior belief Focus on Focus on changing the evaluating the clients behavior irrational beliefs Beck places more REBT is often emphasis on the highly directive, client discovering persuasive and misconceptions for confrontive themselves.
REBT has been criticized as, Maladaptive cognitions in disturbed people could be a consequence rather than a cause. The model is narrow in scope as thinking is just one human functioning. It ignores the role of individual differences. REBT is aimed at changing cognitions which is sometimes considered as unethical.
Corey, G. (2005). Student manual theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. California: Brooks/Cole publishers. Ellis, A., & Harper, R. (1997). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. California: Thomson Brooks/Cole. DiGuiseppe, R., (1996). The Nature of Rational and Irrational Beliefs: Progress in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Michler, F., (2004). Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: The Basics. National Training Conference