The Benefits of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy When Used with Children and Adolescents

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The benefits of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy when used with children and adolescents

"People don't just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness. They always have the power to think, and to think about their thinking, and to think about thinking about their thinking, which the goddamn dolphin, as far as we know, can't do. Therefore they have much greater ability to change themselves than any other animal has, and I hope that REBT teaches them how to do it." -Albert Ellis

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a recently new, now highly popular counseling approach (Weinrach et. al, 1995). It was first coined REBT by Albert Ellis in 1993. The purpose of REBT is, as stated in the Dictionary of Rational-Emotive Feelings and Behaviors, "to help clients and others to clearly see the differences between their rational beliefs and their irrational beliefs, to understand the disordered feelings and behaviors to which the latter lead, and to help them become more rational, less disturbed, and less dysfunctional in their activities…(p. 3)" This approach focuses on the idea that emotional disturbances emerge from faulty thinking about events rather than from the events themselves (Gonzalez et. al, 2004). The ABCDE acronym is a treatment that REBT counselors frequently use. It begins with building a relationship with the client and having the client relate the Activating event to the counselor. "B" stands for the client's belief system or cognitive reaction to the activating event. "C" is the emotional consequence that the client is experiencing, such as feeling angry or intimidated. "D" suggests that the client learn to dispute self-defeating thought processes, and "E" is the effect of the disputing process (Nystul, 2006). Although one may assume that REBT counseling for adults is the same as it is for children, it is not. Unlike with adults, children and adolescents rarely perceive themselves as someone who would need therapeutic...
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