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PSYC 441 Theories of Psychotherapy. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Albert Ellis #7. Dean Owen, Ph.D., LPCC METU-NCC Spring 2013.

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PSYC 441

Theories of Psychotherapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Albert Ellis


Dean Owen, Ph.D., LPCC


Spring 2013


This presentation has been created for the sole purpose of assisting students enrolled in PSYC 441, Theories of Psychotherapyduring the Spring Semester of 2013 atMiddle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus CampusAll of the material in the presentation isdrawn from the course textbook, Theory and PracticeofCounseling and Psychotherapyby Gerald Corey

plos p rimary l earning o bjectives for today s lesson

Explain the REBT view of human nature.

  • Explain anxiety and psychological disturbance according to Ellis
  • Explain the meaning of the A-B-C-D-E-F theory of therapy
  • Recall how irrational belief is the basis for personal problems.
  • Recall the therapeutic techniques used in REBT

PLOsPrimary Learning Objectives for today’s lesson


Remember the three domains of behavior??…..





Initial Targets for the Therapist

There is plenty of evidence that a change in one will cause a change in the other two…..sooner or later!








Initial Targets for the Therapist

Some therapies seem to initially appeal to the emotional side of an individual….to their emotional responses…….to understanding their deepest feelings and emotional reactions……the Affective Therapies…


Initial Targets for the Therapist

By the early 1950s there was a movement away from psychoanalytically oriented therapies and toward a more pragmatic approach that emphasized thought, logic and reason as tools to combat emotional disturbance……The Cognitive Therapies

Aaron Beck Albert Ellis



  • Cognitive therapy was based on the theory that depression is due to distortions in the patient's perspectives, such as all-or-none thinking, over-generalization, and selective perception.
  • The therapist initially tries to highlight these distortions, then encourages the patient to change his or her attitudes.


2. Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) based on the belief that most problems originate in irrational thought. For instance, perfectionists and pessimists usually suffer from issues related to irrational thinking; for example, if a perfectionist encounters a small failure, he or she might perceive it as a much bigger failure. It is better to establish a reasonable standard emotionally, so the individual can live a balanced life. This form of cognitive therapy is an opportunity for the patient to learn of his current distortions and successfully eliminate them.



  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) the most commonly practiced type of cognitive therapy. It is based on the belief that using both cognitive therapy and behavior therapy is more effective than just one of these types. Very few therapists believe in using just one style of therapy for success any more.
  • Unlike Psychodynamic approaches, CBT is transparent to the client. At the end of the therapy, most clients have a clear knowledge about the treatment they have received as well as the specific techniques that are used.

Cognitive Therapy (1960s)

Aaron Beck


Professor Emeritus,

University of Pennsylvania

Beck Depression Inventory

Beck Anxiety Inventory

Beck Hopelessness Scale

Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation



Cognitive Therapy

Aaron Beck

  • A “school” of therapy based on the idea of helping clients cope with difficulties by identifying and changing dysfunctional and disordered thinking, behavior, and emotional reactions to problems/situations.
  • This type of therapy attempts to help patients by:
  • modifying beliefs (cognitive restructuring),
  • identifying distorted thinking,
  • relating to others in different ways, and
  • changing behaviors.
  • Treatment is based on collaboration between patient and therapist and on testing beliefs.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Albert Ellis


The approach grew out of his disenchantment with psychoanalytically oriented therapies……oh, and he also wanted a date!



Evolution of a therapy name…….

Rational Therapy

Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)


Ellis Biographic Sketch

Born: September 27, 1913 ,Pittsburgh

1955: Ellis had given up psychoanalysis entirely, and instead was concentrating on changing people’s behavior by confronting them with their irrational beliefs and persuading them to adopt rational ones.

M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Columbia University, New York City

1982 professional survey of psychologists in the U.S. and Canada…Most influential psychotherapists….

1. Carl Rogers, 2. Albert Ellis, 3. Sigmund Freud

Died: July 24, 2007, New York City


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:

Individuals are born with the potential for rational thinking but tend to fall victims to the uncritical acceptance of irrational beliefs that are perpetuated through self‑re-indoctrination.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:

  • REBT is based upon the assumption is that the basis for behavior change is:
  • Thinking
  • Analyzing
  • Questioning
  • Doing
  • Practicing
  • Re-deciding

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:

REBT is a didactic‑directive model.

Didactic: to convey information for the purpose of instruction


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:

Therapy is a process of re-education.

To re-learn ……but what???

To re-learn how to think in a more logical fashion…..


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Philosophy and Basic Assumptions:

A close personal relationship between therapist and client is NOT necessary for behavior change or personal growth.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Ellis found that insight and awareness of early childhood events did not result in reduction of the client's emotional disturbances.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

The essential problem is people adopt irrational ideas early in life and then keep telling themselves these ideas over and over.

prop·a·gan·da [prop-uh-gan-duh] noun

1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Where do we get these irrational or illogical ideas???

Parental Messages

If I’m not perfect at everything I must be worthless.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Where do we get this irrational or illogical ideas???

You may be sad for a while but you probably won’t die……

If you leave me, I’ll die…..oh baby, oh baby………


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Where do we get this irrational or illogical ideas???

Contemporary Media

I don’t look like this so I’m ugly!!


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Where do we get this irrational or illogical ideas???

From everywhere……

Our problem is uncritically accepting as true what is told to us……especially by others whom we admire or respect.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Common irrational beliefs

The following can be added to each of these….

“and if not, it’s a tragedy!”


Basic Irrational Ideas

1. One must be loved and approved of all the time by all people one finds significant.


Basic Irrational Ideas

1. One must be loved and approved of all the time by all people one finds significant.


Basic Irrational Ideas

2. One must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and fully achieving in all areas all of the time.


Basic Irrational Ideas

3. Some people are generally bad, wicked, and villainous and should be blamed and punished.



Basic Irrational Ideas

4. When things do not go as I want them to go, it's a catastrophe.


Basic Irrational Ideas

5. Unhappiness comes from outside pressures and I have no ability to control my feelings.


Basic Irrational Ideas

6. If something is dangerous I must become terribly preoccupied with it and upset by it.


Basic Irrational Ideas

6. If something is dangerous I must become terribly preoccupied with it and upset by it.


Basic Irrational Ideas

7. It is easier to avoid difficulties and responsibilities then to confront and deal with them.


Basic Irrational Ideas

8. One's past totally and completely determines present and future behavior.

It can but only if you allow it….

It’s really difficult to drive if you keep looking in the rear-view mirror


Basic Irrational Ideas

9. There is only one right and correct solution to problems in life.


Basic Irrational Ideas

10. One can achieve happiness by inertia and by doing nothing.


Basic Irrational Ideas

11. One must have a high degree of order and certainty in order to feel happy or one must have some supernatural power on which to rely.


Basic Irrational Ideas

12. One's self-concept or global rating depends upon the goodness of one's performances and the degree that people approve of you.


Common REBT Terms

Self-defeating self-talk

This term refers to the negative conversations we have with ourselves in our head….constantly repeating over and over irrational ideas taken in earlier in life…..I’m so stupid….I can never get this correct…..someone doesn’t like me so there must be something wrong with me…..


Common REBT Terms


A catastrophe is an extremely large-scale disaster, a horrible event. (Afet)

This term refers to the tendency of some people to exaggerate the likely consequences of something…or to simply expect a negative outcome in the future.


Common REBT Terms


The process of confronting irrational beliefs and replacing them with more rational and tolerant ideas and beliefs. What a REBT therapist does……

karşı propagandada


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Key Concepts: Though emotional disturbance is rooted in childhood, the individual keeps telling himself or herself irrational and illogical sentences.

The approach is based on the A‑B‑C theory of personality: A=activating event; B=belief system; C=consequence.

Emotional problems are the result of one's beliefs, which need to be challenged. Our beliefs are not always logical and can certainly be changed…….

The scientific method of logical and rational thought is applied to irrational beliefs.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy


Event A




Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy


System B


Event A




Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Therapeutic Relationship: A personal relationship between the client and therapist is not essential.

The therapist functions as a teacher, and client as a student.

As clients begin to understand how they continue to contribute to their problems, they must actively practice changing their self‑defeating behavior and converting it into rational behavior.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Techniques and Procedures: The approach tends to use diverse techniques and borrows many from behavioral approaches.

Techniques are designed to get the client to critically examine his or her present beliefs and behavior.

Phase I : Challenge illogical thinking and then provide an alternative, more logical, and less problematic explanation.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Phase II: Teach more adaptive and function behaviors and provide plenty of practice.


persuasion, suggestion, confrontation, direct attack, challenging, teaching, reading, listening to tapes, contracts, homework assignments. questioning, probing, interpretations, role playing, desensitization, counter-conditioning, behavior rehearsal, modeling, hypnotherapy, operant conditioning and assertion training.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Applications: Applications of this model include individual therapy, ongoing group therapy, marathon encounter groups, brief therapy, marriage and family therapy, sex therapy and classroom situations.

The approach is applicable to delinquents and criminals and to clients with moderate anxiety, neurotic disorders, character disorders, psychosomatic problems and sexual dysfunction.

It is most effective with those who can reason well and who are not seriously disturbed.


Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Contributions: Therapy focuses on the importance and value of thinking.

It has wide applicability.

Therapy is brief and places value on active practice in experimenting with new behavior so that insight is carried into doing.

It discourages dependence on the therapist and stresses the client's capacity to control his or her own destiny.

and finally some more housekeeping

Please help me return the classroom to it original condition…..

1. Take your rubbish with you……

2. Place the student desks in their original order.

Thank you…., Gracias, Merci, Danke, teşekkür ederim,ありがとう, Asante, gratias ago vos,

Dank u, Takk skal du ha, спасибо ……

and finally, some more housekeeping