Posted by Rex Alexander on Sun 10 Feb 19 in REBT & Other therapies compared, Uncategorized |

REBTraining teaches you how
to get more of what you want
and less of what you don’t want

When we say that REBTraining teaches you how to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want, there is a danger that can sound materialistic and grasping, implying that what we are  peddling is the old chestnut of  health, wealth and happiness, with a heaping helping of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Not that there is anything wrong with health, wealth and happiness or of having friends and influence Far from it. And REBTraining can definitely help you get more of those things.  But in the phrase “…get more of what you want” I think the emphasis should be on the you want because no two people want the same things, and for great numbers of people, health, wealth and happiness are simply not high priorities in the hierarchy of wants.  Another way of putting it; everyone’s idea of happiness involves different things. Some of the things that people want beyond health, wealth and happiness may be difficult to quantify and measure but are nonetheless real and important, such as, and in no particular order . . .



  • Freedom
  • Peace (inner and outer)
  • Joy
  • Creativity
  • Balance
  • Confidence
  • Competence
  • Respect, prestige, standing in the community
  • Accomplishment
  • A relationship with the natural world
  • Love
  • Spiritual growth
  • Personal development/Self-improvement
  • Adventure/Excitement
  • Novelty
  • Safety, security
  • Aesthetic experiences (food, art, music, etc.)
  • Learning
  • Service (to others and to the community)
  • Making a contribution, making a difference
  • Nesting, homelife, family
  • Recreation, leisure, play, free time,
  • Contact and involvement with beauty
  • Self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-love
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding of self, understanding of life


While this list is by no means exhaustive, it becomes immediately clear that while it may be helpful or even necessary to have health, wealth, happiness and influence in order to acquire some of the things on the list, the things or qualities themselves are not defined by health, wealth, happiness and influence. For example, playing the piano may involve in varying degrees, creativity, mastery, leisure and/or aesthetics, but is not directly related to or dependent upon health, wealth, happiness and influence. 


It would be a useful exercise to

  1. Sit quietly while you  thoughtfully review the items on the list making note of which ones seem or feel important to you. You may also choose to add  qualities that are not on the list. 
  2. Then, highlight the top ten that feel the most important to you.
  3. Arrange your list in order from the most important (#1) to the least important (#10). 




Congratulations! You have just established a working model of your hierarchy of values; your priorities, those things which are most important to you in life. By the way, if you have never stopped to think about it, priorities begins with prior, meaning before, meaning simply those things in life which come first for you. Less obtuse than you thought I’d wager.

You now have a powerful tool for clarifying what is important to you and what it is that you want from life.  You can use it to help you set goals, make plans, decide how to best use your time and energy, and to make decisions about what things to keep and what to discard. Are the people, places and things in your life helping you got more or less of what you want from life?




Perhaps now, our motto,

REBTraining teaches you how
to get more of what you want
and less of what you don’t want

will have more resonance for you, and make it easier to focus on the ways that REBTraining can be helpful to you.


We are reframing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as Rational Emotive Behavior Training, and to emphasize this have registered the name REBTraining.net. Why? Among the many reasons is that the new name better reflects the reality that REBT has always involved therapeutic education rather than getting in touch with feelings. This is the association many still have of 20th Century therapies which involve a lot of crying, kleenex, venting, “carrying on” while perhaps exploring memories of childhood conflict and trauma. Primarily this association of marathon talking and crying, perhaps for years on end, is still referred to as talk therapy after all. This stereotype was never universally correct, but was correct enough to have embed itself into literature, the media and popular culture. 


robust philosophy drawing on stoics and GS


Not only for those who need therapy; those with clinical depression, anxiety,  for people who what better tools for living, improve happiness, relationships, performance who do not have “clinical” issues.

REBTherapy is clearly therapeutic, unequivocally, unapologetically a powerful and effective  therapy for those suffering from emotional disturbance. However, in one sense, it may be unfortunate that it came into the culture via the gateway of psychology rather than coaching, philosophy, religion, education or “self-improvement.” In practice, it is a little bit of all of those things.  Of course, if you read Stoic Philosophy, Stoicism,  much of it sounds remarkably modern, and very much like REBT-CBT which it predates by 2,000 years! For example, 



We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”

Seneca,  Roman Stoic philosopher and statesman 4 BC – 65 AD


It is not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.”

~Epictetus, Greek slave and philosopher, 55-135 AD


You cannot force a linguist shift such as from therapy to training. It either catches on or it doesn’t. And while the word training is an improvement in my opinion, it does leave something to be desired as it reminds us a little bit of animal acts at the circus



Nonetheless, training does underscore and emphasize that REBT is a skill set, is something you learn to do like playing the piano, not someplace you go where something is done to you by a therapist.


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