This post is pinned to the top. Scroll down for recent posts
Click the blue link below for Will Ross’s excellent, easy-to-follow explanation . . .
With thanks to my friend, the late Will Ross who produced the excellent website, REBT Network, http://www.rebtnetwork.org/ .
Very few in the field have Will’s ability to communicate REBT in a simple, clear way, and especially to break the actual steps of doing REBT down into a manageable process that anyone can begin to use. I envy Will’s ability to explain the basics so elegantly, so rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, here is in his own words.
WHAT IS REBT?
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy and a philosophy of living created by Albert Ellis in the 1950’s.
REBT (pronounced “Are Eee Bee Tee.” It is not pronounced rebbit) is based on the premise that whenever we become upset, it is not the events taking place in our lives that upset us; it is the beliefs that we hold that cause us to become depressed, anxious, enraged, etc. The idea that our beliefs upset us was first articulated by Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: “Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them.”
The Goal of Happiness
According to Albert Ellis and to REBT, the vast majority of us want to be happy. We want to be happy whether we are alone or with others; we want to get along with others€”especially with one or two close friends; we want to be well informed and educated; we want a good job with good pay; and we want to enjoy our leisure time.
Of course life doesn’t always allow us to have what we want; our goal of being happy is often thwarted by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” When our goals are blocked, we can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful, or we can react in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful.
The ABC Model
Albert Ellis and REBT posit that our reaction to having our goals blocked (or even the possibility of having them blocked) is determined by our beliefs. To illustrate this, Dr. Ellis developed a simple ABC format to teach people how their beliefs cause their emotional and behavioral responses:
A. Something happens.
B. You have a belief about the situation.
C. You have an emotional reaction to the belief.
A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, “She has no right to accuse me. She’s a bitch!€”
C. You feel angry.
If you had held a different belief, your emotional response would have been different:
A. Your employer falsely accuses you of taking money from her purse and threatens to fire you.
B. You believe, €œI must not lose my job. That would be unbearable.€
C. You feel anxious.
The ABC model shows that A does not cause C. It is B that causes C. In the first example, it is not your employer’s false accusation and threat that make you angry; it is your belief that she has no right to accuse you, and that she is a bitch. In the second example, it is not her accusation and threat that make you anxious; it is the belief that you must not lose your job, and that losing your job would be unbearable.
The Three Basic Musts
Although we all express ourselves differently, according to Albert Ellis and REBT, the beliefs that upset us are all variations of three common irrational beliefs. Each of the three common irrational beliefs contains a demand, either about ourselves, other people, or the world in general. These beliefs are known as “The Three Basic Musts.”
I must do well and win the approval of others for my performances or else I am no good.
Other people must treat me considerately, fairly and kindly, and in exactly the way I want them to treat me. If they don’t, they are no good and they deserve to be condemned and punished.
I must get what I want, when I want it; and I must not get what I don’t want. It’s terrible if I don’t get what I want, and I can’t stand it.
The first belief often leads to anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt. The second belief often leads to rage, passive-aggression and acts of violence. The third belief often leads to self-pity and procrastination. It is the demanding nature of the beliefs that causes the problem. Less demanding, more flexible beliefs lead to healthy emotions and helpful behaviors
The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. Changing beliefs is the real work of therapy and is achieved by the therapist disputing the client’s irrational beliefs. For example, the therapist might ask, “Why must you win everyone’s approval?” “Where is it written that other people must treat you fairly?” “Just because you want something, why must you have it?” Disputing is the D of the ABC model. When the client tries to answer the therapist’s questions, s/he sees that there is no reason why s/he absolutely must have approval, fair treatment, or anything else that s/he wants.
Albert Ellis and REBT contend that although we all think irrationally from time to time, we can work at eliminating the tendency. It’s unlikely that we can ever entirely eliminate the tendency to think irrationally, but we can reduce the frequency, the duration, and the intensity of our irrational beliefs by developing three insights:
We don’t merely get upset but mainly upset ourselves by holding inflexible beliefs.
No matter when and how we start upsetting ourselves, we continue to feel upset because we cling to our irrational beliefs.
The only way to get better is to work hard at changing our beliefs. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unfortunate and unpleasant. REBT therapists strive to help their clients develop three types of acceptance: (1) unconditional self-acceptance; (2) unconditional other-acceptance; and (3) unconditional life-acceptance. Each of these types of acceptance is based on three core beliefs:
I am a fallible human being; I have my good points and my bad points.
There is no reason why I must not have flaws.
Despite my good points and my bad points, I am no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.
Other people will treat me unfairly from time to time.
There is no reason why they must treat me fairly.
The people who treat me unfairly are no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.
Life doesn’t always work out the way that I’d like it to.
There is no reason why life must go the way I want it to
Life is not necessarily pleasant but it is never awful and it is nearly always bearable.
Clinical experience and a growing supply of experimental evidence show that REBT is effective and efficient at reducing emotional pain. When Albert Ellis created REBT in the 1950’s he met with much resistance from others in the mental health field. Today it is one of the most widely-practiced therapies throughout the world. In the early days of REBT, even Dr. Ellis did not clearly see that consistent use of its philosophical system would have such a profound effect on the field of psychotherapy or on the lives of the millions of people who have benefited from it.
This introduction to REBT is based on Shameless Happiness, a concise booklet that outlines the basics of REBT.
About The Author:
The late Will Ross was the webmaster and co-founder of REBTnetwork.org; he tutored REBT self-helpers and the author and publisher of online REBT self-help materials.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU . . .
PLEASE ADD YOU QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS BELOW
BECAUSE WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
37,569 total views, 16 views today
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 5
Originally posted 2013-03-27 18:01:44.
Latest posts by Will Ross
- What is REBT? - Sun 6 Oct 19
Search this site
Quotes That MatterYou might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.”John Kabat-Zin Founder MBSR Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
"Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life"
… (next quote)
Regular Columns & Features
Amazon Associate Member
Rex Alexander and REBT Info are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
When you buy items using the links on this website, we may get a small commission which keeps me in coffee, which keeps me working, which keeps me providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your continuing support of REBT Info.com. ~Rex
TOS / Terms of Service
Pretty basic stuff: No fussing, no fighting, no cussing, no spamming, no scamming, no blaming, no flaming, no hating, no bating, no trolling, no personal attacks. No pornography (Damn!). The Golden Rule applies. Focus on issues, ideas and principles rather than on personalities and you will fit right in. Please keep your contributions friendly and polite, treat your fellow members and readers with respect and all will be well.
All content and information submitted become the property of REBT Info (REBTinfo.com)
We at REBT Info value your privacy. Your personal information is secure with us. Secure server software (SSL) encrypts all information you enter before it is sent to us, and all of the customer data we collect is protected against unauthorized access.
We WILL NOT sell, rent, distribute or otherwise share your personal information, including e-mail address, to or with anyone for any reason (except in the extremely rare, unlikely case of demands by duly authorized law enforcement acting strictly in accord with due process).
For more information, please read the long version
Copyright © 2012-2020 by Rex Alexander dba REBT Info / http://REBTinfo.com.
All rights reserved. The content of this website or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This website, REBTinfo.com, and others under the REBT Info family are for education, information and entertainment purposes only; are not intended as, nor should be regarded as medical or psychiatric diagnosis, advice or treatment.
By accessing this blog you understand and agree to these conditions, as well as to the other Terms of Service / TOS posted, and which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
By accessing this website blog and related media, you affirm that you have read, understand and agree to our Terms of Service / TOS which may be updated and amended from time-to-time.
This is a public blog
Anything you post may be viewed by the public. Therefore, do not post anything you wish to remain private.