This quote by Dr. Burns may at first see astounding to you. “Ridiculous!” you might say. How could you possibly not be depressed facing extreme adversity such as terminal cancer. However, even without considering REBT-CBT, we know that people react differently to the same events. Some soldiers return from war with PTSD, others do not. Some soldiers return with a drug problem, others do not. Some prisoners return to society and heal, others remain dysfunctional. If you have not already, please read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl about the author’s survival in Nazi death camps, and his determination to move forward with meaning and purpose in life. Frankl perfectly aligned with REBT in insisting that while we cannot avoid suffering, we can choose how we cope with it.
This proposition will begin to make more sense to you as you become more familiar with, and hopefully actually begin using REBT-CBT. Depression and sadness are not the same thing. Depression is debilitating while sadness is a natural and healthy reaction to loss. Sadness is painful, of course, but it is manageable and it passes. Depression lengers, and to one degree or another incapacitates. Depression colors everything about life, sadness does not. Depression arises and stays because our distorted negative thinking and irrational beliefs, all of the unhelpful often false things we tell ourselves about whatever our problem is, be it cancer or prison or war or divorce or unemployment or rejection or missing the bus. When we train ourselves to think about such events in more rational, “cooler,” more realistic and helpful ways, we can move our depression into the more healthy sadness zone. We can also move other emotional disturbance into a more healthy mode.
I like to think of REBT-CBT as more applied philosophy and therapeutic education than therapy per se.Not only is this a skill we can learn, but many people can teach themselves with a basic manual such as Dr. Burns classic Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy or Dr. Ellis brilliant primer A Guide to Rational Living.
|Have you read any of these books? Please add a review or comment or question in the form at the bottom. Thanks!|
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Originally posted 2017-07-25 22:47:22.