A healthy mind: It’s as easy as ABC
By Daniel Fryer ~Cognitive behaviour therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, various London practices
In a slight case of acronym overkill, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) is a form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that takes a simple-yet-cunning approach to mental wellness, where activating events (A) trigger beliefs (B) that cause consequences (C). To find out how this model can help you lead a happier life, read on…
Pioneered and developed in the mid-1950s by a New York psychotherapist called Albert Ellis, REBT predates the more widely-practised form of CBT (developed by the psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck) by about 10 years.
It takes the point of view that it is not the things in life that distress you, but the beliefs you hold about those things that distresses you. So, if you are thinking, feeling, or acting in a way that you don’t like, but don’t seem to be able to change, REBT, helps you to identify and challenge those unhealthy distress-causing beliefs that you hold in the face of that event, whilst at the same time helping you to identify and re-enforce a serious of healthier and more helpful beliefs. Change your beliefs and you change the way you think feel and act.
Hmm, sounds interesting, tell me more
“Men are not disturbed by things, but by the view which they take of them.” (Epictetus, philosopher, AD 55 – AD 135)
Let’s say that you are about to go on a date. You’ve been on a few and they’ve not gone to well, you like this new guy, a lot, and you’ve got your hopes up. There are two ways you could look at that date.
Way number one is this: “I really would prefer my date to go well, but it doesn’t absolutely have to. I won’t like it my date doesn’t go well, but it won’t be the end of the world and I’m not a total loser, even if it doesn’t go well, I am a worthwhile but fallible human being who simply went on a date that didn’t work out.”
This is a very healthy belief in that it’s rational, it expresses what you would like to happen, but allows you to accept that you can’t guarantee it. With this belief, you’ll be worried, but in a calm-but-excited way that is appropriate to you going on a first date with a guy you like. And more calm and excited is how you are going to come across, which helps you to create a more positive dating experience.
Way number two is this: “My date absolutely must go well, it would be the end of the world if it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, it’s all my fault, I’m such a total loser.” Continue reading