Born in 1913 in
Pittsburgh and moved
to New York 4 years
Has a training institute
in New York
Developed a pattern of
taking care of himself
and being self-
During adolescence, he was
quite shy with girls
He made himself talk to 100
girls at the Bronx Botanical
Gardens during a 1-month
Although he didn’t get a date,
this method decreased his
fear of rejection
Died at the age of 93
In 1956, at the APA annual convention,
Ellis gave his 1st
paper on RATIONAL
THERAPY, his term then for REBT.
Ellis regretted using the term
RATIONAL THERAPY, because many
psychologists misinterpreted it as
meaning therapy without emotion.
soon changed to
In the early 1990’s
changed to Rational
Therapy (Frogatt, 2005)
a result of the
dissatisfaction with his
Individuals respond to an
activating event (A) with
emotional and behavioral
The emotional and
behavioral consequences are
not only caused by the
activating event but by the
IRRATIONAL BELIEFS (B)
often cause difficult
emotional and behavioral
(emotional , behavioral
not only from
activating events but
from their beliefs
about such events
The War on Musturbation (Ellis movie clip #2:
ABCs of REBT)
A major role of the therapist
is to dispute (D) these
irrational beliefs (B).
The War on Musturbation (Ellis movie clip #3:
Hedonism – seeking pleasure and
This view does not lead to irresponsible
behavior, because individuals with a
responsible attitude toward hedonism
think through the consequences of
Ellis believes that individuals should be
accepted for themselves, a concept similar
to Carl Rogers’ “Unconditional Positive
Regard” (Ellis & Dryden, 1997; Ziegler, 2003)
Ellis believes that individuals preferably
should have Unconditional Self Acceptance
They should accept that they make mistakes,
that they have worth, and that some of their
own assets are stronger than other assets
that they or others possess.
It refers to people using
efficient, flexible , logical,
and scientific ways of
attempting to achieve their
values and goals (Ellis, 2005).
Therapy with REBT shows
individuals how they can get
more of what they want from
life by being rational.
Ellis (cited in Sharf,
2008) believes that
certain severe mental
partly inherited and
have strong biological
Individuals are likely
to define themselves
as good or
depending on how
they see others
reacting to them.
Examples of Irrational Beliefs (Ellis cited
in Sharf, 2008):
Irrational Beliefs About
Competence and Success –
“Because I strongly desire to get A’s in
all subjects, I “must” get all A’s at all
times and do perfectly well.”
Irrational Beliefs about Love and
Approval - “Because I strongly desire
to be loved by Sarah, I absolutely
“must” always have her approval.”
Irrational Beliefs about being
Treated Unfairly – “Because I
strongly desire Eric to treat me
considerately and fairly, he absolutely
“must” do so at all times and under all
conditions, because I am always
considerate and fair to him.
Irrational Beliefs about Safety
and Comfort – “Because I strongly
desire to have a safe, comfortable, and
satisfying life, I “ must” find life easy,
convenient, and gratifying at all times.
3 categories of irrational beliefs
Dryden (1990) and Ellis (1991b cited in
1. Demands about self
2. Demands about others
3. Demands about the world and/or life
Musturbation – the term for all
types of must statements
Low frustration tolerance-
individuals who cannot tolerate
frustration easily are more likely
to be disturbed than those who can
(Harrington cited in Sharf, 2008).
Related to the concept of low
frustration tolerance to disturbance is
1.Discomfort Anxiety – individuals’
comfort level is threatened and they
must get what they want.
2.Ego Anxiety - individuals’ sense of
self worth is threatened and they feel
that they must perform well.
Clearer and more rational thinking
New philosophy of life that can make
the client feel more appropriately and
act more efficiently and effectively
( Villar, 2011).
Cognitions, emotions and behaviors that
create the problems and their underlying
Here-and-now irrational ideas and their
(Ellis, 1974;1994 cited in Villar, 2011)
A = represents the activating event
B = stands for irrational belief/s
C =represents the emotional and behavioral
consequences largely determined by the individual’s
beliefs about this event
D = stands for disputing the irrational beliefs
E = represents an effective rational outlook
accompanied by emotional and behavioral changes
The REBT Self-Help Form (Dryden,
Walker, and Ellis, 1996) – clients enter
their activating events and
consequences, help determine
important irrational beliefs.
Clients then dispute the irrational
beliefs that apply and replace them
with effective rational beliefs.
Such a form can have both diagnostic
and therapeutic purposes.
The A-B-C- assessment usually starts from
the beginning of the first session and
continues throughout the therapy.
Therapists listen while clients describe
feelings and behaviors (consequences that
they feel are caused by specific experiences
Therapists listen to the beliefs the clients
have about the activating event. (Bernard
cited in Sharf, 2008).
Millon Clinical MultiAxial Inventory II
Beck Depression Inventory
Frustration Discomfort Scale can be
used to distinguish self-esteem from
Ellis believes that the best way to
develop a therapeutic relationship is to
help solve the client’s immediate
problem (Ellis & Dryden, 1997).
Ellis identifies the activating events,
irrational beliefs, and emotional and
behavioral consequences (ABC).
Ellis may do this for 2 or 3 sessions
and then possibly work on larger
The relationship between client and
therapist is important in REBT.
With patient who are unfamiliar with
REBT, the therapist often introduces
the purpose of therapy.
When working with children,
therapists may proceed cautiously in
developing a relationship before
teaching REBT methods.
1. Coping Self Statements –
an individual who is afraid of
public speaking may write
down and repeat to himself
several times a day such as “ I
want to speak flawlessly,
but it is alright if I don’t,”
“No one is killed for a
poor speech,” and “I am
an articulate person.”
2. Cost-Benefit analysis –
individuals who are addicted
to smoking may be asked to
make lists of the advantages
of stopping smoking and
disadvantages of continuing
smoking. They will think
seriously about these
disadvantages 10 or 20 times
3. Psychoeducational Methods –
listening to audio tapes that
teach the principles of REBT is
4. Teaching Others – persuading
others not to use irrational
beliefs can help the persuader
to learn more effective ways of
disputing her own irrational
5. Problem Solving - by
helping people expand
their choices of what they
want to do and be, REBT
helps them choose
feelings and actions.
1. Imagery – imagining asking
a woman for a date, being
turned down, and working
on experiencing healthy
rather that unhealthy
(Dryden and Ellis, 2001, 2003)
2. Role Playing – repeated role
playing of the situation gives
the individual a chance to
feel better about her
social skills and change
self statements (Ellis,
3. Shame Attacking Exercise
– although the exercise can be
practiced in a therapy session,
it is done outside therapy.
engaging strangers in
asking silly questions to
receptionist or teachers
4. Forceful self-statements -
I f a client told himself that it
is awful and terrible to
get a C on an examination,
this self-statement can be
replaced by a forceful and
more suitable statement
such as “ I want to get an
A, but I don’t have to!”
(Dryden and Ellis, 2003)
5. Forceful self-
Arguing strongly and
vigorously against an
irrational belief has an
since all of the
material comes from
1. Activity Homework
Rather than quitting a
job, a client may work
with an unreasonable
boss and listen to their
unfair criticism but
mentally dispute the
criticism and not
accept the boss’
beliefs as her own.
2. Reinforcements and
Task accomplishment =
Failure to accomplish
task = penalty
3. Skills Training
Workshop/s can be
helpful for those who
job interviewing skills
fall into 2 or 3 of
If you would get release and let your anger out,
Disrupt the blasted peace and scream and yell and shout,
Just go to any length to show you can’t be still,
And you’ll display enormous strength—until the time you’re killed!
Pound, pound, pound! Pound, pound, pound! Pound your enemies!
Oh what fun it is to stun anyone who does not please you!
Sock, sock, sock! Knock, knock, knock! Howl and whine and cry!
And everyone from you will run and hate you till you die!
Pout, pout, pout! Shout, shout, shout!—when things are a mess!
Rip, rip, rip! Slip, slip, slip into a profound depression!
Think, think, think! Drink, drink, drink only of cruel fate!
Keep your mind preoccupied with everyone you hate.
Three Rational Humorous Songs
Not only does REBT stress
cognitive insight, but it
1. Acknowledging that disturbances come not
only from the past but also from irrational
2. How individuals continually indoctrinate
themselves with the same kind of irrational
beliefs that originated in the past.
3. Accepting first 2 levels of insight with the
realization that knowledge of these insights
does not automatically change people.
Awareness of rational beliefs is not sufficient;
active challenging of irrational beliefs,
and development of rational beliefs,
using knowledge of the A-B-C theory of
personality is essential.
Individuals not only
have changed feelings,
thoughts and beliefs but
also know how they
have done so
(Ellis, 2002; Ellis, 2003d cited in Sharf, 2008).