Category Archives: rebt-cbt-post

Let Freedom Ring

Shonda Lackey, Ph.D.

Independence Day was this past weekend. It’s a holiday that often involves barbeques, the beach, and fireworks. Many people also pay honor to our veterans and active duty service members. It’s a time to reflect on what it means to live in the United States, land of the free, home of the brave.

But have you ever thought about freedom from the labels that characterize psychological problems? How about the bravery involved in setting up your first therapy appointment and staying the course?… Read more...

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REBT When You’re Winning

Dan Prendergast, M.A.

Because people usually don’t seek out a therapist when times are good, we don’t frequently talk about using REBT principles in the context of successes and victories. However, just because a person’s situation is favorable does not mean that they are not capable of holding dysfunctional beliefs that lead to self-defeating behaviors and emotions such as excessive pride. Ellis described the “elegant solution” as a new belief that works for a person in good or bad circumstances.… Read more...

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Reflections on REBT Techniques

Shonda Lackey, Ph.D.

One of the most powerful and unique aspects of REBT is, perhaps, the differentiation between negative emotions and unhealthy negative emotions. The typical practitioner of REBT does not expect you to feel happy when you experience an unpleasing event. Nor is it expected that you will feel nothing at all. For example, there’s a difference between being sad about breaking up with your boyfriend and getting depressed about it. Holding on to unhealthy negative unhealthy emotions makes problem solving more difficult.… Read more...

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Frustration: Maybe We Can Tolerate It, But What If We Don’t Need To?

By James C. Strickland, Ph.D.

The phrase, “I can’t stand it,” is usually the lamentation of someone experiencing low frustration tolerance (LFT) that can and does lead to dysfunction. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) provides us with the help to tolerate higher levels of frustration so we can function more adaptively. Ideally, REBT suggests we change our beliefs and cope with the elegant solution (the worst case scenario) rather than changing or escaping the Activating event.… Read more...

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Reflections on Frustration

By Kristen Tobias, M.A.

Frustration tolerance refers to the ability to withstand difficult or vexing situations/events. Some may have High Frustration Tolerance (HFT) wherein they withstand annoying, even highly annoying, circumstances without getting disturbed (i.e., angry, anxious, depressed, or another emotional problem). In contrast, Frustration Intolerance (FI) or Low Frustration Tolerance (LFT) describes people for whom annoyances engender disturbed feelings, or exhibiting an insufficient amount of tolerance to achieve a desired goal, respectively.

These ideas can apply to a wide range of situations, ranging from the minutia to potentially traumatic events.… Read more...

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Pitfalls of Positive Thinking

By Dan Prendergast, M.A.

Most people would agree that thinking positively is usually related to feeling good, and that feeling good is preferable. However, most of the time I have heard advice to “think positive” or “be positive,” especially from self-help gurus and the media, the advice has been badly delivered. Most typically friends and family give this advice when a bad thing happens, negative emotions result, and a well-meaning person wants someone to be in a better emotional state in the face of misfortune.… Read more...

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Calling All Exercise Avoiders

By Kristen Tobias, M.A.

The benefits of exercise are enormous. Exercise promotes cardiovascular health, cognitive functioning, mental health, and of course, can lead to a more toned physical appearance or desired weight. So, why then is it so hard, for so many people to get to the gym in any type of consistent manner? I took an informal poll of my fellow exercise avoiders to work through this problem.

A common retort was tiredness, lack of energy, or fatigue.… Read more...

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Decisions, Decisions

By Brooke Guttenberg, M.S.

Everyday we are asked to make choices. In fact, we find ourselves making choices many times throughout the day. Some of these choices may be as simple as what to eat for breakfast. Although, more often than not we find ourselves making choices that may impact us more greatly than the type of breakfast cereal we will have with our coffee. Sometimes, we even make choices without realizing that we have a say in the matter.… Read more...

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Reflections on Change

By Shonda Lackey, Ph.D.

Last week while browsing a social media forum, I came across a cartoon by Mort Gerberg that had been published in The New Yorker. The cartoon depicts a therapy office located on tree branches. The main characters are not humans, but insects. There’s a caterpillar on a couch looking up at the therapist, a butterfly with its wings spread. The caption reads, “The thing is, you have to really want to change.” Technically, no one has to do anything, but this cartoon alludes to the essence of what makes therapy successful.… Read more...

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Advocating for Unconditional Life Acceptance

By Candice Siu, Ph.D.

It is incredibly easy to fall into the habit of taking things for granted, from clean running water, free education, to the luxury of the internet. It is even easier to go down the slippery slope of complaining about minor inconveniences, such as a train running late, the uncooperating weather, or petty interpersonal misunderstandings. I recently visited a city in South East Asia, where the conveniences of everyday life in a developed country are all but a dream.… Read more...

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