Category Archives: rebt-cbt-post

Don’t Choke!

by Mark Schiffman, M.S. 

As a sports fan, this past Sunday was a big day for me.  It was the moment of truth and there was a lot on the line.  I needed to knock down at least 5 more clowns in order to get the high score on the Down the Clown carnival game.  I glanced at the time remaining – 10, 9, 8… My kids were watching, cheering me on.  “Daddy! Daddy!” The prospect of all of the possible prizes was almost too much for them to handle.… Read more...

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Hostile-Making HABits

By Brianna Cheney, M.A.

Children diagnosed with ADHD often exhibit a pattern of thinking which has been labelled the Hostile Attribution Bias (or HAB for short).  This cognitive bias consists of inferring that someone’s irritating or otherwise unpleasant behavior was done purposefully to you with hostile intent.  As one might expect, Hostile Attribution Bias can be problematic in that frequently believing you are being attacked can lead to unhealthy negative emotions (e.g., anger and anxiety) and, in turn, to aggressive, retaliatory behaviors.… Read more...

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Demands and Contracts

by William Taboas, M.A. 

The way I visualize what Albert Ellis called “demandingness” is similar to the way I imagine contracts that are meant to be broken. For instance, demanding perfection only guarantees disappointment. Sure, striving and aiming for a goal that is next to perfect is a preferable feat, but by no means should be expected to be 100% perfect all of the time.

Now imagine, as an illustration, that a demand for perfectionism as a contract: ” My work must always be pristine.… Read more...

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Pre/pro-crastination

by Mark Schiffman, M.S. 

A few weeks ago, psychologist Adam Grant wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about the possible benefits of being a procrastinator.  He reviewed some research by a student of his that indicates that at times procrastination could lead to more creativity.  Some of the most famously creative people are known to leave things until the last possible moment, including the late Steve Jobs, and one of my favorite screenwriters, Aaron Sorkin.  … Read more...

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Self-Centered “Shoulds”

By Brianna Cheney, M.A.

In his 2005 commencement address to graduating college seniors (This is Water), famed author David Foster Wallace shared life views that coincide remarkably with those maintained by Dr. Albert Ellis and REBT.  Foster Wallace dedicated much of his speech to convincing his young adult audience that perhaps more important than learning how to think is learning that you can choose to think differently.  As a concrete example of how our thoughts dictate our reality, Foster Wallace painted a vivid picture of how our thoughts can transform even a mundane trip to the grocery store into a torturous experience. … Read more...

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Will the Real Albert Ellis Please Stand Up?

by Deniz Sidali, M.A.

In my personal opinion, without a doubt I think that Albert Ellis made significant contributions to the field of psychology. I also believe his contributions are often overlooked and/or not fully recognized. This is oftentimes the case with genius. Even Mozart’s classical music compositions were overlooked and recognized posthumously decades later. It takes a while for others to recognize and credit visionary individuals. Maybe because we cannot fully comprehend the significance of their body of work at a particular moment in time.… Read more...

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Rigid Thinking and Rational Living Don’t Work Well Together

by William Taboas, M.A.

There is plenty of data showing that cognitive rigidity is linked to poor mental health. Perseveration, excessive worry, and rumination are common examples of cognitive rigidity in action. With the development of Rational Therapy, the pioneering work by Dr. Albert Ellis included both specific and broader forms of cognitive rigidity. Cognitive rigidity might sound like a mouthful, so let’s refer to it as rigid thinking, which Ellis conceptualized as stemming from persistent, obstinate, and absolutist beliefs and demands about oneself, the world, and/or other people.… Read more...

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“Hey, you never know…”

by Mark Schiffman, M.S. 

And the winning numbers are…08 27 34 04 19, and the Powerball number is… 10!

Did you win? I didn’t.  I, like millions of others, wasted (at least) $2 deluding myself into thinking that I had a fighting chance to become a billionaire.  Yet, hopefully, nobody actually quit their jobs or put a down payment on a new jet before confirming the win.  One of the important sub-goals that Ellis and Bernard (1986) outline as consonant with REBT values is to have realistic expectations, as “healthy people do not waste time striving for the unattainable or for unrealistic perfection” (DiGiuseppe, Doyle, Druden, and Backx, 2014, p.… Read more...

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Hurt by Hurt

by Brianna Cheney, M.A. 

When I first learned that hurt was considered an unhealthy negative emotion (UNE) in REBT, I was admittedly confused.  I could not understand how feeling sorry or disappointed could be healthier than feeling hurt.  Years later, having made an effort to observe my own and others’ behaviors, I concur with REBT that feeling hurt tends to lead to self-defeating rather than self-enhancing action.

When feeling hurt, many of us tend to cut off communication with the person who offended us. … Read more...

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Making a Murderer

by Elissa Habinsky, M.A., M.S.

It seems as though just about everyone is watching “Making a Murderer”, which is a “docuseries” on Netflix. Without giving away too much, it is about a man exonerated by DNA after 18 years in prison, who then becomes a suspect in another crime. While watching this docuseries, myself and pretty much everyone else I know, has been at one time or another consumed with outrage. “How can our judicial system operate this way?Read more...

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