What is REBT?

‘An elegant cognitive behavioural therapy’

Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) is the pioneering form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955, an action-oriented psycho-educational approach to managing cognitive, emotional, and behavioural disturbances. REBT places emphasis on identifying and changing unhealthy beliefs and attitudes that are at the heart of emotional, behavioural and symptomatic problems. The core principle being that it is largely our thinking about events that leads to emotional and behavioural upset.

According to REBT what individuals label ‘stress’ or distress’ is determined not by unpleasant events or stressors experienced, but mainly by ‘Irrational or ‘unhealthy beliefs’ they perceive as happening to them. Such beliefs are the obstacles to achieving one’s goals and desires because they often tend to be self-belittling, rigid and absolutist demands. Thus they become de-motivating blocks to change, fuelled by excessive self-doubt; seeking perfect outcomes amid rigid procrastination (putting off doing).

REBT largely places its focus on the present: on currently-held attitudes, painful emotions and maladaptive behaviours that can sabotage a fuller experience of life.

REBT practitioners work closely with individuals, seeking to help uncover their individual set of beliefs (attitudes, expectations and personal rules) that frequently lead to emotional disturbance.

In this vein reflections of past happenings may be explored, such knowledge enriching not only present understanding but providing motivating resolve to explore individualized proven problem solving techniques. Hence the first word Rational in the title REBT meaning self-helping, an essential component for maintaining personal health and wellbeing.

Ultimately, REBT has an aim of helping individuals to develop a philosophy and approach to living that can increase their effectiveness and satisfaction at work, in living successfully with others, in parenting and educational settings, in making our community and environment healthier, and in enhancing their own emotional health and personal welfare.

REBT was founded in America where the Albert Ellis Institute is based. The Albert Ellis Institute promotes the works of Albert Ellis and the role of REBT as a means of achieving emotional health and well-being.

Most of the REBT training courses currently run in the UK were set up by individuals who originally trained with Ellis; other CPD and certificated courses recognised by the Association are run by AREBT Accredited Therapist’s and Trainers.

As with any learning opportunity there will be questions that you may wish to ask before you consider such training. Therefore the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) devised by REBT recognised trainers from both AREBT and the Albert Ellis Institute presents an overview of the most frequently asked questions.

You can read a tribute to Albert Ellis here.

You can review the purpose and role of the AREBT here.