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Practicing the A, B, C’s Albert Ellis and REBT. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (a.k.a. Cognitive Behavior Therapy) PhD in Clinical Psychology form.

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Presentation on theme: "Practicing the A, B, C’s Albert Ellis and REBT. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (a.k.a. Cognitive Behavior Therapy) PhD in Clinical Psychology form."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practicing the A, B, C’s Albert Ellis and REBT

2 Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (a.k.a. Cognitive Behavior Therapy) PhD in Clinical Psychology form Columbia 1947 Broke with psychoanalysis New approach to change client’s self- defeating beliefs and behaviors. Reduce irrational beliefs. “I must be perfect” “Everyone must love me.”

3 Dating experiment As teenager Ellis was extremely shy around women. Wanted to change behavior. Forced himself to talk to 100 women in one month at Bronx Botanical Gardens. No dates but lost his fear of rejection.

4 Basics of REBT Humanistic approach: individuals have the capacity to create their own self-enhancing and self-defeating emotions. Happiness is the goal: an individual’s belief system affects the level of happiness and self- actualization Source of unhappiness: people inadvertently create personality and emotional disturbances through their irrational beliefs.

5 ABC Model A. A ctivating event (thought or image) B. Beliefs about the event C. Beliefs will lead to emotional and/or behavioral Consequences

6 Belief leads to consequence A. Someone zips into the parking space you had your eye on. B. What are some possible beliefs? C. What are the consequences of those beliefs?

7 Another example A. Your best friend hasn’t returned your phone calls for several days. B. You think ____________. C. What is the consequence of that belief?

8 Consequence A. You and your partner have a fight. B. You think “ I never do anything right.” C. You feel (or do) ______________.

9 Alternative belief A. You and your partner have a fight. B. You think she (he) was in an awful mood. C. You feel (or do) ______________.

10 Another alternative belief A. You and your partner have a fight. B. I can always clear up misunderstandings. C. You feel (or do) ______________.

11 The ABC Model at work ABC model helps people understand the connection between belief and consequence. Individuals are influenced by what they tell themselves (what they believe to be true). Most people begin only seeing that the consequence stems from the activating event. For example: I yelled at the jerk who stole my parking place. Don’t stop to consider or challenge their belief.

12 Rationality is the key We all have the potential to think rationally. Emotional disturbances comes from irrational thinking. REBT theory holds that, if you think more rationally in the face of negative events, you will have less emotional distress. Rationality is the key to achieving happiness.

13 Ways of Thinking Rational Empirically consistent with reality, testable Logical Flexible Preferential: expresses a desire not a demand Irrational Inconsistent with reality, lacks empirical validity Illogical Dogmatic, nonflexible Demanding: states demand rather than a desire. Ellis calls this “musturbation”

14 Handling negative emotions Appropriate Sadness (I lost something I cared about) Remorse (I’m sorry) Concern (I need to take care of this) Inappropriate Depression (I’m no good, worthless) Guilt (I’ve sinned) Anxiety (I’ll never be able to handle this) Adversity may lead to negative emotions. Some negative emotions are more rational than others.

15 Three REBT insights Beliefs, not events, cause disturbance. We remain disturbed by adhering to irrational beliefs. We perpetuate these beliefs by using them repeatedly. We make the same connections again and again, thereby strengthening our irrational beliefs. We will have to work hard to restructure the beliefs that create unhappiness.

16 REBT Techniques Homework: Clients are asked to complete homework assignments, keeping track of ABC connections. Emotive Techniques: try out techniques through role playing, group sessions, using emotive imagery, laughter. Behavioral Techniques: relaxation exercise, distraction, rewards.

17 Homework assignment Until next class, work the A, B, C’s. Adversity: describe situation being as objective as possible. Belief: how did you interpret the adversity. Separate thoughts and feelings. Beliefs can be evaluated. Emotions must be accepted. Consequences: what you did

18 Next step A. Smell cigarette smoke B. I could start again and control it. C. Bum a cigarette D. Stop (Distraction or Disputation)

19 Doing the “D” Distraction: think about something else. Think Stop sign or snap wrist band Dispuation: argument with self. Remember negative consequences Find good evidence Come up with alternatives Consider the implications Decatastrophize

20 Active disputation Therapist engaging client by asking questions. Why is ______ so terrible or awful? Is there another way you can think about this? What is preventing you from doing so? Why must you have it this way? What is the worst that could happen if you give up this belief? What is the best that could happen?

21 Tom and Mr. Jones A. Tom not cast by good friend, Mr. Jones to be in community theater play. B. Many: all negative C. No longer friends. No contact. D. Suggest possibilities to avoid pessimistic consequence. E. Suggest more positive outcome.

22 Last step: Energize Act on the energy created by resolution Release the burden of carrying around negative thoughts and feelings

23 When not to use optimism If your goal is to plan for a risky and uncertain future Where the cost of failure is high. Be careful is using optimism in cases of counseling others when the future is dim. Important to focus on the changeable and specific.

24 Reinhold Neibuhr (1932) God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed. Give me the courage to change things which must be changed. And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.


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