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Rational-emotive behavior therapy or REBT can perhaps be summarized by understanding the A-B-C model for psychotherapy REBT says that the most common mistake people make is in assuming that adversity A is responsible or causes emotional consequences C For example one might believe that doing poorly on a project at work the adversity or A is what causes them severe anxiety and stress the consequence or C The REBT therapist however argues that it is not the adversity A which causes the anxiety and stress C but rather it is the individuals perception--their unrealistic and over generalized beliefs B about the adversity that causes the anxiety and stress It was not that a person did poorly on the project but rather her belief that she must do well on everything she does This unrealistic belief that she must do well all the time led her to tell herself how awful it was that she did not do well Thus it was her perception that she did not do what must be done and that it is awful that she did not do what must be done that resulted in her feelings of stress and anxiety While most people believe that AC the REBT therapist shows them that in reality A x B C If the therapist can adjust the clients thinking by making her realize that she doesnt always have to do well or that its not really that awful that she didnt do as well as she would have liked then her feelings of anxiety and stress may be lessened Since the REBT model places little emphasis on history childhood memories dreams or free associative thoughts it makes an excellent tool for brief therapy From the very first moments of the very first session the therapist can begin to teach a client the fundamentals of the A-B-C- model If a client can grasp the concept fairly easily then they can quickly learn to
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