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What is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a practical and action-oriented approach for dealing with emotional, cognitive and behavioral problems and improving psychological wellbeing and personal growth. It is a scientific form of cognitive psychotherapy that focuses on taking responsibility and practicing rational, realistic thinking. It is based on the idea that events do not make us feel certain emotions, our beliefs about those events do.

The main goal of REBT is to rid the patients of their current negative philosophies and replace them with ones that are more realistic and flexible as means of finding happiness. By doing this, it allows the patients to experience and enjoy involvement, love, self-actualization, spontaneity and commitment.

How long is the duration of therapy?

There is no set course for REBT, but it is generally designed to be short-term, which means it may last for only a few weeks or months.

The length of REBT ranged from 10 to 120 minutes and the number of sessions range from 6 to 85.


  • How does REBT help?

In essence, REBT helps clients learn to challenge their own irrational thinking and develop the habit of thinking in beneficial and rational ways. This shift enables clients to behave more effectively and ultimately, experience healthy emotions. REBT uses three main types of techniques, which correspond with the ABC’s such as Problem-solving techniques (includes assertiveness, social skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, conflict resolution skills), Cognitive restructuring techniques (includes exposure to a feared situation, disputing irrational thoughts, humor and irony, reframing or looking at events in a different way, guided imagery and visualization, logical or rationalizing techniques) and Coping techniques (includes relaxation, hypnosis and meditation).

  1. Which mental health disorders does REBT help with?

REBT has some data to support its benefits in a variety of conditions, including

  • Anxiety and distress
  • Depression, Suicidal thoughts, Low self-esteem
  • Disruptive behavior in children
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Specific phobias such as social phobia (social anxiety disorder)
  • Psychotic symptoms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Recovery from sexual abuse
  1. How is REBT different from CBT?





REBT means Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.

CBT means Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

REBT is utilized to modify a person’s underlined belief.

CBT is used to change a person’s current behavior.

REBT focuses on the irrational behavior of the person.

CBT focuses on changing behavior of the person.

REBT takes up a confrontational approach.

CBT takes a collaborative approach.

REBT takes a philosophical point of view towards a complication.

CBT undertakes a fictional point of view towards a complication.



  • How to get the most out of a therapy?


  • Don’t obsess over being polite. You can ask questions. You are allowed to disagree with your therapist. Speak up if something feels off.
  • Let your emotions show. If something comes up that makes you angry or sad, let those emotions out. Part of therapy is helping you navigate those emotions.
  • Keep a journal. Throughout the week, try to practice what you learned in therapy. Keep an eye out for what emotions come up and what new challenges you may face. The best way to keep track of how you feel between therapy sessions is to keep a journal.





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