Basic Values and Goals Of REBT

Goals and Values of REBT
My previous post on ABC & D of REBT evoked a much more enthusiastic response than I anticipated with call for more information about REBT. I am reproducing here the basic values and goals of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) as espoused by Albert Ellis. Hope this will help in further realising what REBT is and aims for…

  1. SELF-INTEREST: Sensible and emotionally healthy people tend to be first or primarily interested in themselves. They tend to put their own interests at least a little above the interests of others. They sacrifice themselves to some degree for those for whom they care, but not overwhelmingly or completely.
  2. SOCIAL INTEREST: Social interest is usually rational and self-helping because most people choose to live and enjoy themselves in a social group or community. If they do not act morally, protect the rights of others, and abet social survival, it is unlikely they will create the kind of world in which they themselves can live comfortably and happily.
  3. SELF-DIRECTION: Healthy people tend to mainly assume responsibility for their own lives while simultaneously preferring to cooperate with others. They do not need or demand considerable support or succoring from others.
  4. HIGH FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE: Rational individuals have the ability to tolerate or withstand a great deal of difficulty or discomfort in their lives without making themselves emotionally disturbed about it. From this perspective, they are prepared to tolerate frustration because it is worth doing so to obtain their goals. They are able to accept grim reality and seek to distinguish between adverse events they can change and those they cannot.
  5. FLEXIBILITY: Healthy and mature individuals tend to be flexible in their thinking and open to change. They tend to be unbigoted and pluralistic in their view of other people. They do not make rigid, invariant rules for themselves and others.
  6. ACCEPTANCE OF UNCERTAINTY: Healthy men and women tend to acknowledge and accept the idea that we live in a world of probability and chance where absolute certainties do not, and probably never will, exist. They realize that it is often fascinating and exciting, and definitely not horrible, to live in this kind of probabilistic and uncertain world. They enjoy a good degree of order but do not demand to know exactly what the future will bring or what will happen to them.
  7. COMMITMENT TO CREATIVE PURSUITS: Most people tend to be healthier and happier when they are vitally absorbed in something outside themselves. They preferably have at least one powerful creative interest, as well as some major human involvement, that they consider so important that they structure a good part of their daily existence around it.
  8. SCIENTIFIC THINKING: Non-disturbed individuals tend to be more objective, rational and scientific than more disturbed ones. They are able to feel deeply and act concertedly. But, they tend to regulate their emotions and actions by reflecting on them evaluating their consequences in terms of the extent to which the lead to the attainment of long-term and short-term goals.
  9. UNCONDITIONAL SELF-ACCEPTANCE: Healthy people are usually glad to be alive and accept themselves just because they are alive and have some capacity to enjoy themselves. They refuse to measure their intrinsic worth by their extrinsic achievements or by what others think of them. They frankly choose to accept themselves unconditionally, and they try to completely avoid rating themselves, their totality or being. They attempt to enjoy rather than to prove themselves.
  10. RISK-TAKING: Emotionally healthy people tend to take a fair amount of risk and to try to do what they want to do, even when there is good chance that they may fail. They tend to be adventurous but not foolhardy.
  11. LONG-RANGE HEDONISM: Well-adjusted people tend to seek both the pleasures of the moment and those of the future and do not often court future pain for present gain. They are hedonistic, that is, happiness-seeking and pain-avoidant, but they assume they will probably live for quite a few years and that they had therefore better think of both today and tomorrow. They are not obsessed with immediate gratification.
  12. NONUTOPIANISM: Healthy people accept the fact utopias are probably unachievable and that they are never likely to get everything they want and avoid all pain. They refuse to strive unrealistically for total joy, happiness or perfection, or for total lack of anxiety, depression, self-downing, and hostility.
  13. SELF-RESPONSIBILITY: Healthy individuals tend to accept a great deal of responsibility for their own disturbance. They do not defensively blame others or social conditions for their own self-defeating thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

The above list was graciously posted in the CBT-REBT therapists Facebook group by Jonathan von Breton.

In case you missed it in my previous post, I am a regular at Happy Hour Discussion group which meets at MorphicMinds every evening at 6:00 to discuss a wide range of issues.

Photo Credit: Goals in fog I by Marcel Oosterwijk, on Flickr