Doctor talks with patient outside.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

What Is REBT?

The REBT therapy was invented and formulated by the American psychotherapist and psychologist Albert Ellis in the mid-1950s. Albert Ellis REBT therapy is often regarded as one of the best influential therapies to date, and Psychology Today also noted that “No individual—not even Freud himself—has had a greater impact on modern psychotherapy.”

What is rational-emotive therapy? Well, the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, also known as REBT, is a form of active-directive psychotherapy which focuses primarily on the emotional and behavioral problems of the individuals. Check this resource if you are looking for behavior therapy near me.

The purpose of this therapy is to give power to individuals to battle their emotional and behavioral disturbances in a healthy manner and become happier by overcoming their issues.

The underlying theory of rational emotive therapy states that human beings do not get emotionally disturbed or influenced by their circumstances. Still, they get emotionally disturbed because of the perspectives and views they form about such situations.

The rational-emotive behavior therapy further states that humans can battle their problems by merely changing their attitude towards the unfortunate circumstances and become happier by opting for a more cheerful and positive attitude. The change of perspective will change your life.

Doctor and patient having dialog.

ABC Model of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

This behavior therapy indicates that the beliefs and views of a person influence their mental health rather than the circumstances themselves. A certified behavior therapist helps patients with the ABC model.

What is the ABC model? This format was developed to show the individuals that their emotional distress is based upon their personal beliefs. The ABC model is as below:

A. The Occurrence of the situation or unfortunate circumstances

B. The individual forms beliefs regarding the situation

C. The individual develops an emotional reaction based on the belief

Nowadays, the ABC model has been extended to ABCDEF, but the original ABC model formed for rational-emotive therapy remains the core of this therapeutic process.

REBT techniques like the ABC model inform the clients about their underlying problems, equip them to battle their metaphorical demons, and help them change their attitude to better their lives.

In this technique, the individual is taught that the emotional and behavioral sets of responses emerge as a result of the formed beliefs. By merely changing the views, the individual can regain control of their mental health and life.

The rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and the REBT ABC model goes to show an individual that the activating situation does not cause emotional disturbances, but the view towards that situation cause the problems.


How is cognitive therapy different from rational-emotive therapy? This is a question that a lot of people have thought about or asked since the inception of this therapy.

Well, if you want to understand the core differences between CBT vs. REBT, you have to understand that REBT itself is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). However, some differences separate the two and establish them as unique therapy procedures.

  • REBT addresses the secondary disturbances (SD), whereas CBT completely ignores the SD. SD is often viewed as a vital element in life-long depressions and anxieties.
  • When talking about REBT vs. CBT, you have to understand that REBT maintains that all anger is unhealthy and destructive. However, CBT indicates that some forms of anger are healthy.
  • REBT sessions consist of 8 to 10 sessions or more. CBT takes a fewer number of sessions to get to the core problems.

Benefits of REBT

Like all the other cognitive therapies, rational behavior therapy focuses on teaching the individuals how to fight the problems by merely changing their attitude and without the help of foreign elements, such as medication.

One of the biggest benefits of rational emotive behavioral therapy is that the patients are not only educated about the underlying cause of their problems, but they are also equipped with the tools of fighting against any issues in the future by themselves.

Among the rational-emotive therapy techniques, the ABC model is considered to be the simplest and the most effective one. With the help of this technique, the REBT specialists and therapists can offer the following benefits to the patients:

  • Offer helpful and positive ways to deal with realistic situations.
  • Help avoid any emotional responses to irrational situations.
  • Help the individuals recognize that they cannot control the situations.
  • Help patients understand that they can only control their responses to the situation.
  • Equip the patients to deal with unfortunate situations and control their emotional responses