Do You Want To Know What REBT Is
And How It Can Affect Your Life And Wellbeing?
REBT - (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) & CBT - (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) are like a Human Mind Owner’s Manual!
The lessons learned in this article will help you identify the three core irrational beliefs at the root of everyone’s suffering, so you can stop trying to control the outside world and other people, and instead TAKE BACK YOUR INNER POWER by concentrating on you, your thoughts and your emotions, so you can stop limiting yourself.
And going for what you REALLY want in life.
We are each blessed with the most powerful machine in existence - OUR MINDS - but we were never taught how to use it.
With this information, that all changes! (Stay with me and let’s get into it)...
All people face challenges and roadblocks in life, however it is the internal obstacles, such as limiting beliefs, negative thinking, and harmful emotional patterns, that hold you back.
Here you will learn best practices and powerful principles of modern positive psychology, so that YOU can help YOU understand the way your mind and emotions work and how to take back control of your life.
“People are not disturbed by things but rather by their view of things.” — Albert Ellis
There Are Two Key Reasons That It Is So Important To Learn How To Use
The Power Of Your Mind:
The First Reason Is:
That:- YOU WANT TO FEEL GOOD
You need to understand REBT and learn how to use your mind.
No matter what your goal is or what you are trying to do, the true reason you are doing it is that you are seeking to experience some type of positive emotion.
You want to feel happy, or at least you want to stop feeling terrible.
This is the motivating force behind EVERYTHING you do.
REBT teaches you how to feel more healthy, positive emotions.
The Second Reason Is:
That:- after you got beyond the child phase of life, where much of your life was outside of your control... once you entered adulthood... the truth is that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for many, if not most of the cards you are dealt. REBT teaches us how to take control of our experience of life!
So, What Exactly IS REBT?
It’s a process for changing thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviours.
R stands for rational, and it tells us the truth that most of the time, human thinking is pretty irrational. The good news is that when we think more rationally, our lives are better.
E stands for emotive, and it tells us that our emotions are affected by what happens, but not directly by what happens... It is our irrational thinking about what happens that causes our negative emotions.
B stands for behavioral, and it tells us that most of the time we act based on how we feel, and as we just said how we feel depends on what we think about what is happening around us.
T stands for therapy, or in this case it stands for teaching or training or techniques, and it refers to the fact that this is a process that can be LEARNED.
This will teach the techniques and tools for taking back control of your life by learning how to direct your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Not only does it serve as a manual for how to use the full power of your mind, it will also provide evidence that yes,
You CAN direct your own destiny. You CAN change your life. You CAN change how you feel. You CAN change your circumstances, by choosing different thoughts to change your behaviors.
Why We Think, Feel and Act The Way We Do
As we’ve established, REBT is based on the premise that our thoughts create our emotions and influence our behavior.
The 3 aspects - thoughts, emotions, behaviors - interplay and influence each other, however the area where we have the most power is our thoughts because they are almost always the foundation of our emotions and the behaviors we take because of them.
The good news, which is why REBT is so powerful, is that because we can learn to have greater control over our thoughts, we can have greater control over our emotions and our behaviors.
At every moment our brains are processing our experience taking in information through the 5 senses.
When you experience anything in life, it is interpreted by your brain, which means in a split second your brain compares what it is taking in through your senses, which tells it what is going on in your experience, to everything else you’ve ever experienced.
It’s trying to make a snap judgment of:• What is going on • What does it mean • How should I feel about it • What should I do - The brain has evolved to rapidly interpret everything you experience and it’s so good at it that you don’t even notice it’s happening.
That is, until something happens that causes your mind to interpret a situation as negative.
It chooses a perspective or belief about the situation that creates an emotional reaction in your body.
It’s unpleasant, so it’s noticeable.
Your body reacts to this emotion, which is actually caused by the thought triggering your body to release any of a number of brain chemicals, often referred to as neurotransmitters or endorphins or hormones.
Your brain is like a chemical factory and there is a different neurotransmitter that is responsible for every emotion you can feel.
It all functions as it should.
Something threatens you, your brain interprets, triggers the hormones that shoot throughout your body inspiring you spring into action.
Someone tells you they adore you and you’re flooded with feel-good chemicals.
Our bodies and brains are amazing machines.
But sometimes, these emotional reactions get out of whack with what’s actually happening.
You can feel anxious for no reason.
Something small makes you furious.
You’re sad even when you’re doing something that usually makes you happy.
What’s happened is that your mind has learned a pattern of thinking that is faulty.
Your brain is interpreting situations negatively, when they’re not, your mind is judging situations, or yourself.
You have unconscious irrational beliefs impacting your perspective that you aren’t aware of.
Your brain was doing what it does best - trying to interpret your world in a way that protects you.
Unfortunately, as you lived and learnt through your life, your brain got programmed by the world around you.
Your thoughts were influenced by the actions of others, your core beliefs were adopted from the beliefs of others.
And because you weren’t aware of any of this, your mind became trapped by its own faulty beliefs.
Your thoughts run amok and you were never taught you could catch them.
It happens to everyone.
Human bodies and brains don’t come with an owners’ manual!
But the good news is that the solution is simple.
- You can become more aware of this process.
- You can change your thought patterns and beliefs.
- You can reprogram yourself.
- You can become conscious of your unconscious thoughts and behaviors.
- You can choose to experience more positive emotions, and less negative ones.
- You have this power to control your own mind – a power that has been withheld from you your entire life.
Hundreds of years ago, doctors of the time were smart enough to recognize that the “mental health” problems people were having stemmed from the brain. Read A Brief History of REBT, CBT and Psychology
And it’s time to take your power back!
I'd love to give you a Free Gift for reading this far, It's both a course and a book called "The Human Mind Owner's Manual" forgive me, please keep reading and learning...
Let’s Look at Emotions
The best place to start a discussion about how thinking works and impacts your life is to look at emotions.
I’d like to ask you a question, Do you think emotions should be trusted?
Some people say, “You should always trust your emotions.”Other people say, “Feelings are irrational and can’t be trusted.”So, which is it?
They’re BOTH wrong.
Emotions and feelings are neither right nor wrong, accurate or not.
Emotions are simply your body’s reaction to what you are THINKING.
Your belief system and other unconscious thoughts are happening on autopilot all the time, and cause emotions.
That’s why sometimes you have NO IDEA why you feel the way you do.
So, here’s an example of why emotions are never either right or wrong... because they’re just reacting to your thoughts...
Think about something that you really, really wish you had, but that you don’t have, you may feel unhappy because you don’t have it, but that’s not true.
You are unhappy because of the THOUGHT of not having it.
Let me prove it to you:
Have you ever been happy while not having this thing you want? __Yes __No?
If you didn’t have it but you didn’t care that you didn’t have it, could you be unhappy? __Yes __No?
If you didn’t have it but were doing something else that kept you from thinking about it, such as going down a roller coaster, would you be unhappy about it? No.
You see, not having what you want doesn’t make you feel bad.
Thinking about it does.
Where Do Emotions Come From?
Sometimes our unconscious mind and senses are picking up cues from our environment that trigger emotions, such as reading a person’s body language or facial expression and having an automatic physiological response or sensing danger and having an automatic fear response.
However, most of the time it is NOT the outside world or the situation that is happening that causes our emotional reaction - it’s what we’re thinking.
It is the mental filter that the situation passes through - aka, our interpretation - that then causes our emotional reaction to the situation.
Situation - Interpretation (Thought) - Emotion
The key to understand here is that research over decades on REBT and CBT provides evidence that we can have control over our thoughts. And if we have control over our thoughts, we can control our emotions. It may be challenging to do this, but it is a skill that can be learned. Here’s the process:
Recognize Emotion - Identify Thought - Change Thought - Change Emotion
Changing The Thought
Once you notice that a thought is happening it becomes conscious.
Since you’re aware of it, you can then choose to change it.
Your mind automatically interprets the situation, but now that you’re paying attention to it you can choose a different interpretation - a different perspective.
This is great news because when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Even in the same situation or with the same facts, if you change your viewpoint, your experience of the situation will change.
Here is an example: A man was visiting a friend’s house and went into the kitchen to make some tea, but he didn't find a tea kettle, so poured water into a glass coffee carafe and placed it on the gas stove. He returned to the living room and minutes later smelled something burning. He returned and found that the handle of the carafe had caught fire. He quickly put the fire out. He apologized to his friend and was feeling both embarrassed and guilty. His friend, however, was laughing and complimented him on his “fireman” skills.
Same situation, different perspectives - and the result was a completely different emotional responses.
Why does this matter!
So, this matters because, of course, YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER.
If you change your perspective of a situation, you will change your emotional reaction to it.
But it’s even better than that!
You see, your emotions are the driving force for your BEHAVIORS because the decisions you make are based on how you feel.
As you get better at being aware of your emotions and thinking, you’ll be able to make decisions from a place of control - you might feel a certain way, but you’ll use your cognitive processes to choose to act from a place of rational thought.
But if you’re like most people, you’re not at that place yet - at least not all the time.
So, here’s where we are now:
Thought - Emotion - Decisions - Action/Behaviors
The behaviors you exhibit and the actions you take are a direct result of your thoughts.
So, if you are experiencing behaviors you don’t like or have been doing things you aren’t pleased with, your thoughts are to blame.
If you can’t yet see the behaviors or actions you’re doing that aren’t serving you, look around at your life at the results you’re experiencing.
Have you been having any problems at work or in your relationships?
Have you experienced anything unpleasant?
Are there are things you want that you don’t have?
On the positive side, what aspects of your life have you managed to create that you want, enjoy, or love?
The reason I ask is because I’m going to take this cause and effect train one more step.
Thought - Emotion - Decisions - Action/Behaviors - Results/Outcomes
That’s right, your behaviors and actions are what determine the results and outcomes you experience in your life
Both the wanted ones and the unwanted ones.
By changing your thoughts, you can literally transform your life. Literally!
So, let’s dive into more about understanding how thinking works.
We All Think Irrationally! Yes, even you!
It’s really easy to notice when someone else is thinking irrationally.
What they say sounds illogical. It makes no sense!
Even if you try to point out their error in thinking, they don’t get it.
They seem locked into their point of view, like they’re blinded to the truth.
It can be frustrating.
But the truth is that the same thing happens to you.
Sometimes we all become blind to logic.
Why? Because of the way our minds work.
Your brain’s number 1 goal at all times is to keep you safe, and so it focuses on evaluating what is happening right now and predicting what is going to happen in the future.
And while it is interpreting your world, it is very easy to misperceive or misunderstand situations that are happening around you or things people say to you.
There are a variety of reasons for this.
First, at all times you are receiving limited information.
One reason this happens is that literally we may just not know all of the facts.
If you hear a loud bang outside, you cannot see what is happening and so may assume it’s a gunshot when it’s simply a car door.
Your friend may sound irritated, and so you assume they’re mad at you, but the truth is that you don’t know what happened to them earlier in the day that may have them upset.
The other reason you are receiving limited information is because your brain is blocking out most of the information happening around you.
The reason for this is because there are millions of bits of information going on around you all the time that could be picked up by your senses, however if you were consciously aware of it all you would go crazy.
For this reason, your brain has a focusing mechanism called the Reticular Activating System that narrows down those millions of bits into 2,000 that are relevant to you.
So, depending on whatever you’re focusing on at the time, your brain picks up on data relevant to that topic.
If you’re at the airport and you’ve been talking to your sister about her baby, you notice all the babies crying as you walk through the terminal.
If you are dressed in a suit and heading to an important meeting, you’ll notice all of the other people dressed up who look like they’re up to something important too.
But your brain literally blocks out almost everything.
whatever information your brain does have access to gets filtered through what is already in your brain
For instance, your brain takes this input and compares it to your beliefs to determine what you think about this information.
It also searches through your memories to see what has happened in your past that in any way relates to this information, so it knows what it is.
For instance, when a baby sees a four-legged creature that’s hairy and his parent calls it a dog, the next time the baby sees a four-legged hairy creature he calls it “dog”.
But this time it’s a cat.
He doesn't know this because the only belief he had was that four-legged hairy things are called dogs.
Now, imagine the baby had been bit by a dog.
Now, the next time it sees a four legged creature the baby’s brain is going to quickly evaluate this creature against the baby’s belief systems and memories of past experiences, which of course will lead the baby to conclude this creature is a dog and dogs are something to be afraid of.
The baby reacts to the dog with fear.
The problem is that it’s not a dog - it’s an adorable kitty.
The baby’s thinking is irrational.
But the truth is, it is not that the baby is irrational - because based on what he knows it’s actually quite smart to fear the cat.
This same exact process is happening to all adults too, all of the time, in a split second. Irrational thinking happens because we have limited information about what is happening and we interpret it through our biased beliefs and memories of our experience, which are limited, not to mention memories are very often not accurate.
It’s important to recognize that thinking irrationally does not mean we’re doing anything wrong - just like the example with the baby, the truth is that our irrational thoughts actually DO MAKE SENSE based on our limited understanding.
The problem with irrational thinking is when it becomes problematic and negatively impacts our lives.
So, when we talk about irrational thinking, we are specifically referring to situations where this thinking:
Limits or blocks a person from being able to function in life and achieve their goals. Causes extreme emotional reactions that lead a person to behaviors that harm themselves, others, or their opportunities in life.
Distorts reality, meaning that the thoughts are ignoring reality or facts in a way that is hindering a person’s ability to make rational decisions or understand what is happening, in a way that has negative consequences. Causes the person to judge and evaluate other people, themselves, or the world in a way that is harmful.
As you can see, irrational thoughts are self-defeating and negatively impact our lives.
If we do not learn how to identify and challenge our irrational thinking, we will continue to judge ourselves and others, remain blind to truths that could change our lives, experience emotional disturbances that harm us, and hold ourselves back from living our potential.
The focus of REBT is to help the client
To understand the connection between their irrational beliefs and their present problem.
The counselor aims to expose the irrational and self-destructive beliefs and to challenge their value to the client.
For example, if a client thinks that they need the approval of everyone around them, then the REBT therapist will identify this belief and dispute the client’s reasons for holding this belief.
Once exposed, the therapist and client can then work towards identifying more appropriate and rational beliefs.
From these beliefs it is hoped that new feelings and thoughts will arise for the client.
This process is known as the ABCEF theory of personality where:
(A) The activating event or stimulus, paired with the
(B) Belief about the activating event, causes a
(C) Consequence (The emotional and behavioral response)
(D) Is the disputing intervention that is introduced to change the (B) Belief. After which a new
(E) Effect (More appropriate Belief) becomes associated with the original (A) Activating event.
(F) Lastly Forward progress that ignites new feelings which are associated with the new beliefs about ourselves, through homework and repetition.
The methods involved in REBT include:
- Disputing irrational beliefs in a systematic and logical way.
- Changing one’s language from shoulds, oughts and musts to preferences.
- Using humor to reduce the exaggerated effects of irrational thoughts and beliefs.
- Doing cognitive homework to identify absolutistic beliefs behind your problem. This can include assignments to observe your self-fulfilling prophecies, reading self-help books and listening to tapes of earlier counseling sessions to critique your original self-defeating beliefs.
- Using modeling and role play in the session to encourage the client’s use of more rational thoughts and beliefs.
More articles to come!!
I really hope that you enjoyed it and will take action on the advice given in this article.
I wish you good luck on your journey.
I hope its contents have been a good help to you so this year can be your best year at achieving your goals and ambitions