The first aim and objective of this evening was to understand the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) theory, specifically looking at Albert Ellis and the Rational Emotive Behaviour therapy (REBT). Ellis believed that it isn??™t the bad experiences that cause us anxiety and stress, it is the negative things that we tell ourselves repeatedly until we believe them to be true. REBT is a direct and solution-orientated therapy which focuses on resolving specific problems. It offers the client a structured approach, whereby goals are set to overcome the specific issue within an agreed set of sessions. REBT teaches that in order for a client to get better they must work hard and practise what has been taught in the session whilst they are out of counselling as well. Usually homework will be given based around the very thing that they fear, which is meant to (overtime) desensitise them to the subject matter so that it no longer becomes a big deal for them.
Ellis developed an ABC framework to show people how there negative thoughts lead to negative behaviour.
A ??“ Activating event (something happens) eg You hear a noise in the night
B ??“ Belief (irrational thought) eg Aliens have landed in the garden, they are going to eat me!
(rational thought) eg Its next doors cat
C ??“ Consequence (irrational thought) leads to fear, anxiety, panic attack
(rational thought) I??™m going to go back to sleep
He believed that if we changed our pattern of irrational thought (the Belief) then this in turn will change our behaviour to the situation (the Consequence).
Ellis identified that there are several types of irrational beliefs, which could be subdivided into negative self talk thoughts, these were:
Musterbation ??“ Where people have an overwhelming need that simply ???must??™ be fulfilled
Personalisation ??“ Where people think that a negative event/outcome has happened because they have been involved in it, ???paranoia??™
Overgeneralisation ??“ Where people talk themselves into negative outcomes of situations based on one or two unrelated experiences
Awfulizing – Where people over exaggerate situations to be a ???catastrophe??™ or ???the end of the world??™ when really they are ???inconvenient??™ or ???difficult??™.
The REBT therapist aims to identify which negative scripts are preventing the client from rational thinking.
The client issues which could be helped through this model are, stress, depression, hostility, anxiety and panic attacks, which are unhealthy consequences to irrational thoughts. Through working with the counsellor and the ABC model the counsellor can evidence the clients irrational beliefs and work towards replacing them with rational ones. This model is also of particular use to those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The counsellor will work with the client to identify, analyse and challenge their irrational beliefs and to accept themselves unconditionally.
The potential barriers to this model are that CBT has a time factor to it. There could be potential setbacks for the client if it gets near to the end of their agreed set of sessions and they are nowhere near achieving their goals. Another barrier could be that the clients may have more than one issue. CBT focuses of one specific issue, therefore if the client has more than one problem that they would like to work on it may benefit them further to consider another model such as The Person Centred Approach. A client that wants to explore their feelings, discuss past events or get to the root of their problems may also find that the Person Centred Approach would be more useful to them as CBT focuses on issues that are happening in the here and now.