|Definition of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Psychotherapy and counseling approaches for emotional and mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, anger, low self-image, and more, may vary from one counselor to another. Some therapists meld together different orientations and teachings. This "pick and choose" method is often not of benefit to the client/patient, and sometimes may even be detrimental.
Conversely, Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a method used and adhered to by many psychotherapists today as a single source approach for helping people get over the emotional upsets in their lives, and be better prepared when difficulties arise in the future.
CBT teaches people how to change how they think about things. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), formulated in the 1950s by Dr. Albert Ellis, is the original Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and today is widely practiced throughout the world. The two similar but slightly different approaches to psychotherapy comprise what is known as CBT.
REBT works to show you that outside elements (the world around you, it, they, he, she) do not create emotions, rather, it is the interaction with such and the beliefs and expectations which we hold which give rise to the emotions we feel.
When your beliefs become rigid, such as "everybody should agree with me," then emotional disturbance is the result. REBT teaches to modify the belief so that it's not so rigid and therefore less likely to create emotional upset (such as, "it would be nice if everybody agreed with me, but I realize that not everyone will.)
Cognitive-behavioral treatment for those suffering from depression and/or anxiety begins with pointing out the importance of one's own self-dialogue, and how to go about adjusting it to be of benefit--change how you feel by changing your thinking.
Furthermore, REBT/CBT methods are quick to take hold: weeks or months, although the person is encouraged to further their learnings and to practice.
Physicians often will recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy along with a prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. It has shown that the combination of medicine and psychotherapy is the most effective approach for those who suffer from chronic cases of anxiety and/or depression.
See how to apply REBT methods
Learn more about rational beliefs and REBT
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), was developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955.
It has since flourished and spawned a variety of other cognitive-behavior therapies. REBT's effectiveness, short-term nature, and low cost are major reasons for its popularity.
REBT's comprehensive approach works best for individuals desiring a scientific, present-focused, and active treatment for coping with life's difficulties, rather than one which is mystical, historical, and largely passive.
REBT is based on a few simple principles having profound implications:
You are responsible for your own emotions and actions,
Your harmful emotions and dysfunctional behaviors are the product of your irrational thinking,
You can learn more realistic views and, with practice, make them a part of you.
You'll experience a deeper acceptance of yourself and greater satisfactions in life by developing a reality-based perspective.
REBT distinguishes clearly between two very different types of difficulties: practical problems and emotional problems. Your flawed behavior, unfair treatment by others, and undesirable situations, represent practical problems. Regrettably, your human tendency is to upset yourself about these practical problems, thereby unnecessarily creating a second order of problems--emotional suffering.
To learn more about REBT, go to www.rebt.org, home of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City. Another free resource to learn about REBT methodology is www.smartrecovery.org, which has excellent REBT resources for substance abuse.
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