We have bee having a lively–if somewhat perennial–discussion about why REBT dos not favor motivation and bolstering of “self esteem” by using global labels and “rating,” such as “I am an EXCELLENT person.”
As this subject is nuanced and multi-level, perhaps some day I will write a paper consolidating the various arguments for USA, UOA, and ULA (unconditional Self-acceptance, Unconditional other acceptance, and unconditional life acceptance). Here is another tile in this interesting mosaic of posts about this subject scattered across this blog.
Although the bloom may be fading from the rose of REBT, and CBT has become so fragmented–lots of it migrating toward a more mindfulness-based approach–it is important to remember that is still pretty radical stuff. Most civilians as well as professionals use language such as “I am an excellent person.” Rating/labeling, demanding, awfulizing and various forms of generalizing are the way the VAST MAJORITY of humanity construct reality, and we reinforce that world view by the way we communicate with one another.
I think the dilution will probably continue, at least to some extent, because, frankly, most people do not want to work to change their beliefs, strongly preferring kleenex, tea & sympathy, a pat on the fanny and “self esteem” to change. Not to say there isn’t room or even some necessity for a little of that from time-to-time in the REBT guys’ eclectic bag of tricks, but it is decidedly not the point.
Mostly, I agree with Dr. Ellis and others on this matter. I think so called “self-esteem” is one of the biggest scams ever foisted on the general public by the pop-psychology, self-help industry!
Khon Kaen, Thailand
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Originally posted 2014-01-06 22:41:50.
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