The word rational is obviously fundamental to REBT. After all, we are Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. However, I am afraid this is misleading to many as REBT uses the word in a special way . . .
Sat 29 Aug 2015, 7:31 pm
I reckon that most people at first regard rational and logical as pretty much the same thing.Â Fair enough as that is the first definition in â€œNew Oxford American Dictionary,â€
raÂ·tionÂ·al /ËˆrashÉ™nl, ËˆrashnÉ™l/
- Based on or in accordance with reason or logic: I’m sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation.
- (of a person) able to think clearly, sensibly, and logically: Andrea’s upsetâ€”she’s not being very rational.
- endowed with the capacity to reason: man is a rational being.
It is important, however, to appreciate that REBT does mean rational as logical, but expands this meaning to include the idea helpful.Â In most cases helpful is as important as logical, and in many cases it is the more important aspect of the word. In REBT we not only want our actions to be logical, but helpful as well. Helpful in what way?Â More REBT shading; helpful is thinking, emoting and behaving in ways that help us get more of what we want and less of what we donâ€™t want, butâ€”very important–in socially responsible ways.Â A safecracker, for example, may improve his skills at safecracking which enables him to get more money (what he wants) and less poverty (what he doesnâ€™t want).Â However, safecracking is not socially responsible behavior (does not further mutually supportive relationships in hisÂ Â social group (outside of other safecrackers, perhaps), and is therefore irrational in REBT semantics.
One of the erroneous conclusions people insist on making about REBT is that its goal is to get people to become clones of Star Trekâ€™s Mr. Spock, devoid of emotion, driven by and operating entirely from logic. While Mr. Spock may be a compelling fictional character in a beloved SF franchise, attempting to emulate him in real life, if it were even possible, would not be healthy, and could even represent serious emotional disturbance and social dysfunction.Â No, REBT wants people to have full, rich emotional lives and the E in REBT of course stands for Emotive signifying the importance REBT places on emotions, not only in the context of therapy, but in the enjoyment of a full, rich life.
If you are stuck in the groove of thinking about rational merely as logical, it will aid your understanding and practice of REBT tremendously to being thinking of rational thinking as helpful thinking, as thinking, emoting and behaving in ways which help you get more of what you want and less of what you donâ€™t want in socially responsible ways, as those thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions and actions which aid you in living a full rich life.
I always appreciate your comments and questions.
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Originally posted 2015-08-29 05:33:32.