The Distinctive Features of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

  • Windy Dryden


Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) was originated by Albert Ellis in 1955 and, as such, it can be regarded as the first approach within the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) tradition. People often ask what the differences are between REBT and CBT, but this is not a fair question as it would involve a comparison between a therapy approach (specific) with a therapy tradition (general), a bit like asking what the difference is between an apple (a specific fruit) and fruit (the general category). A fairer question would be: ‘What are the features of REBT that make it distinctive within the CBT tradition and within the wider field of psychotherapy?’ This chapter is devoted to answering this question. A word before we start. While some of the features discussed here are unique to REBT, others are not; but all these features taken together represent the distinctiveness of REBT.


Distinctive features REBT theory REBT practice Distinctive ABC model Irrational beliefs Rational beliefs 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Windy Dryden
    • 1
  1. 1.Goldsmiths University of LondonLondonUK

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