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Critically discuss Albert Elli’s notion of ‘irrational belief’. Include in your answer a discussion of what constitute a ‘rational belief’

Dr. Albert Ellis, a business graduated and psychoanalyst by training, became disappointed of psychoanalysis after observing improvements of his clients once they change their approach of thinking about themselves, their difficulties and the world. His (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy) theory is based in positive and negative emotions and the cognitive process involved achieving healthy and balanced sentiments.

For Ellis, People in general have two strong biological tendencies when dealing with practical problems: On one hand, people have innate tendencies to create, develop and realise as successful individuals as well as the potential of being and acting rationally. On the other hand, individuals have also the natural tendencies to generate irrational beliefs, and the potential of being destructive with themselves, others and to repeat the same pattern continuously. People are equally capable of thinking rationally and irrationally, but irrational beliefs have a higher biological component, so the effort is greater to be rational than irrational.

Ellis defines Rational thoughts as real thoughts and irrational thoughts as untrue judgements that an individual may have about himself. Thoughts, whether rational or irrational, are the core of self-talk, defined as intrapersonal speech. Rational thoughts promote positive cognitions, actions and feelings and negative thoughts produce negative self-talk with undesirable consequences on the individual. For example: self-talks that comprise the words must or should allow predicting that negative consequences are inexorable if results are not according to the individual’s expectancies.

Ellis embraces the deterministic view that irrational beliefs are subconscious, and they exist in all human beings regardless culture or education. Success, failure and hedonism, as part of...
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