In the first post of this two part series we learned that in rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), Albert Ellis proposed that when intense emotional and behavioral consequences (C) occur, we most often blame the activating event (A). Ellis, however, suggests the real culprit behind our emotional and behavioral consequences is, in fact, our belief system (B) – not the actual activating event (A). So Ellis presents the equation…
B = C
Instead of A = C.
We had a look at a real life application of REBT. So let’s get back in character and deal with that car with the smoking engine.
Well, swell, you’ve been enlightened and have become convinced, at least in principle, that as A occurs, B truly causes a bunch of C’s. Okay, you’ve come to know that the danged smoking engine and your financial strife aren’t the true problems. It’s the way you think.
Well that’s great, but there has to be some sort of intervention available to help you change that faulty belief system of yours so you don’t continue to rip yourself, and your family, apart; and make a fool out of yourself every time adversity comes knocking at your door.
Ah, you guessed it, more letters…
D = Disputing Irrational Beliefs
E = Effective New Philosophies, Emotions, Behaviors
As the car engine smokes, and financial realities present, you must immediately put into motion your knowledge and insight regarding how your belief system causes your traditional negative emotional and behavioral consequences.
Over and over and over again, it’s up to you to dispute the irrational beliefs that would have you believe the smoking engine and being broke are causing all the problems. And only as you dispute what, for now, may come naturally, will you be able to develop new patterns of emotional and behavioral response to life’s stressors; including that danged car.
So perhaps the ultimate equation becomes…
D = E
I’ve always liked REBT. It’s very compact, making it easy to remember and use. And it’s an intervention you can bring to your life right now, even without the assistance of a therapist.
Go ahead, search the Internet for REBT info, or hit your local library. You’ll find all sorts of goodies to help bring it to life. But don’t forget, like every strategy and technique I suggest, practice will bring it on home a whole lot faster, and make it last a whole lot longer. This is not a drill, so give it a shot.
How will you bring REBT into your life?