Class 1: What is REBT?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a philosophy created by Albert Ellis in the 1950’s.

This was based on the concept that whenever we become upset, it is not the events taking place in our lives that upset us; it is the beliefs that we hold that cause us to become depressed, anxious, enraged, etc. This was first shared by Epictetus around 2,000 years ago: “Men are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them.” 

According to Dr. Ellis, the vast majority of us want to be happy. Human beings want to get along with others, have friends, be informed and educated, we want a good job with good pay, and we want to enjoy down time. However, life doesn’t always allow us to have what we want; our goal of happiness is often thwarted by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” When goals are blocked, we can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful, or we can react in ways that are unhealthy and unhelpful.

THE ABC MODEL (D/E) – This model explains how people’s beliefs cause their emotional and behavioral responses:   

A: Something happens,

B: You have a belief about the situation

C: Consequence to your emotional response. After we learn how to change our beliefs and understand our behavior, we can add D and E.

D: Disputing irrational beliefs and

E: Effective beliefs replacing the old

We will look a bit more into this shortly.

ACCEPTANCE – Emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unfortunate and unpleasant. There are three types we are going to integrate into this curriculum:

1. Unconditional Self-Acceptance: despite my good points and my bad points, I am not less worthy than any other human being.

2. Unconditional Other-Acceptance: the people who treat me unfairly are no more worthy and no less worthy than any other human being.

3. Unconditional Life-Acceptance: Life is not necessarily pleasant but it is always bearable.