Cognitive Therapy -REBT

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – Taking Your Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions Captive

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term form of cognitive therapy that helps you identify self-defeating thoughts and feelings, challenge the rationality of those feelings, and replace them with healthier, more productive and truthful beliefs.

REBT focuses mostly on the present time to help you understand how unhealthy thoughts and beliefs create emotional distress which, in turn, leads to unhealthy actions and behaviors that interfere with your current life goals. Once identified and understood, negative thoughts and actions can be changed and replaced with more positive and productive behavior, allowing you to develop more successful personal and professional relationships.

We integrate REBT in a comprehensive process including understanding temperament strengths and weaknesses, effectively dealing with our past through forgiveness and releasing of judgements, taking thoughts captive [to the obedience of Christ] (in the Christian realm). Effecting a transformation by the renewing of the mind.

In Practice 

REBT can help you with negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, guilt, and extreme or inappropriate anger. This approach is also used to help change stressful and self-defeating behaviors, such as aggression, unhealthy eating, and procrastination, addictions, and more, that get in the way of your quality of life and reaching your temperament goals. (Transforming temperament weakness into strength).

What to Expect

To help you manage and overcome difficulties or achieve life goals, the coach will work with you to identify the beliefs and rigid or dogmatic thought patterns that are holding you hostage. The coach will help you see how irrational these thoughts are and how they harm you.

Through a variety of exercises, you will then learn how to reduce your negative thoughts and responses, and replace them with healthier, more constructive and truthful thought processes.  REBT makes use of a variety of methods and tools, including reframing your thinking, and the use of assigned homework for reinforcement between sessions. Worksheets are provided to help you work through historical scenarios, to examine your belief systems that drive your cognitive reality in any given situation.

How It Works

REBT evolved from the work of psychiatrist Albert Ellis in the mid-1950s as the original form of cognitive – behavioral therapy. Ellis believed that most people are not aware that many of their thoughts about themselves are irrational and even untrue, and negatively affect the way they behave in important relationships and situations. According to Ellis, it is these thoughts that lead people to suffer negative emotions and engage in self-destructive behavior.

At the same time, humans are capable of challenging and changing their irrational beliefs, if they are willing to do the work. While specific life events may contribute to mental health issues, REBT proponents believe that it is an individual’s own erroneous and irrational belief system that causes the most problems. By letting go of those erroneous  thoughts, feelings and emotions, and replacing them with truthful and rational beliefs, one is better able healthily function in relationships and life situations.

In talking with my friend Shannon today, we are were reviewing her progress in our work together.  We talked about the importance of REBT in her ability to navigate situations in her life that previously threw her into a state of losing emotional control.

She now says that this process in a part of her taking her thoughts captive, and uses it as a framework to process her thoughts to come to a more healthy and desirable result.

BH/ Psychology Today/ Shannon Slowey

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