Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy

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Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a type of cognitive behaviour therapy first used by Albert Ellis which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioural problems. The goal of the therapy is to change irrational beliefs to more rational ones. REBT involves uncovering clients’ irrational or dysfunctional beliefs and actively and directively disputes them. It sees people’s self-defeating cognitions, emotions, and behaviours as intrinsically and holistically connected, not disparate. It holds that they disturb themselves with disordered thoughts, feelings, and actions, all of which importantly interact with each other and with the difficulties they encounter in their environment. Therefore, with emotionally and behaviourally disturbed people, REBT employs a number of thinking, feel, and action techniques that are designed to help them change their self-defeating and socially sabotaging conduct to self-helping and socially effective ways. REBT theorizes that virtually all humans consciously and unconsciously train themselves to be to some degree emotionally disturbed. Therefore, with the help of an effective therapist and/or with self-help materials, they can teach themselves to lead more satisfying lives—if they choose to do so and work hard at modifying their thinking, feeling, and behaving. REBT encourages a person to identify their general and irrational beliefs (e.g. I must be perfect”) and subsequently persuades the person challenge these false beliefs through reality testing.