Cognitive TherapyChapter 13 Rational Emotive Therapy - Albert Ellis Cognitive Therapy - Aaron Beck
Upstate Albert Ellis ABC Theory • Men are disturbed not by things, but the view they take of things. (Epictetus) • How we interpret events is important • Purpose – help clients straighten out crooked irrational thinking • A - Activating Event • B - Thoughts/Belief about A • C - Behavioral and Emotional Consequences • Ellis believes it is our irrational beliefs and self-statements at B which result in emotional and behavioral problems at C.
Upstate Irrational beliefs cause problems – must convince clients beliefs are irrational • I must be loved and approved by everyone • I must be thoroughly adequate and competent in every respect • It is awful when things don’t work out the way that I want them to • People need to be dependent on someone stronger than themselves • One should be upset over other people’s problems • There is always a perfect solution to human problems.
Upstate Albert Ellis - Rational Emotive Therapy • Ellis devised an A-B-C Theory. C Emotional and Behavioral Consequences A Activating Event B Belief about A (Thoughts) “This is awful, I can’t stand it.” (self statements) Break up in relationship. Feels depressed, cries, unable to work. Normal emotions. Continues to work. “This is unfortunate. I am sad, but it’s not the end of the world.”
Upstate Situation (Activating Event) Negative Self Statement Positive Self Statement “I’ll reapply next year. There are other programs I can apply to. It’s unbelievably competitive.” “I’m really dumb. I will never amount to anything.” Not getting into graduate school Having to participate in class discussion “Everyone else knows more than I do, so what’s the use of saying anything. I’m so stupid.” “I have as much to say as anyone else and my ideas are valid. It’s OK to be nervous.”
Upstate Rational Emotive Therapy • Ellis confronts people with their irrational beliefs and teaches them to (D) dispute these beliefs which will result in different feelings/behavior • Encourages them to make positive self statements • Gives homework assignments so they can practice positive self statements and rational responding • Practice, practice, practice • Reinforce success.
Upstate Beck’s Cognitive Therapy • Beck uses the term cognitive distortions • These are illogical errors in thinking • Examples of cognitive distortions are: (also see casebook p. 173) • Arbitrary inference • Selective abstraction • Overgeneralization • Polarized thinking.
Upstate Cognitive Distortions • Arbitrary Inference - reaching conclusions without sufficient and relevant evidence • Example: You make the assumption that other people are looking down on you and you are so convinced that you don’t bother to check it out.
Upstate • Selective abstraction - forming a conclusion based on an isolated detail. You pick out a negative detail in a situation and dwell on it exclusively • Example: A student after a test thinks exclusively about the questions he missed and concludes he will flunk out of college. He got 83 out of 100 correct and made a B.
Upstate • Overgeneralization - holding extreme beliefs on the basis of a single incident and applying this belief inappropriately to other situations • The pain of rejection may be due to overgeneralization • Example: A shy person asks someone for a date but is turned down. He concludes he will never get a date and will be lonely and miserable forever.
Upstate • Polarized thinking - thinking in all-or- nothing terms or either/or extremes • Often forms the basis for perfectionism • Example: A straight A student who receives a B says that now he is a total failure.
Upstate • Therapeutic Collaboration - the client and therapist work together to frame the client’s conclusions in the form of a testable hypothesis • This working together is called collaborative empiricism • Beck often asks questions such as “What is the evidence for” or says “Let’s examine that”. • Beck works with Richard