Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a broad range of symptoms of depression that impact a person physically, emotionally and mentally. Physical symptoms of depression include the following:

  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

In addition to these physical symptoms depression can cause the following emotional symptoms:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Crying spells

Depression can also cause mental symptoms, including the following:

  • Slowed thinking and speaking
  • Slowed body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

These symptoms of depression can vary in intensity and duration.

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy(REBT) is a therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis, who holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University. The premise of this therapy is that a person is introduced to a stimulus, develops an emotional reaction to the stimulus and then behaves in response to that emotional reaction. At a very basic level, one example is the emotional response some feel when going to the dentist. An individual has an appointment to see a dentist, and his or her emotional belief is that this experience is going to cause pain. Therefore, the resultant behavior that the individual exhibits is anxiety about the experience and the probability of feeling pain during the visit. This therapy focuses on the individual’s emotional belief. If instead of having the emotional belief that the experience would cause pain, the individual looked forward to the clean teeth, white smile and benefit of the visit, the individual’s behavior would not be as anxious, and the likelihood of experiencing pain would diminish. While this example is very basic, it demonstrates the point that the emotional component of the entire experience controls the outcome.

The goal of REBT is to help people change their irrational beliefs into rational beliefs. Changing beliefs is the real work of therapy and is achieved by the therapist disputing the client’s irrational beliefs.To achieve this goal, a therapist works with an individual to bring about a state of acceptance. In this state of acceptance, the patient learns lessons such as the following:

  • People have good points and bad points.
  • Everyone has flaws, but regardless of their flaws, everyone also has worth.
  • Life is not always fair, and people will not always treat you fairly.

When people in REBT develop this foundation of acceptance, they can then start working towards methods to change their emotional reaction to a situation, which in turn will change their reaction to the original stimulus.

Get Help for Depression

Feeling sad and depressed are often associated with relationship problems, angst about work or concerns about physical health. You need to talk to people about your depression to avoid the potential of turning to drugs or alcohol as a temporary fix. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you have, call our toll-free number. We are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle depression; we can provide you with options, information about insurance and other resources. We are here to help, so call now.