Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Albert Ellis(1913 – 2007) was one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century and one of the most prominent figures in the field of psychology after his break with the psychodynamic school.

He was the creator of one of the theories that have revolutionized the fundamentals and methodology in the treatment of emotional and psychological problems, he has earned a place of honor among the greatest psychologists. Today we are talking aboutAlbert Ellis and REBT.

Albert Ellis and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

His theory (theRational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) is well known and although many psychologists do not share its principles, others are joining this line, finding in it a good basis to continue developing their profession and the appropriate treatment for each disorder, according to the current demands in the field of clinical psychology.

Albert Ellis was born in Pittsburgh in 1913 and studied at Columbia University (New York), which specializes in training professionals in the field ofPsychoanalysis. There he obtained his doctorate in 1947. Ellis soon realized the limitations of Sigmund Freud's theory and, disappointed by the poor results he was getting with his patients, gradually abandoned psychoanalytic theory to begin working on his own theory.

By 1953 he broke completely with psychoanalysis and began to develop a type of psychotherapy that he would callRational Emotive Therapy, a type ofpsychotherapyOrientationcognitive-behavioral.

REBT: what does it consist of?

But What is Rational Emotive Therapy? It is known that Ellis was trained in the field of letters. Philosophy had a lot to do with his studies, which would serve as the primary basis for the later development of his theory.

Ellis believed that his theory could be summed up in the phrase of the famous Greek Stoic philosopher Epitetus, who stated that "People are not disturbed by facts, but by what they think about facts."

Ellis developed his theory by exemplifying it as shown inThis Chart:

grafico ellis TREC

Albert Ellis considered that behavioral and emotional problemsThey could have their genesis from its three sources: that of thought, the emotional and the behavioral. He emphasized how thoughts affect psychological alterations.

Ellis (1995) stated that people are largely responsible for their disturbed feelings, which are generated either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, these same people have all the resources to be able to modify their thoughts and bring lasting and stable states into their lives.

The Link Between Thought and Emotion

According to Ellis, this demonstrates how thought and emotion are related. Ellis argued that it is not what happens at point A that causes emotional disturbance or difficulty, but rather that people create a belief structure at point B and reinforce these beliefs in a negative and often harmful way, which manifests itself in behavioral or emotional reactions: point C, according to Ellis (1962).

This body of theory and the therapy that grew out of it It led to a lot of criticism from some professionals in the field of psychiatry and psychology itself, stating that it was an excess of "rationalism" which caused the theory to be perceived as not very viable and unscientific.

However, time gave rise to numerous studies and investigations on cases where REBT had been applied, obtaining high reliability and excellent results. That is why REBT, from its inception by Albert Ellis to the present day, is at the forefront of psychotherapies.

The studies that Ellis developed throughout his life paid off. Currently, in his institute located in New York City, he continues to work on the training of psychotherapists, through talks, attention to people with family and personal problems, and with studies that make the science of psychology develop new tools day after day for a century as demanding as the one we live in.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy has a clear purpose, as Saranson (2006) states in his bookAbnormal psychopathology,The Problem of Maladaptive Behavior, where he refers to Ellis and Dryden (1977): people have to question their fundamental beliefs (in most cases, irrational), and then replace them with more constructive (rational) ones.

REBT has not only been applied in the clinical field, but there are several writings on intervention in the clinical settings.Labourandeducational. A psychotherapy that provides many opportunities in the study of the human being, emotions, thinking and mental health.

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