Ten Irrational Ideas

We teach a lot about our thought lives, and subsequently about taking our thoughts captive, and being transformed by the renewing of our minds. In REBT, (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy), we use tools to help uncover irrational thinking patterns that continue to create negative and erroneous patterns of thinking that affect us in very unhealthy ways, causing pain, confusion and dysfunction, and even identity crises. ( As a man thinks in his heart, so he is – Fear of human opinion disables, trusting in God’s valuation of my worth protects me from that.)Two examples from the book of Proverbs).

My friend Shannon Slowey-Weldon, after being taught REBT and implementing it, said “I finally have a scaffolding for my thought life.” Meaning she could get on the scaffold, take a look in the windows and see what was actually going on inside her thinking process, and not just be a perpetual victim of her thought life.

REBT, created by Albert Ellis, helps to uncover irrational thinking patterns that keep us cycling in many areas. Much are based in dogmatic demands such as musts, should’s, have-to’s and aught-to’s. Take a look below and see which areas trap you in such a way by using this basic thought examining outline.

1. The idea that you must have love or approval from all the significant people in your life.

2. The idea that you absolutely must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving or The idea that you must be competent or talented in some important area .

3. The idea that other people absolutely must not act obnoxiously and unfairly, and, that when they do, you should blame and damn them, and see them as bad, wicked, or rotten individuals.

4. The idea that you have to see things as being awful, terrible, and catastrophic when you are seriously frustrated or treated unfairly.(Awfulizing).

5. The idea that you must be miserable when you have pressures and difficult experiences; and that you have little ability to control, and cannot change, your disturbed feelings.

6. The idea that if something is dangerous or fearsome, you must obsess about it and frantically try to escape from it .

7. The idea that you can avoid truly facing many difficulties and self-responsibilities and still lead a highly fulfilling existence.

8. The idea that your past remains all-important and because something once strongly influenced your life, it has to keep determining your feelings and behavior today. ( Need for archeological journaling, forgiveness, releasing of judgements.)

9. The idea that people and things absolutely must be better than they are, (including myself), and that it is awful and horrible if you cannot change life’s grim facts to suit you. (Hopelessness- despair).

10. The idea that you can achieve maximum happiness by inertia and inaction or by passively and un-committedly enjoying yourself. (Narcissism, hedonism).

REBT is a professional psychological method. You will need help in implementing this mode of therapy and it is in conjunction with other therapeutic components. But if you use the above outline to examine some of your erroneous thinking patterns, you can begin to evaluate how you are approaching life thought patterns, self, others and situations. Contact us at EIS for further information.


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