Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy is a type of Cognitive behavioral Therapy developed by psychologist Albert Ellis in the 1950s. It focuses on identifying irrational beliefs and thoughts and changing them to more rational thoughts. It helps the person to control and manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. It’s an action-oriented therapy that involves different types of techniques to help overcome irrational thoughts. While CBT and REBT are both founded on similar ideas, there are some significant variances between the two. You can accept and alter distressing irrational thoughts using either strategy. However, REBT gives the acceptance component a bit more weight. This component of therapy is referred to as unconditional self-acceptance by the inventor of REBT. This entails trying to refrain from self-criticism and accepting that everyone, including you, is capable of making mistakes.
REBT primarily focuses on the present to assist a person in understanding how their perceptions of circumstances might result in emotional discomfort, which then causes undesirable actions and behaviors that interfere with their life goals. This can assist people in creating better connections and approaches to situations and occurrences once it is recognized, comprehended, and converted to more reasonable beliefs.
People sometimes hold irrational and malfunctioning thoughts about the world or themselves which leads to problems in their lives of people. Therefore, the goal of REBT is to manage these thoughts so that people can overcome negative thinking patterns and can save their mental health. According to REBT, our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected. So, in order to manage the behavior of the person, it’s necessary to first look at the beliefs people hold and then the emotions associated with those beliefs.
The core of REBT is the ABC model. ABC stands for:
- A-Activating Event- Activating event is when something happened in an environment which triggers a negative response or reaction in you.
- B- Belief- it refers to the thoughts about the event that happened
- C- Consequences – it refers to the emotional distressing response to the belief formed.
- if someone doesn’t reply you
- you think they are ignoring you and they are not interested in talking to you
- you stop talking to them and your relationship gradually weakens.
Here situation (a) is the activating event as it triggers your emotions and makes you believe certain things that are not necessary to be true. These negative beliefs refer the situation(b), where you think that the person is not interested in talking to you and they are ignoring you. These events may not be true but you still think of it like this. Then according to these beliefs, you give an emotionally distressing response i.e. situation(c), you stop talking to them and your relationship gradually falls apart.
Techniques used in REBT
During the REBT technique, the therapist will help the client to apply the ABC model to their daily life. The therapist will help the client to identify their triggering events and situation and how they must change their negative beliefs about those events to ensure a positive emotional response. Recognizing the underlying assumptions that contribute to psychological suffering is a crucial step in this process. These frequently take the form of imperatives like “I must,” “I should,” and “I can’t.” These assertions are frequently discouraged by the therapist since they are unreasonable and unhelpful.
- Problem-Solving Techniques
These methods can assist in dealing with the activation event (A).
They frequently involve working to advance:
- problem-solving skills
- Social and decision-making abilities,
- conflict-resolution skills
- Cognitive Restructuring
Cognitive restructuring helps people to change their negative and irrational beliefs, with different methods such as:
- Disputing irrational beliefs
- Rationalizing techniques
- Guided imagery and visualization
- Using humor
- Exposing yourself to the fear
- Coping Techniques
Coping techniques helps to deal with the consequences of the situation.
- Breathing exercises
REBT for Managing Depression
The American Psychiatrist Association defines depression as a common medical condition that affects the way you think, feel and behave Also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it causes a range of physical and emotional problems that make it difficult to function at home and at work. Treatments fall into three broad categories: Drug therapy, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
REBT works on three basic principles that include:
- Recognizing problem-solving skills
- Addressing negative thought patterns
- Learning better ways to cope
Depression is an illness characterized by negative thoughts and low self-esteem. Learning skills that help you think more clearly and act more constructively will help you make better decisions now, but those skills will carry over into the future. This helps prevent mood disorders from recurring and is especially important if depression is recurring.
REBT also shows promising results in adolescents suffering from depression. This may be due to the emphasis on teaching methods such as:
- Recognizing Cognitive Errors
- question irrational beliefs
- separate the individual from the action
- practice acceptance
REBT can also help with other disorders such as anxiety, anger, frustration, and panic associated with depressed thoughts. Recent studies using brain scans have shown that REBT can help prevent relapses and normalize EEG patterns. In addition to getting your brain back on track from a depressed state, REBT and other cognitive training techniques can also help you feel better.
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