BASIC INFORMATION FOR RATIONAL-EMOTIVE & COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Rational-Emotive & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was founded by psychologist Dr. Albert Ellis, in 1955 in New York, USA (http://albertellis.org/about-albert-ellis-phd/).
In the beginning Dr. Albert Ellis called his approach Rational Therapy (RT). In 1961 the name changed to Rational-Emotive Therapy (RET) to capture the direct causal effect between reason and emotion. Then, in 1993 Ellis argued that RET is a misleading name because it "omits the highly behavioral aspect that Rational-Emotive Therapy has favored right from the start". So he revised the name to Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) to reflect the interplay between Beliefs, Emotion and Behavior (Franks, C. M. (1995). RET, REBT and Albert Ellis. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 13(2), 91–95).
It is the first Cognitive Behavioral approach which is an effective, evidence-based psychotherapy in dealing with a wide variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties (http://albertellis.org/rebt-in-the-context-of-modern-psychological-research/).
All professional psychologists and psychotherapists of this website’s scientific group are trained in Rational-Emotive & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Athens, in cooperation with the New York’s Albert Ellis Institute (http://albertellis.org/).
In addition, many of our trained professionals have earned post graduate and doctoral degrees in their areas of expertise (i.e., psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy) and are in ongoing professional training through professional Continuing Education programs in their field and in RECBT.
The RECBT therapist will show you a useful way for managing your emotions and your behaviors. More specifically, the RECBT therapist will help you to locate and challenge your irrational (non-helpful) beliefs. Identifying and challenging non-helpful core beliefs will help you to feel and act better without being totally influenced from events around you.
The RECBT therapist will suggest and assist you in adopting and practicing rational beliefs in your daily life that will directly affect the way you feel and behave. Specifically, your RECBT therapist will teach you to think differently and in a healthy way, propose to you effective behavior exercises, which you will be able to apply at home and elsewhere, show you exercises for managing your emotions during the most difficult situations; suggest to you related books, sound and image files and give you printed and digital material for further practice at home and elsewhere.
Success in therapy is very depended on the therapist’s skill, but also on your own active role in therapeutic process. Therefore it is important to accept the basic principles of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (follow bellow) and to participate actively and cooperate with the therapeutic process and therapist. Your therapist will give you guidelines for the therapeutic work and when you are actively engaged, you will be gradually be in the position of managing your issues significantly better and more effectively.
The RECBT therapist will be with you to help you set specific goals. A major part of the therapy refers to assisting you to set and monitor specific goals. In that way you will gradually start controlling and watching more effectively your difficulties and your problems.
During therapy, your RECBT therapist will discuss with you the central role that your thoughts and your beliefs have on emotions and behavior, will reinforce you to get your thoughts and beliefs to the desired specific directions, while at time, the RECBT therapist will interrupt you in order to bring you back to your healthy thoughts and beliefs which is important to adopt in order to function better in your lives.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF RATIONAL-EMOTIVE & COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Your belief (meaning, what you believe in) is the most important reason, but not the only one, that defines your emotion (meaning, what you feel and experience in various situations) and your behavior (meaning, how you act in certain situations).
When you think irrationally (meaning, when you have irrational beliefs like “I want to succeed in the exams therefore I absolutely MUST succeed in the exams”), then it is more possible to feel unhealthy negative emotions (i.e., unhealthy anxiety emotions), to have unhealthy behaviors (i.e., avoid studying or having your concentration reduced during studying) and to have unhealthy thoughts (i.e., “I won’t succeed anyway, so why keep trying?”).
When you think rationally (meaning when you have rational/realistic beliefs like “I WANT to succeed in the exams but I don’t have to”) then often it is more possible to feel healthy negative emotions (i.e., emotions of healthy and constructive anxiety), to have healthy negative behaviors (i.e., to persist studying more or to schedule a better study plan) and to have healthy negative thoughts (i.e., “There are always possibilities to succeed if I believe in it”).
Thus, the most effective way to reduce your emotional disturbance is to change a part of the way you think and evaluate events (meaning to transform your rigid beliefs which do not help you, to more flexible ones that do help you).
In order to do that, you have to learn to challenge your irrational belief system with specific questions, in a regular and a dynamic way. At the same time you will learn to adopt rational and more flexible ideas also in a regular, systemic and a dynamic way. The questions with which you will dispute your ideas examine your beliefs (irrational and rational) in terms of whether they are a) real, b) logical and c) helpful. Your RECBT therapist will teach you the art of disputing your irrational beliefs and will show you how to adopt rational ideas which will drive you toward better management of your feelings and behaviors.
As you learn to dispute your irrational and rational ideas, it will be easier to succeed in your goals. However, disputing is a process which requires daily patience and persistence, and practice in a regular and systematic manner. Therefore, it is important for you to follow your therapist’s instructions, so that you will be able to achieve as much progress in your life as possible.
In addition, it is important for you to know that all people have the tendency to think in an irrational and a rigid way. Therefore, people cause themselves disturbance, and not just the events themselves. When people accept themselves, others and life as it is and learn to interpret events differently, then you will be able to live better and healthier.
The first step in your RECBT therapy will be to engage in a collaborative relationship with your RECBT therapist who will work with you in learning the RECBT model and applying it to your life’s issues. Your RECBT therapist will need to learn more information about your history and your personality’s traits. You will be asked to complete questionnaires (i.e., personality inventories, and other tests) to get to know you and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. This will help your RECBT therapist to suggest to you the best possible techniques and solutions which match your personality, but also to locate your goals. After the end of the assessment part, the RECBT therapist will give you feedback, where the results of assessment will be analyzed and discussed and the utility of the therapy will be explained to you.