Rational Emotive Therapy

Rational Emotive Therapy

The primary goals of RET focus on helping people realize that they can live more rational and productive lives.
Another goal of RET is to help people change self-defeating habits of thoughts or behaviour. One way this is accomplished is through teaching clients ABCs of RET.

Techniques Rational Emotive Therapy

RET encompasses a number of diverse techniques. The important ones are

 Teaching: In the first few session, counsellors teach their clients the anatomy of an emotion that feelings are a result of thoughts, not events, and that self-talk influences emotions.

 Cognitive disputation: Involves the use of direct questions, logical reasoning and persuasion. Direct questions may challenge the client to prove that his or her response is logical.

 Imaginal disputation: Depends on the client’s ability to imagine and employs a technique known as rational-emotive imagery.

 Behavioural Disputation: Behavioural disputation involves behaving in a way that is the opposite of the client’s usual way.

Confrontation and Encouragement: RET counsellors explicitly encourage clients to abandon thought processes that are not working and try RET.

Strengths of Rational Emotive Therapy.

 The approach is clear, easily learned, and effective.

 The approach can easily be combined with behavioural techniques to help clients more fully experience what they are learning.

 The approach is relatively short term, usually lasting.

 The approach has generated a great deal of literature and research on clients and counsellors.

 The approach has continued to evolve over the years as techniques have been refined.

Limitations Rational Emotive Therapy.

 The approach cannot be used effectively with individuals who have mental problems or limitations, such as schizophrenics and those with severe thought disorders.
 The approach may be too closely associated with its founder, Albert Ellis. Many individuals have difficulty separating the theory from Ellis’s eccentricities.
 The approach is limited if its practitioners do not combine its early cognitive base with more behavioural and emotive techniques.

View of Human Nature
Transactional Analysis is an optimistic theory. Its basic assumption is that people can change despite any unfortunate events of the past. TA is also anti-deterministic; believing that people have choices in their lives, that what was decided can be redefined at a later date. TA focuses on four major methods of understanding and predicting human behaviour:

 Structured analysis: Understanding what is happening within the individual.
 Transactional analysis: describing what happens between two or more people.
 Game analysis: understanding transactions between individuals that lead to bad feelings.
 Script analysis: understanding the life plan that an individual is following