Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy and a philosophy of living. It was one of the very first types of cognitive therapies. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is based on the concept that emotions and behaviours result from cognitive processes; and that it is possible for human beings to modify such processes to achieve different ways of feeling and behaving. REBT was originally called ‘Rational Therapy’, soon changed to ‘Rational-Emotive Therapy’ and again in the early 1990’s to ‘Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy’.

REBT has been successfully used to help people with a range of clinical and non-clinical problems,

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobias, generalized anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, etc.
  • Eating disorders, addictions, impulse control disorders
  • Anger management, antisocial behaviour, personality disorders
  • Sexual abuse recovery
  • Adjustment to chronic health problem, physical disability, or mental disorder
  • Pain management
  • General stress management
  • Child or adolescent behaviour disorders
  • Relationship and family problems
  • Personal growth
  • Workplace effectiveness

The Basic Steps in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

  • Identifying the underlying irrational thought patterns and beliefs
  • Challenging the irrational beliefs
  • Gaining Insight and Recognizing Irrational Thought Patterns

The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. Changing beliefs is the real work of therapy and is achieved by the therapist disputing the client’s irrational beliefs.

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