REBT for Groups

Noemi Legaspi-Valverde
Albert Ellis
 Born September 27, 1913
 REBT was founded in the 1950’s
 Believed the role of the therapist
was to help clients understand
that one’s personal philosophy
contains beliefs that lead to
emotional pain.
 Stressed changing self defeating
beliefs by demonstrating their
 Today, REBT is a major cognitive
behavioral approach.
Key Concepts-Assumptions of REBT
 Thinking, feeling, and behaving continually interact with and
influence one an another (Corey, p377).
 Emotional disturbances are caused by biological and
environmental factors.
 We are influenced by people and the things around us.
 And we also affect those around us.
 Create irrational beliefs about events.
 Emotional distress arises from our irrational beliefs from childhood.
 Irrational beliefs can be modified by using cognitive, emotive,
and behavioral methods.
 In order for change to occur, we need to:
 Take responsibility for our irrational thoughts.
 Look at how we feel, think, and behave.
 Do the hard work to change
Key Concept-Emotional
 The “shoulds”, “oughts”, and “musts” play a role in
dysfunctional beliefs.
 Three forms of “musturbation”
 “I absolutely must do well and be approved of by significant
others. I must win their approval or else I am inadequate,
worthless person.”
 “You must under all conditions and at all times treat me
considerately, kindly, lovingly, and fairly. If you don’t, you are
no damned good and are a rotten person.”
 “Conditions under which I live absolutely must be
comfortable so that I can get what I want without too much
effort. If not, it is awful; I can’t stand it and can’t have any real
happiness at all!”
Key Concepts-The ABC Theory
 A=activating event (what happened; can be an event or
 B= belief(s) about the event
 C= consequence (emotional response)
 Example: You find out you didn’t get a promotion at
 A=not getting the promotion
 B=you are a failure
 C=feel rejected and hurt
Key Concepts-Confronting
Irrational Beliefs
 Teaching member’s the ABC
 When members can see how
their irrational beliefs are linked
to their emotional disturbance,
they can dispute (D) their
 Process of Disputation of
irrational beliefs
 Detecting
 Debating
 Discriminating
 Ultimate result is to reduce
feelings of depression and
 Effect of Disputing (E)
Key Concepts-Self Rating and
Learning Self-Acceptance
 Rating our acts and
behaviors vs. rating
ourselves as a person.
 Example: “If I fail at
something, I’m a failure
in life”
 The opposite of self
rating is self-acceptance.
Goals of REBT Group
 Help participants’ through process of achieving
unconditional self-acceptance (USA) and
unconditional other acceptance (UOA).
 Help participants’ differentiate between realistic and
unrealistic and self-defeating and self-enhancing
goals (Corey, 2008).
 Change dysfunctional emotions into healthy ones.
Role of the Group Leader
Serve as teachers and mentors
Demonstrate respect
Encourage and support
Self-disclose when beneficial for participants.
Develop trust
Use cognitive and emotive techniques.
 encourage participants to discover irrational beliefs
 Make connection of how the irrational beliefs lead to
emotional distress
 Challenge clients to modify their irrational beliefs
 Dispute irrational beliefs and replace with rational beliefs
Therapeutic Techniques and
 Purpose is to change clients’ way of thinking, feeling,
and acting. Doesn’t look into individual’s early history.
There is a focus on the here and now.
 “Focus on specific techniques for changing a client’s
self-defeating thoughts in concrete situations. In
addition to modifying beliefs, this approach helps
group members see how their beliefs influence what
they feel and what they do; thus there is also a concern
for changing feelings and behaviors that flow from
dysfunctional thinking pattern” (Corey, 2008, p 382).
Cognitive Methods
 Teaching the A-B-C’s
 Active Disputation of
Faulty Beliefs
 Teaching Coping SelfStatements
 Psychoeducational
 Cognitive Homework
 Applying the ABC’s in
every day life.
 Unconditional acceptance
 Rational emotive imagery
 Imagine the worst thing that
can happen.
 Use of humor
 Shame-attacking exercises
 Take the risk to do
something they are afraid to
do because of what others
might think. Then they
realize their shame is created
by them.
 Role playing
Behavioral Methods
 Homework assignments
 Reinforcement and
 Skills training
Advantages of REBT Applied to
Group Work
 Homework assignments
in a group context vs.
one-to-one therapy.
Offers several
Homework report forms
Sharing personal
Listening to other’s
REBT to Group Work in Schools
 Applied to students, K-12.
 The goal is to prevent
emotional and behavioral
 Prevent intervention for
those who exaggerate
negative events.
 The purpose is to help in
dealing with students’
interpersonal relationships
and home environment.
Applying REBT with Multicultural
 “When members are not
challenged too quickly,
they can be invited to
examine the premises on
which they behave” (Corey,
2008,p 391).
 The focuses on the
problems of living.
 A group must be careful
when challenging clients
about their beliefs and
Evaluation of REBT in Groups
 Strengths
 Many disorders can be
 Explore self-defeating
beliefs and replacing
with more rational ones.
 Group leaders can learn
to identify their internal
 Help members deal with
everyday living.
Limitations of REBT in Groups
 Group leader imposing
his/her values on
 Members may feel
pressured to accept goals
and values of the group
 Members may depend
on group leader about
what constitutes reality.
 Corey, G. (2008). Theory and Practice of Group Counseling. Belmont,
California: Brooke/Cole.

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