The ABCs of REBT: Understanding and Changing Your Irrational Beliefs
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a type of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that helps people change their irrational beliefs. REBT was developed by Albert Ellis, a psychologist who believed that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all interconnected. When we have irrational beliefs, they can lead to negative emotions and self-defeating behaviours.
The ABCDE model is a tool that can be used to identify and change irrational beliefs. The ABCDE model stands for:
A = Activating event: This is the event that triggers the emotional reaction.
B = Beliefs: These are the thoughts that we have about the activating event.
C = Consequences: These are the emotional and behavioural reactions that we have to the activating event.
D = Disputation: This is the process of challenging our irrational beliefs.
E = New Effect: This is the new emotional and behavioural reaction that we have after challenging our irrational beliefs.
To use the ABCDE model, we first need to identify the activating event that is triggering our negative emotions. Once we have identified the activating event, we need to identify our beliefs about the event. Are our beliefs rational or irrational?
Rational beliefs are realistic and flexible. They allow us to accept ourselves and others, even when things don’t go our way. Irrational beliefs are unrealistic and rigid. They lead to negative emotions and self-defeating behaviours.
Once we have identified our irrational beliefs, we need to challenge them. We can do this by asking ourselves the following questions:
Is it absolutely necessary that this happen?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
Can I tolerate the worst thing that could happen?
What is the most likely outcome?
By challenging our irrational beliefs, we can change our emotional and behavioural reactions to the activating event. We can learn to accept ourselves and others, even when things don’t go our way. We can also learn to cope with difficult situations in a more effective way.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a powerful tool that can help you change your irrational beliefs and improve your life. If you are struggling with emotional problems, I encourage you to learn more about REBT.