A Loyal Reader asks : How many books on REBT/CBT does a non-professional need to read?
Reading books is, of course, wonderful and important. However, in my opinion, REBT-CBT is not about reading books. It is about changing the way you think so that you can feel better, and in turn behave in ways which are more rewarding and self-fulfilling. To that end, it doesn’t matter which technique(s) or authors or books you prefer. Yes, a lot of this material is redundant. It is not a vast subject at all, and I suspect if you could extract the essence of Dr. Ellis’s many, many books, you might get one or two big volumes out of it. Like any other subject, your interest level will drive how many books you read and how deeply you delve into the subject. From forty years or so of REBT-CBT, the list of (lay) titles is remarkably short, all things considered, and I think Dr. Ellis wrote most of them! Some say he wrote the same damn book over and over again. Of course, if you are studying for clinical practice is a different matter requiring field work, research and digging out a lot of source material.
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So, if you want to climb a tree with your old yellow dog and read “How to Stubbornly Refuse…” together, that’s great. Just make sure to come down form your tree and actually begin to use this stuff. It is best, in my opinion, to begin using it right away, right from the beginning, rather than waiting until you have read a certain number of books. Burns is good for that. While a little “naggy,” and that can be a bit off-putting, he does insist that you begin working the material (rather than just reading about it) right from the get-go. If you avoid that and just read ahead to the to the “good stuff,” you are not only missing out on a lot, but missing the whole point, in my opinion, And no matter how many books you ever read or how deeply you ever get into it, if you are actually practicing while you are applying the technique on paper and in the real world, you will get so much more out of your reading. In any event, as all REBT guys will nag, reading without actually practicing won’t get you very far.
Khon Kaen, Thailand
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Originally posted 2013-02-05 21:36:37.