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(p. 21) Rational Emotive Behavior Theory 

(p. 21) Rational Emotive Behavior Theory
Chapter:
(p. 21) Rational Emotive Behavior Theory
Author(s):

Raymond A. Digiuseppe

, Kristene A. Doyle

, Windy Dryden

, and Wouter Backx

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780199743049.003.0002
Page of

date: 17 October 2018

Albert Ellis’ theory of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is set forth as an explanation of psychopathology, the nature of emotional disturbance and the process of psychotherapeutic change. REBT makes the distinction between disturbed negative emotions and healthy but negative emotions. The goal of therapy is identified as replacing disturbed emotions with non-disturbed albeit negative emotions. The difference between negative disturbed and negative adaptive emotions is more qualitative than quantitative. Irrational Beliefs are hypothesized as the primary determinant of disturbed emotions and Rational Beliefs are posited to bring about negative yet adaptive health emotions. Irrational Beliefs are defined as dogmatic, inflexible, and absolutistic. They are illogical, anti-empirical, and disruptive of one’s goals. Rational Beliefs are tentative, and flexible. They are logical, consistent with reality and supportive of one’s long-term goals.

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