RATIONAL-EMOTIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a type of therapy that focuses on the irrational thinking people hold on to. The premise is that people are controlled by their thoughts. That is, the way we think about situations or, specifically, the view we take of them, will impact how we feel about the situation and ourselves, and will lead us to behave in a manner consistent with our thinking. As a result of faulty thinking we often end up feeling worthless, hopeless, anxious, guilty or depressed.
For example, a person struggling with test anxiety isn't worried about or afraid of a piece of paper with words or numbers on it. If words or numbers on a paper were something to be feared then everyone should have a similar response to them. Since this isn't the case, what they are reacting to are their irrational thoughts such as: "If I don't pass I won't graduate," "everyone will be disappointed in me," or "I am a failure!"
REBT assists with becoming aware of and challenging irrational thinking. Changing irrational thinking to a version that is more rational allows us to live a life we desire. Therapy consists of finding evidence to counter our irrational thoughts and replacing them with ones that are consistent with a more rational and logical way of thinking.
Our childhood impacts how we function as adults. If we had a parent that was extremely critical of our behavior we grow up to be adults that have difficulty making decisions, lack self-confidence, or believe we aren't deserving of positive affirmations from others. If we grew up in a household where anger was an emotion that was exhibited regularly and compassion wasn't, we become adults that suppress our emotions, frequently use anger to communicate, or interpret anger as love.
Psychodynamic therapy helps us make the important connection between the messages we received about ourselves as a child and how we interact with the world as an adult. The awareness and insight obtained through therapy has a way of healing these "subconscious scars" to our character. This allows us to have meaningful and healthy relationships, move through the world with a strong sense of self, understand our own behavior better, and enjoy life in a more positive way.