Rational emotive behavior therapy (RBET) is a cognitive behavioral therapy approach that was developed by Albert Ellis, a psychologist. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is an action-oriented approach that is focused on helping people deal with irrational beliefs and allows them to learn how to better manage their emotions, thoughts, and feelings in a healthier way.
The goal of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is to help patients alter and recognize the beliefs they are having resulting from negative thinking patterns. We do this in hopes of helping overcome physiological problems and mental distress.
When going through REBT exercises, it is important to let patients understand the impact of events and situations that they may have encountered throughout their lives, and it is also important to look at those beliefs and experiences from the patient to understand the emotions that can arise from those experiences and beliefs.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy has a core concept of the ABC model. The ABC model explains how we may blame external events for our unhappiness, as it is our interpretation of these events that really can cause psychological distress. The ABC model can be dissected as follows:
- A: Activating event: when something happens in the environment around you
- B: Belief: describes your thoughts about the event or situation that has occurred
- C: Consequence: your emotional response to your belief
During Rational Emotive Therapy, your therapist will help guide you and help you learn how to apply the ABC model to your daily life. You can use real-life examples for the ABC model. Your therapist can help you identify the activating event for your problem and then can encourage you to figure out how your beliefs led you to have negative feelings. After this occurs and you figure out your beliefs, you can then work on changing those beliefs and, over time, your emotional response to the conflict will change too.
One way to change your beliefs is to undergo a process called disputation. When you are going through disputation, your therapist will challenge your irrational thoughts and beliefs by using direct methods. By using the disputation technique, it is meant to teach you lifelong skills that will inevitably help you manage your emotional response and your overall mental health.
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