Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy
Providing the basis for what is known as cognitive behavioral therapy today, rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT, emerged in the 1950s when Albert Ellis developed a form of psychotherapy asserting that the way we react to failing to reach our goals is wholly determined by our belief system. Similar to CBT, REBT includes a unique concept called the “ABC Model” that was created by Ellis to teach clients how beliefs are directly responsible for behaviors and emotional responses to upsetting situations or people.
Although everyone expresses themselves differently, Ellis thought that we all share certain beliefs which are responsible for preventing us from reaching the ultimate goal of being happy. He called these beliefs “The Three Basic Musts”:
● Must #1: You believe you must perform well to win approval from others or else you are no good
● Must #2: You believe that family members and friends must treat you fairly, considerately and in the exact way you expect to be treated. If they do not follow your beliefs, then these people deserve to be punished
● Must #3: You believe you should get what you want when you want it. You think it is terrible that you do not get what you want and find it almost unbearable when you don’t get something you feel you deserve
REBT argues that the demanding nature of the first belief causes depression, guilt, depression and anxiety, the second has the potential to lead to passive aggressive tendencies, rage and violent behaviors and the third belief encourages people to indulge in procrastination and self-pity. By learning to adopt more flexible, less demanding beliefs, clients are able to access healthier, more productive emotions that promote behaviors beneficial to the client’s quality of life.
By replacing a client’s absolutist outlook on life with a flexible philosophy promoting a healthy tolerance for frustration, stress and helplessness, REBT inspires clients to challenge their irrational thought patterns and learn techniques to cope with frustration, stress and hopelessness without fear of relapse. At Serenity Now, CMHC, REBT is just one of the main different types of therapeutic approaches we use to help our clients heal and recover.