What REBT concept was most difficult for you?

Posted by Rex Alexander on Wed 27 Mar 24 in Basics |

Hi REBT Mates!

1. What was the one REBT-CBT concept, principle, technique or other issue that was  most difficult for you to grasp and learn to apply in the beginning?

2. How did you come to master it?

3. How is that going for you now? 





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Originally posted 2019-02-25 17:59:13.

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  • Nga Nguyen says:

    The most difficult construct at first was differentiating the unconditional must from the conditional must. What made it hard was my thinking for the conditional must that “a” is required for “b to be. For instance one has to pass their classes (“a”) to get their degree (“b”). The requirement of “a” for “b” to be present threw me off as I thought that the conditional must is no different from the unconditional one given the necessity of “a” I have since mastered differentiating the two by understanding that a conditional must merely reflects an intellectual awareness of b needing a to occur first and that it only shifts to an unconditional must once the person brings to the a and b their imperatives and thus insist that since the person wants a and b they have to have it. I’ve come to understand as well that people tend to think both the intellect part and the imperative part when they think their conditional must. For example thinking “I have to pass my classes to get my degree” also entails their concurrently thinking I absolutely have to pass my classes and I have to get the degree because I very much like to pass and have the degree. I now know conditional musts are only implicated in a person’s intellect and unconditional musts are implicated in a person’s emotion.

    • Thanks for your comments, Nga. This can be confusing for some people, even those who have been working with REBt for awhile. However, it really isn’t that complicated. The conditional must in REBT is no different than the conditional in English grammar. It always involves a “if”, either explicit or implicit. For example, “if you want to lose weight, you must eat less and exercise more” is a simple statement of fact, not a demand. In this sense, and in a few other cases, the must is innocuous. For me however, personally, I try to avoid should, ought, must, has to, etc as a matter of discipline and good “REBT hygiene.”

      • Nga says:

        Thanks Rex! Your to the point explanation was very helpful. The implicit or explicit “if” helps greatly to indicate that the must is conditional. And you’re right that must is benign because there is no connection to an imperative belief when the person asserts it. You’ve taught me a new and very concise way to explain this construct and that’s a major task of practicing REBT!

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