Category Archives: rebt-cbt-post

Lost Car Keys

by Jennifer Shindman, Psy.D.

In his book Reality Therapy, Robert Wubbolding presents a metaphor for helping people determine whether their current perceptions or behaviors are helping or hurting them. As humans, we repeat behaviors despite knowing deep down that they are not helping us fulfil our wants and needs.

To illustrate this, he asks whether you have ever lost your keys. What is the first emotion you choose? Aggravation, then irritation, anger, and panic, especially if you are in a hurry.… Read more...

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Why is This Not Working?

by Brooke Guttenberg, Psy.D.

“Why isn’t this working, will this ever work?” Many individuals new to psychotherapy, including REBT, may experience similar thoughts when working to apply new principles to presenting problems or difficulties. It can be uncomfortable to face problems and attempt new strategies for achieving solutions.

When the changes we hope to see are not immediate, or may be more difficult to come by, one can experience feelings of frustration. Such an emotional reaction is adaptive in the sense that one may be more motivated to continue pushing forward, and seek change.… Read more...

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Death by Chocolate

by Deniz Sidali, M.A. 

A few years ago, a popular show I use to watch on television Six Feet Under ended. The show was about different ways people ended up dying and how this tragedy was interwoven into the lives of a family of morticians overseeing their funerals. The storylines really made viewers wonder how they would eventually die. If I had my druthers, I would probably want to die after consuming a huge amount of chocolate as popularized in the song by Sia.… Read more...

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Rose-Colored Glasses

Our latest blog by Shannon O’Neill, M.A. 

We have all heard the well-known rhetorical question “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Today, I suggest an alternative way to assess your perspective by asking, “Which pair of glasses do I choose to wear today?” The familiar expression, “looking through rose-colored glasses,” suggests the optimism of an individual’s viewpoint. But what kind of glasses are we wearing when we interpret events pessimistically?

Countless events in this world are extraordinarily tragic; however, there are also many everyday annoyances that we interpret to be just as dreadful.… Read more...

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The Powerful Combination of Anti-Awfulizing & Frustration Tolerance

by Kristen Tobias, M.A.

In my experience of both working with clients and applying REBT to my own life, I have found the concurrent use of anti-awfulizing and frustration tolerance beliefs to be very effective.  The two types of beliefs seem to have a relationship that is symbiotic such that one can help fuel the strengthening of the other rational response and mitigate the irrational response (and thereby the unhealthy negative emotion).

At first, it might be very hard to tell yourself that something isn’t awful, especially if you have a history of rehearsing this type of thinking. … Read more...

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What If?

by William Taboas, M.A.

What if I make the wrong choice?

What if I can’t escape an unexpected stressful situation?

What if I’m stuck in this job?

What if my marriage doesn’t last?

What if people will judge me?

What if…?

Uncertainty, much like death and taxes, is part of life. What I mean by this is that while our life decisions may lead us down a path, we rarely know where it will take us.… Read more...

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Driving Down Life’s Path

by Brooke Guttenberg, M.S.

Over the past few weeks, I have heard multiple references to the concept of “wasting time.” While everyone may provide a different definition to this term, in each of these conversations the expression held a negative evaluation. For instance, one conversation was based around the idea of “wasting time” in a romantic relationship and another in reference to a job position. More specifically, the common theme was staying in a situation that may not lead one to his/her intended end goal.… Read more...

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Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill

by Shannon O’Neill, M.A. 

I’ll be the first to admit that when I begin to worry about an approaching event, my thoughts can shift from concern to catastrophe very quickly. But why does this happen? When a problem has the possibility of generating a negative outcome, people easily begin to think the worst. In fact, when individuals think catastrophically, they may even feel and behave as though the worst has already happened even if the outcome is set in the future.… Read more...

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I’m Coming Out

by Deniz Sidali, M.A. 

Singer Diana Ross croons, “I’m coming out. I want the world to know. Got to let it show.” The other night on American television, over seventeen million people viewed the highly anticipated Diane Sawyer interview with Olympian Bruce Jenner where he discussed his painful struggle with gender identity. While I may not understand everything there is to know about this topic or know him personally, my heart hurt for him. My initial reaction was that I wish I could give him a hug and personally thank him for attempting to help de-stigmatize what it means to be transgender.  … Read more...

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Just Own It!

by Deniz Sidali, M.A. 

Why do we have so much difficulty accepting personal responsibility for things going bad? Or conflicts with our loved ones? For our children seeing us as awful parents? Or, simply making a mistake?  Well, it could be due to a self-serving bias, which is any cognitive or perceptual process that is distorted by the need to erroneously maintain and enhance our sense of self.  Have you ever listened to a friend, family member, or colleague discuss a troublesome matter involving themselves and another individual and wondered, “Gee, I wonder if that is how things really happened?” Well chances are the speaker you are listening to is describing the distressing situation in a manner where they leave out relevant information that makes them look good while they are equally if not more culpable for the matter at hand.… Read more...

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