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Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy Essay

1129 words - 5 pages

Gerald Corey in Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy explains at times thoughts and feelings can be all consuming for people weather they are positive or negative. Unfortunately the negative thoughts have a way of permeating our views of ourselves. There are three thoughts that Albert Ellis would say everyone believes. One being we must do well and win the approval of others for my performances or else I am no good” (269). Second “Other people must treat me considerately, fairly, kindly, and in exactly the way I want them to treat me. If they don't, they are no good and they deserve to be condemned and punishment. Lastly people believe “I must get what I want, when I want it; and I must not get what I don't want. If I don't get what I want, its terrible, I cant stand it, and life is no good for depriving me of what I don't have”. (269) The ABC framework is the backbone of the theory stating that events influence beliefs that influence our thoughts. This model suggests that thoughts not only precede our feelings but they influence them as well. The therapist's goal is to help the client reframe their thoughts in order to change their emotions. When the client complies and begins to think differently their emotions will also change.
REBT therapists work to identify their clients distorted thoughts and help the client reframe their thoughts using various interventions that engage the mind. Therapists often point out the words such as “should”, “ought”, and must because they are irrational absolutes that add to negative thinking. Gently showing the client their distorted thoughts allows the client to make connections of how their thoughts influence their emotions. Those working in a REBT model usually use rapid and direct methods when addressing clients on what they are doing to themselves. Letting them know that as clients continue this negative self talk they keep themselves in an unhealthy emotional state. It is the therapist's role to present how the clients own thoughts are what is keeping them down. Reducing the irrational thoughts and changing the way the client thinks is the next step. The therapist may use a homework assignment as an intervention asking the client to write down truths that oppose their irrational thought in order for the client to see that the thought is indeed irrational and there are other ways to think about the topic.
A cognitive goal in therapy is to change ones language. REBT is based on the concept that the language we use informs our emotions. Language defines how people interpret how situations and the environment around them influence them. Using language that is general or inacuarate can illicit inacurate emotions. Clients change the absolutes in their vocabulary to words that indicate preference. Thoughts and phrases like “It would be absolutely awful” become “it would be inconvenient”.
Rational Emotive Imagery is a emotion based intervention aimed to create healthy emotional patterns....

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