The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) was invented by the well-known psychologist Albert Ellis in the year 1955. This therapy proposes that psychological problems arise from a person’s perspective about the events and not because of the events themselves. REBT therapy is aimed at improving the mental health of an individual by replacing the self-defeating perspectives with healthy ones.
What is REBT?
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a kind of therapy that helps in identifying the irrational beliefs as well as negative thought patterns of an individual that might be causing behavioral or emotional issues.
After identifying such patterns, a psychologist can help in developing strategies that can replace such negative thoughts with better and rational thought patterns. REBT therapy is particularly helpful for individuals who are living with different issues.
Symptoms That a Person Needs REBT
REBT techniques are being applied for the treatment of several issues. People who require REBT therapy can show one or more of the following symptoms:
- Addictive behaviors
- Overwhelming feelings such as anger, guilt, or rage
- Disordered eating habits
- Sleep problems
Such symptoms can arise as a result of several issues. It is also important to know the issue of why these symptoms are present. Some common issues are as follows:
- Depression or low self-esteem
- Panic attacks or panic disorder
- Recovery from sexual abuse
- Anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse and dependence
- Addiction to porn or gambling
- Marital or relationship issues; family conflict
- Grief and loss
- Chronic or severe stress
- Insomnia or performance anxiety
- Managing major life transitions
Core Irrational Belief
The concept of REBT therapy proposes four basic and core irrational beliefs. These beliefs are as follows:
- Demands: The likelihood to demand fair treatment, success, and respect
- Awfulizing: The inclination towards considering adverse events as terrible or awful
- Low Frustration Tolerance (LFT): The tendency to not stand or tolerate adversity
- Depreciation: A belief that an event reflects an individual as a whole
The ABC Model
REBT therapy is based on the idea that individuals generally tend to do good in life. Taking an example, one might want to achieve goals and finds happiness in it. But in some cases, irrational feelings and thoughts tend to get in your way. Such beliefs can affect how one perceives events and circumstances.
Let us take a rational emotive therapy example. Imagine you text someone whom you have been engaged for over a month. However, if your partner reads the message but does not reply for a few hours, you might start thinking that he or she is ignoring you as they do not want to talk to you. By the next day, you might also start telling yourself that you only did something wrong the last time you met. In the end, you might even start telling yourself that such relationships do not work out for you ever and you would be alone forever.
To understand how the above example defines the core principles — also called the ABCs — of REBT therapy:
- A stands for the ACTIVATING situation or event that triggers a negative response or reaction. In the above example, the A refers to the lack of reply.
- B stands for the BELIEFS or any irrational thoughts that you might have related to a situation or event. In the above example, the B is the belief that your partner does not want to talk to you anymore or the thought that you’ve only done something wrong.
- C stands for the CONSEQUENCES. These are often distressing emotions that can result from irrational beliefs or thoughts. In the above example, it can refer to the feeling of being worthless.
In such a scenario, REBT therapy would focus on helping you in reframing how you think about why your partner didn’t answer your message. It might be possible that he or she was busy and simply forgot to answer. Alternatively, even if they do not want to meet you; that does not mean that something is wrong with you and you would spend your whole life alone.
REBT is a kind of therapy that can help in treating several mental health conditions. It can be a good approach to try if you want to reframe your thought patterns.