What Is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy? (REBT) - River Oaks
The client unconsciously brings a maladaptive pattern of relating into therapy, - Clients are regarded as equals, the therapeutic relationship is very important . Popularity is due to both empirical evidence for the effectiveness of CBT as well. Aug 31, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: Adapting Your Thinking to Improve Your Life Psychoanalysis didn't consider the client's way of thinking to be especially problematic; instead, it aimed to penetrate the unconscious mind. .. Articles (35) ; Positive Workplace (19); Relationships & Communication (13). REBT focuses on a person's belief system, attitudes, and thought processes as the how personal experiences are processed by unconscious processes in the mind. whereas in Freudian psychoanalysis, behavior is seen to reflect or express . An REBT therapist develops a close working relationship with the client and.
Indeed, many consider sport psychology to be much more than the provision of psychological skills training PSTrecognizing the role sport psychology could play in the mental health of athletes. Also, many recognize the importance of viewing athletes as humans first, and athletes second, thus reinforcing a humanistic approach to helping athletes with self-defeating emotions and behaviors, inside and outside of their sport.CBT and Psychoanalysis Similarities and Difference
However, providing that the practitioner is trained and competent in the use of counseling approaches, it is possible to work with athletes on deeply held attitudes and beliefs that positively influence not only sports performance, but also mental health.
Inspired primarily by the Stoic philosophers, REBT holds that it is not events that directly cause emotions and behaviors. This is a common cognitive-behavioral philosophy shared across various approaches. REBT places this central idea or philosophy into an ABC framework where the event is represented by the letter A activating event or adversitythe beliefs are allocated the letter B, and finally emotions and behaviors are represented by C consequences.
Not only does this ABC framework hold up scientifically when considering the role of cognitive appraisal in the generation of emotion David et al. Most prominently, it enables clients to realize that it is not outside events A that cause their dysfunctional reactions Cit is their irrational beliefs Band thus, they are in control of how they respond to adversity because they can have autonomy over their beliefs. Theorists and practitioners e.
Cold cognitions describe how an individual develops representations of situations, whereas hot cognitions refer to the evaluation of cold cognitions, or appraisals David and McMahon, ; David et al. Therefore, emotions emerge as a result of cold cognitions that deem a situation to be motivationally relevant and motivationally incongruent, mediated by rational and irrational beliefs hot cognitions.
Put another way, the ability for A activating event; cold cognition to cause C emotional and behavioral response is dependent on B rational and irrational beliefs; hot cognition.
Hence, the ABC philosophy that informs REBTs theoretical and therapeutic approach serves to guide treatment and capture the mechanisms driving emotional responding. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy distinguishes itself from other cognitive-behavioral approaches by placing irrational and rational beliefs at its core. In REBT rational beliefs are defined as beliefs that are flexible, non-extreme, and logical i.
Specifically, there are four types of rational and irrational beliefs. UNEs are associated with very unpleasant physical symptoms chronic and severe and usually motivate behaviors that work against goal attainment.
In contrast, HNEs facilitate goal accomplishment as they are associated with some unpleasant physical symptoms acute and mild and motivate behaviors that facilitate goal attainment.
HNEs and UNEs are not necessarily distinguished by the intensity of the emotion, rather, they are qualitatively different. In other words, it is not that unhealthy anxiety is less intense than healthy anxiety, or that they are just two versions of the same emotions. It is more accurate to consider them to be different emotions altogether as they drive different behaviors or action tendencies.
This binary model of distress David et al. This is done using a systematic disputation D process, which entails the practitioner helping the client to challenge specific irrational beliefs Dryden, The client is asked to consider whether there is any evidence for their belief, whether it is logical or consistent with reality, and whether the belief is pragmatic or helpful.
Once the irrational belief has been disputed, a rational alternate belief is constructed, in line with theory and in collaboration between client and practitioner, a step labeled E effective new belief.
Depending on the motivation of the client, REBT can be completed briefly in as little as five sessions for clearly defined issues but more long-term REBT is recommended for more complex issues Digiuseppe et al. However, longer REBT in terms of minutes is considered more effective, having greater impact on treatment outcomes Lyons and Woods, ; Gonzalez et al. Practitioners wishing to ethically adopt REBT within their practice should acquire professional competencies by completing a recognized and official REBT course, and also maintain their knowledge and skills via peer support groups.
Because there is a paucity of research reporting the use of REBT with athletes, meta-analyses conducted with non-athletes provides acceptable, but not strong, justification for the use of REBT with athlete populations. However, sport literature has started to report the use of REBT in athlete populations. REBT and Irrational Beliefs in Sport One of the advantages of practicing and studying sport psychology is the exposure to a broad range of psychological approaches, many of which that have their groundings in cognitive behavioral approaches.
However, the author finds that REBT is particularly useful for accessing, challenging, and changing more deeply held beliefs and philosophies than the techniques included within The Canon. For example, following REBT, athletes with rational beliefs still get anxious healthy anxiety about competing and The Canon provides useful strategies for reducing symptoms such as rumination and debilitative arousal. But some athletes require deeper-level work in order to counteract core irrational beliefs that drive unhealthy emotions and behaviors that may be more effectively treated through REBT.
Therefore REBT is applicable for a vast range of athlete issues apart from performance issues, such as career transition, personal life issues, and eating disorders. The goal of REBT is to enhance and maintain emotional and behavioral functionality, which then helps to drive long-term goal achievement.
In the context of sport, where the result is often the most important factor and a quick fix is tempting, athlete mental health is sometimes forgotten.
It is important to recognize that REBT is also a preventative approach that can bolster rational beliefs and mental health, and is not just about providing a solution to irrational beliefs and mental ill-health. This also helps athletes to self-manage emotions once they have been suitably trained to use REBT independently and competently. Sport, and many other performance contexts, can be too reactive to problems, which can cause sport psychology provision to be seen as remedial, rather than a core part of athlete support.
Nonetheless, the growth of sport psychology has helped practitioners integrate well-established and also novel approaches into their practice, which in the case of REBT is reflected in the recent attention it has received in sport psychology literature. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy can be delivered in time-constricted and access-restricted situations, typical of some sporting environments.
Therefore the modes of delivery typical in REBT such as group therapy, education, and one-to-one counseling, fit well within the provision of sport psychology. Perhaps many sport psychology practitioners use REBT within their practice, but current literature has sparse examples of REBT being used with athletes.
The writing concerning the use of REBT in sport has been focused on case-study reflections e. For example, Bernard provides a very detailed description of his work applying a rational-emotive training program with Australian Rules Football players.
Delivered in a group setting, the program included REBT education and also broader themes such as concentration training and goal setting. Bernard reports that the athletes were better able to control their thoughts to directly influence performance. However, no performance markers were attained and no control-group was present as this work was not a research study, deeming the extent to which the program influenced actual performance impossible to ascertain.
A similar approach was taken by Marlow who applied REBT with a youth ten-pin bowler, again within a broad program of psychological skills, reporting positive performance effects alongside adaptive behavioral changes. Away from reflective case-study approaches, there have been a handful of studies that focus on changes in relevant dependent variables through the application of REBT.
Elko and Ostrow applied REBT with six gymnasts and found reduced anxiety in five and enhanced performance in three of the participants. The lack of performance gain in three of the gymnasts is feasibly attributed to circumstantial events, but may indicate that the promotion of rational beliefs does not necessarily improve athletic performance. In another study, five lecture-based REBT sessions were provided to youth soft-tennis players, with results indicating that cognitive-anxiety was significantly reduced Yamauchi and Murakoshi, However, this study is written in Japanese, has not been translated, and therefore the author has been unable to discern the precise details of the study.
One study examined the efficacy of REBT for managing trait and state anxiety direction, and ten-pin bowling performance, compared to an imagery and relaxation intervention, and a placebo intervention Larner et al.
The relaxation and imagery intervention comprised rehearsal of alternate physiological and mental states during competition, and the placebo intervention emphasized general attention and reflective counseling.
The REBT intervention reduced irrational thinking significantly more than the comparison interventions, which is to be expected. However, REBT also significantly moderated negative directional interpretations of trait and state anxiety symptoms, and improved performance to a greater extent than the comparison interventions.
Using coach and teammate evaluation and video analysis, results showed a reduction in behaviors related to LFT, and performance enhancement in competitions. More recent research has emerged that has adopted single-case designs to assess the effectiveness of REBT with athletes. In a study by Turner and Barkerfour elite youth cricketers received three one-to-one REBT counseling sessions regarding their performance anxiety.
Results showed a significant reduction in irrational beliefs and cognitive anxiety when REBT was applied, but no objective performance markers were collected and therefore the impact of REBT on performance was not evidenced.
Two further studies Turner et al. However, when REBT education was applied in a single session, reductions in irrational beliefs were short-term, returning to baseline levels at a follow-up timepoint Turner et al.
Whereas REBT education applied in three sessions yielded longer-term reductions in irrational beliefs, lending support to the idea that REBT is not a quick fix.
Rational emotive behavior therapy
Again, although in both studies subjectively athletes felt that the REBT helped them improve emotional control and performance, no objective markers of performance were sought. More recently Cunningham and Turner,REBT was used with three semi-professional Mixed Martial Arts athletes on a one-to-one basis, to reduce irrational beliefs, in particular self-depreciation, and increase unconditional self-acceptance.
Results showed that two of the three athletes reported decreases in self-depreciation, and all three showed increases in unconditional self-acceptance USA. Also, in a detailed case-study paper REBT was applied with a country-level archer across seven sessions Wood et al. Further, the research that exists has focused on the application of REBT with athletes in the field, and not on testing and validating the theoretical proponents of REBT in sport settings, or with athletes.
The number of empirical research papers and practitioner reflections are growing in the sport and REBT literature, but most articles focus on how the application of REBT reduces irrational beliefs in athletes, with the use of social validation data to explore broader changes at an emotional and behavioral level.
With the research in sport in its infancy, there are a number of areas in which future research should be directed. In this article the author presents three key areas in which further research should be invested in order to advance the understanding of irrational and rational beliefs and REBT in sport.
First, the influence of irrational and rational beliefs and REBT on the mental health of athletes should be more fully investigated. Although extant sport research has reported shifts in irrational and rational beliefs and emotional outcomes e. Second, given that sport is a performance-driven industry, the influence of irrational and rational beliefs and REBT on performance should be more fully empirically tested. While the extant research provides growing support for the applicability of REBT for sport performance e.
Further, the potential mechanisms for sport performance effects stemming from irrational and rational beliefs have not been suitably investigated. Third, the development of irrational beliefs in athletes should be investigated to provide a clear picture of how and when irrational beliefs emerge in athletes.
This can open the door for early-years development of rational beliefs in order to avoid mental health issues stemming from irrational beliefs as the athlete progresses in their career. This article addresses each of these three areas in detail and in turn. The Influence of Irrational Beliefs and Rational Beliefs on Mental Health Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy did not stem from performance literature, and like many other cognitive-behavioral approaches, REBT has been adopted by sport and exercise psychologists for use in performance settings.
The origins of REBT are within clinical psychotherapeutic settings, where the chief goal is mental health. Therefore the preponderance of extant research examines mental health outcomes, and indicates that irrational beliefs lead to, and are associated with, a vast range of emotional and behavioral outcomes that undermine mental health.
In this section of the current article, the author provides a review of the literature examining irrational beliefs as a risk factor for mental illness, and rational beliefs as a protective factor for mental illness. Given the dearth of research investigating irrational and rational beliefs and the mental health of athletes, the aim here is to detail the ways in which irrational and rational beliefs are associated with a broad range mental health issues that clearly could affect an athlete throughout their careers.
A greater understanding of how irrational and rational beliefs contribute to mental illness is sought, with a view to proposing how future research could begin to understand this issue in sport. Although athletes have not been at the center of this research, many of the outcomes associated with and stemming from irrational beliefs could clearly hinder short-term and long-term athletic achievement, and impact upon the mental health of athletes.
To present REBT as a potentially effective approach to promoting athlete mental health, it is first important to consider the wider evidence linking irrational and rational beliefs to mental health. General Irrational Beliefs A vast amount of research has been dedicated to exploring the associates of irrational beliefs in general, and the associates of the four core irrational beliefs.
Bringing this large literature base together, it is possible to appreciate the expansive influence of irrational beliefs on a range of unhealthy emotional and behavioral outcomes. The theoretical structure of rational and irrational beliefs within REBT is appealing due to its symmetry and relative simplicity. But apart from their aesthetic structural appeal, rational and irrational beliefs are valuable constructs because they determine numerous cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes, important for mental health.
Research has concentrated more on irrational beliefs than rational beliefs, perhaps reflecting a problem-focused bias, rather than a benefit-focused, in the literature concerning REBT. A review by Browne et al.
Across the research that demonstrates relationships between irrational beliefs and dysfunctional emotions, the strength of the associations varies across studies e. Also, associations between increased irrational beliefs and a consequent increase in emotional or inferential dysfunction are often small MacInnes, However, it maybe that the hypothesis that irrational beliefs cause dysfunctional emotions might be true, but that the 18 studies that met the analysis criteria provide weak evidence.
In a recent meta-analysis Visla et al. Eighty-three studies were included in the analyses, with a total of 16, participants in total across different samples.
Overall, the authors comment that the study evidenced a moderate but robust relationship between irrational beliefs and psychological distress, corroborating and extending past research e. Many studies show that irrational beliefs are positively associated with depression and depressive symptoms e.
What Is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy? (REBT)
An early study Nelson, revealed that the strongest relationships with depression emerged for irrational beliefs that reflected a need to excel in all endeavors, that it is terrible when things are not the way one would like them to be, obsessive worry about future misfortunes, and the impossibility of overcoming the influences of past history.
These four beliefs are of course salient in sport, where excellence is desirable, frequent barriers emerge that can impact success, and athletes are often judged on previous success or failure.
The extant literature also indicates that irrational beliefs are positively related to various forms of anxiety such as trait, state, speech, social, evaluation, test anxiety in clinical and non-clinical samples Himle et al. At a physiological level irrational beliefs have been associated with greater galvanic skin response Master and Gershman,and systolic blood pressure Harris et al. Examining more complex physiological parameters, Papageorgiou et al. This study suggests that irrational beliefs maybe a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Indeed, irrational beliefs are also positively related to type-A coronary-prone behavior, where individuals are highly motivated and competitive, but feel near constant time pressure, and have high hostility and anger Friedman, This has been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Demandingness Demandingness in REBT is the primary irrational belief and research see Szentagotai and Jones,for a review indicates that demandingness is positively related to a vast array of dysfunctional emotional and behavioral outcomes.
Specifically, and non-exhaustively, demandingness is associated with disordered eating Harrington, a ; Pearson and Gleaves,reduced anger control Addis and Bernard,relationship problems, social avoidance and isolation Watson et al. It is reasonable to suggest that none of these outcomes are conducive to short or long-term athletic goal achievement. Awfulizing Awfulizing in REBT is a secondary irrational belief and has been positively related to a submissive interpersonal style Goldberg,social isolation Watson et al.
An area highly relevant to the mental health and performance of athletes is the research surrounding pain catastrophizing a term often used instead of awfulizingwhich leads to greater pain e. It is thought that the anxiety provoked by awfulizing increases perceptions of pain through inflated expectations of high pain, and can lead to negative mental states activated in anticipation and during painful experiences Sullivan et al.
Also, catastrophizing mediates the relationship between depression and pain such that higher catastrophizing promotes depressive responses to pain Gatchel et al. The link between irrational beliefs and injury outcomes associated with pain is highly salient to athletes, given that the vast majority if not all of athletes will experience injury during their careers to a greater or lesser severity and frequency.
Low frustration tolerance LFT Low frustration tolerance is a secondary irrational belief, and research indicates that it is positively associated with aggressive expression of anger Martin and Dahlen,reduced anger control Moller and Van der Merwe,poor social adjustment Watson et al.
The link between LFT and procrastination has received much research attention, with Ellis and Knausp. Individuals that find it difficult to tolerate difficulty and who experience procrastination are less likely to fulfill their achievement potential Wilde, Literature suggests that depreciation beliefs are a strong predictor of depression Solomon et al. Depreciation reflects the notion that on the basis of one occurrence, the individual generalizes and values the self in line with the result.
For example, an athlete might conclude that because they have failed in a tennis match, then they are a complete failure. REBT is unique in that it encourages the valuation of behaviors, and the unconditional acceptance of people and the self as a whole. General Rational Beliefs Research concerning rational beliefs is less voluminous compared to research investigating irrational beliefs.
Indeed, unlike research concerning irrational beliefs, the four core rational beliefs have not been examined to the same extent. This indicates a problem-orientated focus within the literature, which may reflect a more general negativity bias Kanouse and Hanson,which refers to the tendency for things of a more negative nature e. There is no reason to suppose that this tendency has not permeated the academic research concerning REBT.
This issue notwithstanding, research concerning rational beliefs see Caserta et al. It has also been found that the use of rational self-statements during pressured tasks leads to less self-reported anxiety Rosin and Nelson, and emotional distress Cramer and Kupshik, than irrational self-statements, which may have implications for athletes in terms of how they structure and frame their self-talk.
Unconditional Self Acceptance USA Unconditional self acceptance is a specific rational belief that reflects unconditional regard for oneself despite undesirable behaviors and adverse events e.
So where irrational self-depreciation beliefs involve assigning low self-value and self-worth on the basis of an event, USA involves accepting oneself regardless of the adversity Hill et al.
Davies a found that USA was most strongly negatively related to self-depreciation, need for achievement, and need for approval. Further, participants primed with irrational self-statements showed reduced USA, and those primed with rational self-statements showed increased USA Davies, b. These studies show that USA is a rational belief that contrasts with irrational beliefs. USA is negatively related to depression and anxiety Chamberlain and Haaga, ; Scott,and low USA can lead to self-blame and self-criticism cf.
Research also shows that USA is negatively related to self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism Flett et al. Further, Flett et al. This is important because perfectionism has been found to lead to a range of dysfunctional emotions Flett et al. Furthermore, Flett et al. The authors note that adolescents with high levels of self-oriented perfectionism acknowledged that their self-worth is based on how they are evaluated by themselves and by other people and whether approval and recognition are forthcoming from others.
This is salient in sport where self and other evaluation is part and parcel of the context within which athletes are performing.
Indeed, perfectionists often have a contingent sense of self-worth e. It is difficult to imagine any athlete able to navigate the complex performance environment without making mistakes or facing set backs that may impinge on their sense of self-worth. Critical Summary The extant research shows that irrational and rational beliefs are related to a vast array of outcomes relevant to mental health.
Although the research has not considered athletes, clearly the mental health outcomes can affect athletes within and outside of their sport participation. Only one study has directly examined the relationship between irrational beliefs and mental health outcomes, which revealed that irrational beliefs predicted increases in physical and emotional exhaustion a dimension of burnout in Gaelic football athletes over an 8-week period Turner and Moore, This finding is inline with past research outside of sport linking irrational beliefs to greater burnout e.
Over numerous pairings, the dog will associate hearing the bell ring with the meat and begin to salivate when hearing the bell. This is the actual behavioral response itself. These are contingencies that occur once the behavior has occurred.
For instance, in a model of behaviorism popularized by BF Skinner, animals were rewarded following various behaviors. Being rewarded for a behavior increases the likelihood that the animal will repeat it. These are common issues and obstacles that everyone encounters in the world as a result of interacting with other people.
These are actual mental representations that individuals have that represent their estimation of whether they can deal with adversity in a positive manner and move toward positive outcomes.
The joint efforts of the therapist and client working together can lead to a disruption of a dysfunctional and irrational belief system. As a result of the identification, disruption, and reorganization of irrational and dysfunctional beliefs, the therapeutic process can work to develop a new set of consequences that are consistent with a more realistic outlook. The goal Ellis focused on all of his years was to help people to express their emotions, beliefs, and actions in a manner that is consistent with a quality of life that is constructive and relatively free of self-imposed limitations.
Ellis referred to the process of obtaining rational beliefs and attitudes consistent with the real world as a state of mental wellness. REBT became the process Ellis used to reshape the irrational and dysfunctional belief system of individuals who were having trouble with different types of behavioral issues, including severe psychopathology such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, personality disorders, and even substance use disorders.
Irrational Beliefs Ellis recognized that in order to address all the potential types of irrational dysfunctional belief systems that individuals have, there needed to be some form of a descriptive system that could sort different but related types of irrational beliefs into categories based on their overarching presentation.
Ellis determined that there were three basic categories of irrational beliefs that most individuals express. Once the therapist has developed this framework, the goal becomes to challenge these irrational beliefs and assist the individual in developing more realistic, positive, and functional beliefs and attitudes that will result in positive and fulfilling behaviors. Before going further, it is important to understand that any form of belief system or any form of irrational belief system is not conceptualized by that person as a conscious explanation for their behavior.
People may have some fleeting knowledge of their motivations but they often do not fully understand them or their origins on a conscious level. Cognitive therapists use terms like schemas and scripts to describe these types of mental programs that are ingrained in a person. Not all of these types of schemas are irrational or dysfunctional. Many of them serve an important function and allow individuals to relate to others, predict the behaviors of others, and interact with others in a functional manner.
However, individuals who have certain types of behavioral psychopathology may have a subset of these schemas that are irrational and lead to dysfunctional types of consequences. Expectations or demands of oneself: Often, they are not globally expressed but just felt when they are being violated, such as when an individual senses that someone does not like them or when a person tries to explain away or hide a mistake. If individuals are unable to live up to this belief, they somehow view themselves as being inadequate or inferior.
This results in significant distress for many, and some individuals may often make global self-statements regarding their worth based on these unrealistic demands. These demands can lead to consequences, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, etc.
Rational emotive behavior therapy - Wikipedia
For some individuals, these demands may be so unrealistic that they could never be achieved by anyone. Expectations or demands of others: Because these irrational views can never fully be fulfilled, individuals may experience frustration, regret, or anger, and even express violence or aggression toward others.
Expectations or demands of the world: These expectations are so unrealistic that they could never be realized. These are the types of expectations that often lead to issues with substance abuse, self-pity, and depression or anxiety.
It was the irrational and dysfunctional beliefs that he believed needed to be altered. An REBT therapist develops a close working relationship with the client and establishes trust before identifying these belief systems.