Talk:Rational emotive behavior therapy

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Psychological Dysfunction[edit]

Holding this belief when faced with adversity tends to contribute to feelings of anger, rage, fury, and vindictiveness and lead to actions like fights, feuds, wars, genocide, and perhaps ultimately an atomic holocaust.

I really don't think that holding an irrational belief is going to lead to an atomic holocaust. Edited. Oddity- (talk) 01:35, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I would like to see a further explanation on what "absolutistic and jehovian dictates" are and see some citations from Albert Ellis or another contributor to REBT that show a hostility toward "absolutistic and jehovian dictates". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drc923 (talkcontribs) 16:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

The ABCs of REBT[edit]

  • I don't think the ABCs in RET are a personality theory (as the article suggests), or a theory at all. The ABCs are a method of identifying irrational ideas and beliefs about events and the emotional and behavioural consequences of those beliefs. The ABCs are a means or a methodology of teaching one how to objectively evaluate their emotional state and make meaningful changes that improve their emotional well being. --(Unknown - Unsigned)
  • It has been years since I studied RET so I'll break out a few of my books and see if I can contribute to and also clarify some of the article. --(Unknown - Unsigned)
  • I did change the word solely to primarily because RET (Ellis) does not suggest all human emotional disturbance is the result of thoughts and beliefs. --Mr Christopher 23:16, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I spent many hours in the 1970's attending Albert Ellis' presentations at APA conventions, medical school seminars and "Weekend of Rational Encounter". I am a certified REBT therapist. In the 1970's I published in the Journal of Rational Living. Last year I wrote an article on Buddhism and REBT with Terry London which was published in the "Newsletter of the Albert Ellis Institute" Here is a comment on the ABC's. Ellis was trained in psychoanalysis. He underwent psychoanalysis with a follower of Karen Horney. In the early years of his therapy practice he used the psychoanalytic method with his clients. After several years he became convinced that his clients were not getting better and many were getting worse. He saw that his clients were maintaining a dependency on him which he did not see as growth. Ellis enjoyed reading philosophy and decided that ideas from stoicism, existentialism, Buddhism, empiricism and general semantics offered useful material for him to help is clients grow. The ABC's of REBT is very close in meaning to Buddhism's "Four Noble Truths" and is a neumonic device he developed to use in teaching his clients how they can learn to help themselves. When Ellis is doing therapy he can quickly identify and then confront a client with their own irrational thinking. He will even use the clients own words when doing this. Ellis then begins teaching the client how they can learn to identify and confront their own irrational thoughts using the ABC's. When you see Ellis do this it all appears clear and most ( the more intelligent) clients are able to grasp what he is teaching them in less than one hour. However, having the assistance of Albert Ellis in identifying your own irrational thoughts and being able to identify and dispute them yourself is very difficult. This is where the ABC "teaching tool" is beneficial. Ellis has the client use an ABC form to describe a painful situation, their thoughts about the situation and the feelings caused by their thoughts about the situation as homework outside of the therapy session. He then asks them to bring the form back to the next session. If they are willing to work and do the form Ellis moves on to helping the client dispute the irrational ideas identified and brought in by the client. He often would assign pamphlets he had written on their type of problem as homework. Once the client is catching on to the identifying and disputing his own irrational thinking Ellis moves on to assigning en vivo changes in behavior or risk taking. A the next session the client hopefully brings another completed ABC form that describes the results generated by the risk taking behavior. Ellis claims that if the (intelligent)client works hard in the manner described they will get better in seven 20-30 minute sessions. --(Unknown - Unsigned)
  • As I read through the article, I found it dense, but coherent. I have added a section An Illustration to the "Overview" section. I have taught small groups (specifically dealing with divorce) and used this illustration to help them grasp the basic operation of the ABC process. I never had anyone who did not immediately grasp the concept. Following that, it was usually easy to move to identifying their own self-talk. --PreacherShields1945Preachershields1945 —Preceding comment was added at 19:03, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The above example was kindly removed as it seemed not relevant as an introduction to REBT, more to a self-help article.-- (talk) 06:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • The "Theoretical assumptions" section which discusses the ABCs is awkward and needs editing.Gerntrash (talk) 15:07, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Critique and limitations[edit]

  • Are there any major criticisms of REBT? It usually seems that most psychology-related articles have a major section for controversies. --GoodSirJava 19:34, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
  • hmmmm Not so many. REBT has a lot of scientific research behind it... but I will dig some. -- Sethie 01:11, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

please cite examples of this "scientific research"

Isn't REBT merely Stoicism by another name, and shouldn't the same critiques apply? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Ah, how refreshing. -- [-[User:GoodSirJava|GoodSirJava]] 02:55, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Ellis was originally a sex therapist and his Sex Without Guilt was what initially put him on the map. Ellis was criticized for decades about his stance on "fixed" homosexuality. He later changes his views on that subject and published the reasons why. RET has been subject to numerous criticisms in the field of psychology and Ellis has a long history of publishing and addressing those concerns. Ellis' openess to criticism is one of the things that makes him stand out amongst many of his peers. I think Ellis was also voted the second most influential psychologist of the 20th century. As soon as I can dig up some citations I'll add some of this to the article. --Mr Christopher 23:16, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Arthur Janov is very critical of reality therapy in Primal Scream. He thinks manipulating thoughts, beliefs, and behavior is superficial and at best just moves the vent for the neurosis elsewhere. It does not bind the parts of the mind/body split from consciousness through early trauma. -—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The former statement is correct that Arthuc Janov is and was very critical on most cognitive behavior therapies. This thing is that Albert Ellis was also very critical about Arthur Janov and wrote many articles with critiques on abreactive therapies.-- (talk) 06:15, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
  • The article states "A further limitation, at a theoretical level, is that Ellis specified what the different irrational beliefs are. Cognitive therapy, on the other hand, allows the client and therapist to identify and operationally define the "irrational" beliefs themselves, thus making the therapy more tailored to that specific client. " --(Unknown - Unsigned)
  • I think we need a citation for this or simply some clarification. In just about every book he's written Ellis outlines some of the more common irrational beliefs but he in no way restricts and individual from interpreting their own moods and beliefs. And therapy between a client and RET practitioner is very much a collaborative effort so the whole paragraph could use some fine tuning. The differences in a Cognitive therapy session and an RET therapy session would be subtle. The article suggests those distinctions are significant. Again, an RET practitioner does not tell their client how they feel or what their beliefs are, they help their client discover those for themselves. So the comparison of the RET session and the CT sessions is not very accurate. --Mr Christopher 23:16, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I have asked for citatations, if not, I will take the paragraph out.--Sethie 04:11, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Topics of limitations, critiques etc have now been adressed with references in the section "Scientific foundation and critique".--[Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 07:31, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Redirects and moves[edit]

  • The the RET article was tiny and did not contain any information not covered in this one.-- Sethie 20:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
  • That is not the proper way to do a move, you loose the page history when you do it.--Sethie 15:27, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I have not the rights to move the page in the proper way, so I suggest that someone with the rights can do it.To move the page from - rational emotive behavior therapy to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy since this is an acronym with big letters
  •  :I put in a request for it... we'll see. It really isn't a big deal if anyone types either of those two (big or small) they will get to the article. -- Sethie 16:27, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Quality standards and further development[edit]

  • I have done quite a few corrections to this articles, due to what I see as incomplete over-simplified approach in explaning REBT. Especially the general logic on the relations between affect, cognition and behavior, whith Albert Ellis has explaned in a lot of articles throughout the years, better be better explaned. I recommend to do quite a bit of work on this article in the future to clean up the article to that it reflects REBT in a better bay.--16.6.2005 - User:
  • great!!! Welcome aboard.--Sethie 16:40, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Sorry that I have re-wrote most of the article, but I felt that it was utmost nesessary due to the very weak standard it was in. It must probably be cleaned up even more, and I am sure that there is a few more things that must be sorted out.--16.6.2005 User:
  • I've restored the above section of talk which had been deleted, in the interests of preserving the history of development of the page. See "archive rather than delete" in WP:TPG#When there is too much text.--JimR 11:23, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I think the article has reached a higher professional level in the last couple of months, but it is important that the article now get the critical attention by a REBT expert who can make sure that the article reaches an even higher professional standard. In the 'External links'-section I would suggest to only list sites that objectivily try to explain the principles and practises of REBT, and NOT pages that have political or only commercial agendas.-- 11:10, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
  • During the past months the article has gone through extensive revisions and has reached a much better quality standard than before, rendering earlier earlier suggestions and issues depricated. In the future, I recommend experts to refine, expand and better the article so that REBT is even better explaned. On specialized content issues layman are advised to have great cautiong in editing, due to the complexity and subtlety of the topic.--(Unsigned, unknown)
  • Not only does it lack controversy and criticism, as noted before, but it reads as advertisement at times. E.g. "enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives." -- that sounds like something taken straight from a press release.-- (talk) 19:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The former do not seem to understand that the intro of the article "enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives" is part of a whole sentance which says "(REBT)....FOCUSES on...enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives". The statement says that this is the FOCUS in REBT therapy, nothing else. The critique thus seems questionable. Futher when it comes to critique and "controversy" this has been improved now in the section "Scientific foundation and critique". I recommend and urge that experts on the subjects to further better and improve the article. I urge people with little knowledge on psychotherapy and CBT/REBT to not edit the article if they are not sure of their claims. The use of references are very important to achieve a high quality article. Claims that is not rooted in high-quality sources are best to be avoided in my mind.-- (talk) 14:40, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I have gone through the article and in my mind improved the objectivity of the article. The new section "Limitations and critique" seems welcomed, and is the accuracy of the article is better now.-- (talk) 12:56, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
  • In the quote "Because of their self-consciousness ..." it isn't clear to whom "their" refers. Ideally this would be added between brackets. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Links section[edit]

  • There are currently two link sections (general+applications) in article. It has been recommended that the article does not have too many links since it will make the readability worse. In my view I recommend that only the most important REBT pages are listed in the links section and that small articles or commercial services are not listed. -- (talk) 12:54, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


This was incorrectly placed at Talk:Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy/Comments; moved here. /skagedal... 22:36, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

How do you report vandalism of an article? The following paragraph is an obvious case of this.

"Other significant people in my life, ABSOLUTELY MUST treat me kindly and fairly at all times, or else I can’t stand it, and they are bad, rotten, and evil persons who should be severely blamed, damned, and vindictively punished for their horrible treatment of me." This leads to feelings of anger, rage, fury, and vindictiveness and lead to actions like fights, feuds, wars, genocide, and ultimately, an atomic holocaust." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:18, 20 October 2007

This is still in the text... It does sound like an insanely extreme variant of catastrophic thinking. :) Really, are these the words of Ellis or did someone have a little fun? /skagedal... 22:36, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

This is not vandalism and are a the words of Ellis. The thing is that Ellis used these exxagerated words to make a point and make people think. But I agreee that in a encyclopedia they seem a bit out of place. They may therefore be replaced by more diplomatic statements. --Loveslob (talk) 09:21, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


There is a discussion on how the topic of this article should be written – "Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy" or "rational emotive behavior therapy" – at the psychology WikiProject. /skagedaltalk 07:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move to uncapitalized name.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 03:36, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I request this is moved to Rational emotive behavior therapy, per discussion here. I have notified the user who moved the article in the opposite direction in August 2007. /skagedaltalk 14:35, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Previous move (in opposite direction) was done at this request: Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2007 August 16#Requested move. I'll notify the requester. /skagedaltalk 18:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, the uncapitalised style seems to more commonly in use. Snowman (talk) 21:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as per Snowman, and capitalised Jars when juxtaposed with noncapitalised therapies. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:42, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Level of current usage[edit]

Would someone American and familiar with the level of used of this therapy please add and reference to the History section of this article. There is no context in this article as to its level of use in current practice. I never see it used in Australia, and have not seen it referred to in Clinical Practice Guidelines in the US. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:36, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

A really difficult question to quantify. This approach has been incorporated into a more general concept of CBT, just as the earlier concepts and techs of Aaron Beck's cognitive therapy . Probably best considered a school of thought within cognitive therapy, rather than now being a distinct therapy, although those advocating for REBT do strongly promote its underlying theory and techiques, as distinctly different from AT Becks approach or CBT. Many practicing cognitive therapists would be taught and use some of the original techs of REBT - although most would fail to make a distinction, during clinical day to day practice. Formal research and clinical guidelines tend make reference to CBT in general.

The article is overly detailed - probably needs to be written for a more general audience. Earlypsychosis (talk) 05:13, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Template in the middle of a book title[edit]

Hi User:JPaestpreornJeolhlna, can you please explain why you put a {{sic}} template in the middle of the title of Ellis book? Sic is "used where a textual error, or unexpected but intended text that may appear to be an error, has been faithfully reproduced from the original source." But what is the error?? "Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: It Works for Me - It Can Work for You" I don't see it. Lova Falk talk 07:01, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

The error is the hyphen-minus (-), which should be an en dash (), or, if left unspaced, an em dash (). This is a common typographic error—even by editors of Wikipedia. For this reason, a {{sic}} tag helps to clarify that the title originally did contain the mistake. — |J~Pæst| 07:08, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Now that I've checked, the article actually did contain an error: two hyphen-minuses (--) instead of a spaced single one! I've just fixed it, but I actually cannot find whether or not the original title had the hyphen-minus. Any reliable sources? — |J~Pæst| 07:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
What about this picture?. As far as I can see it is an em dash ().Lova Falk talk 07:36, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
It really depends on the typeface… an actual documented text of the book title would be better. Since it seems as if it were actually an editor's mistake, I've changed it to an em dash and removed the {{sic}} tag. — |J~Pæst|​ 15:53, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

"Direct decision therapy"[edit]

I've commenced an article on Harold Greenwald. He was a prominent therapist and best-selling author, mainly for his book on call girls. One of the things he did was to start something called "direct decision therapy." He wrote a book on the topic in the eighties and was very widely quoted in the papers at the time. I became interested in Greenwald because he was the brother of the choreographer Michael Kidd, and he's plainly notable enough in his own right to be worthy of an article. However, I know nothing about psychology and I want to be sure that the article does not give undue deference to what may be (for all I know) a fringe theory. I notice that "direct decision therapy," which was a variation on REBT, is not even mentioned in this article, which makes me nervous. Some expert suggestions on the subject would be appreciated. Please note that the Greenwald article is under construction and that at this point I haven't gotten to his call girls book, which was made into a movie and was his major claim to notability. Coretheapple (talk) 17:18, 18 February 2014 (UTC)