The human mind is as wonderful as it is complex, and all the emotions and thoughts that appear in it influence us in our day to day life in a very significant way. Many times, without us realizing it, all this comes to condition our actions, relationships and way of living; until we are aware that we must manage and order all our irrational thoughts and feelings to move forward and feel better about ourselves.
Currently, there are various psychological approaches whose objective is to order and manage all those negative ideas and feelings that assail us for no apparent reason, and in this post we will talk about rational emotive therapy, one of the most used to help people identify and change irrational beliefs.
Are you interested in the world of psychology and self-improvement? We invite you to continue reading this post!
What is Rational Emotive Therapy and what does it consist of?
Rational Emotive Therapy (RTE) is a psychotherapeutic approach created by psychologist Albert Ellis, based on the premise that all our emotions and behaviors are conditioned by our irrational and unrealistic beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world around us. surrounds.
The objective of the TRE is to identify and question these irrational beliefs and replace them with more rational thoughts that allow us to live in a more harmonious way with the environment. Therapists who work with this method help people to develop a healthier and more constructive mindset , free from unfounded conditioning, which in turn can lead to stronger emotional health and foster a feeling of satisfaction with life.
What are the main goals of rational emotive therapy?
As in any psychological therapy, it is important to establish the bases from which it starts and the final objective, interposing small goals that serve as guides throughout the process. Although each person is different, with their own concerns and ambitions, when the TRE is applied, it is done with the focus on these five objectives:
- Identify and challenge irrational beliefs
- Develop more rational thoughts
- Improve the management of emotions
- Promote change in maladaptive behaviors
- Improve quality of life and emotional well-being
And the question is… How are these objectives achieved?: working in each of the phases of the TRE that we detail below.
How the TRE works: discovering its stages
The development of rational emotive therapy consists of the following five stages:
- Assessment – The therapist and patient work together to identify irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that are causing emotional and behavioral problems.
- Irrational Belief Challenge – The psychologist helps the client question and challenge their irrational beliefs, examining the evidence and logic behind them. Critical thinking is encouraged and more rational and adaptive alternatives are sought.
- Cognitive restructuring – The patient learns to replace irrational beliefs with more rational and realistic thoughts. The adoption of new thought patterns is promoted and the reinterpretation of problematic situations is practiced.
- Skills Training : Specific techniques and strategies are taught to manage negative emotions, solve problems, and improve communication and interpersonal relationship skills.
- Practice and maintenance : The patient practices the new skills and rational thoughts in their daily life. Self-reflection, continuous practice and consolidation of the changes achieved are encouraged.
6 Examples of techniques and exercises that are performed in a rational emotive therapy
Finally, we want you to know some examples of exercises and specific techniques that are used during rational emotive therapy sessions. Many of them, you can also practice independently at home. You dare?
- Irrational Belief Dispute – The therapist guides the client to question and challenge their irrational beliefs. Questions and logical arguments are used to challenge beliefs and encourage critical reflection on their validity.
- Cognitive Restructuring Task – Tasks are assigned outside of the session in which the client must record and question their irrational thoughts. Then, you work on restructuring those thoughts to find more rational alternatives.
- Imaginary exposure : the patient imagines facing feared situations or triggers of negative emotions. Through repeated exposure, it is sought to reduce anxiety and develop a more balanced emotional response.
- Socratic debate technique : the psychologist asks questions that lead to reflective thinking, so that the patient identifies irrational thoughts for himself.
- Realtribution techniques : work on the realtribution of responsibility and self-concept. The aim is for the patient to realize that he is not responsible for everything that happens and that his worth as a person is not determined solely by the fulfillment of unrealistic standards.
- Automatic thought recording : the patient is made aware of his compulsive behaviors by encouraging him to write down his automatic thoughts and associated emotions in specific situations. Then, those thoughts are analyzed and questioned from a more realistic perspective.