About REBT

What is Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy?

The field of psychotherapy has been experiencing a revolution. Practitioners seeking more effective and efficient approaches have been finding the solution in cognitive-behavioural therapy. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, the original CBT approach, was revolutionary when introduced in the mid-1950's. More relevant than ever, it is still growing and developing.

REBT is a comprehensive approach to helping people change dysfunctional emotions and behaviours by showing them how to become aware of and modify the beliefs and attitudes that create these unwanted states. The change process is educational in nature, enabling the client to help themselves, even after formal therapy has ceased. This empowering aspect of REBT is one of its greatest strengths as a therapy relevant to the modern world. As well as client education, a range of techniques including reasoning, emotive, and behavioural strategies make up the therapist’s armoury.

While REBT is a full and detailed psychotherapeutic method, the basics can be quickly learned and expertise built up through ongoing supervision and a constantly growing literature. Training programmes conducted by the New Zealand Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy are open to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, and other counselling & human resource professionals.

With what problems can REBT help?

REBT has been successfully used to help people with a range of clinical and non-clinical problems, using a variety of modalities. Typical clinical applications include (NB: some of the highlighted links in the following list will take you to other web-sites - use the 'Back' button of your browser to return to this page):

  • Depression
  • Generalised anxiety
  • Specific anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobias
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anger management
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Jealousy
  • Sexual abuse recovery
  • Personality disorders
  • Adjustment to chronic health problem, physical disability, or mental disorder
  • Pain management
  • General stress management
  • Child or adolescent behaviour disorders
  • Relationship and family problems

REBT can also be used to facilitate personal growth. It contains detailed principles (for example, enlightened self-interest, self-acceptance, risk-taking) which can be used to help people develop and act on a more functional philosophy of life.

It is also being increasingly used to achieve workplace effectiveness – Dr. Dominic DiMattia has developed a variation of REBT known as Rational Effectiveness Training which is increasingly used in the workplace to aid worker and managerial effectiveness.

The most common setting for REBT is for a therapist to see an individual client, but it is also used extensively in group work, for which REBT is eminently suited. REBT is also frequently used with couples, and there is a growing literature on REBT family therapy. A newer development is the use of REBT in non-clinical settings in the workplace, as described above.

For more information . . .


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