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Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy Case Study Conceptualization And Treatment Plan

2140 words - 9 pages

Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy Case Study of Sarah:
A Conceptualization and Treatment Plan
Rational emotive behavior therapy, REBT, was developed by Albert Ellis and holds the central belief that the events in our lives do not cause our disturbances but that they are instead caused by our view of the events (Murdock, 2009). Murdock (2009) states that “people are seen as responsible for their behavior” (p. 279) but, because they are constantly changing and processing, their value or worth is not measured by their behavior. According to REBT, healthy individuals function with rational beliefs (Murdock, 2009). Sarah’s needs can best be met through the use of REBT as the therapist ...view middle of the document...

279). Following the REBT approach to therapy, the therapist will strive to teach Sarah to identify irrational beliefs as she functions as the student and works toward employing rational beliefs and thus improving her mental health (Murdock, 2009). REBT recognizes the interaction of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors through the ABC model and the therapist will work to help Sarah understand the interrelatedness of these aspects (Murdock, 2009). It is important that the therapist help Sarah understand the process and philosophy of REBT, as the majority of patient doubts have been “traced to misperceptions about REBT” (Dryden, Hurton, Malki, Manias & Williams, 2007, p. 86).
REBT therapy recognizes two types of beliefs, rational beliefs, which are effective in helping individuals achieve goals, and irrational beliefs, which are rigid, illogical, and unrealistic (Murdock, 2009). While 11 specific irrational beliefs have been identified, these irrational beliefs have been separated into three groups of inferences including damnation, awfulizing, and low frustration tolerance (Lega & Elllis, 2001). Sarah is reevaluating the relationships with her family members following recent events due to her damnation tendency. Lega and Ellis (2001) explain that “damnation or global rating is the tendency to condemn a person based upon one or few of his/her traits or behaviors” (p. 203). Sarah is condemning her grandparents and father based on their lack of unconditional love toward her half brother that was conceived out of wedlock and consequently not recognized as a member of the family. Additionally, Sarah is also condemning her mother and father because they kept the situation a secret and have now asked her to enter into the secret keeping as well.
Because Sarah is operating with irrational beliefs, she is holding those around her to unachievable standards and is determining the worth of her family members based on their actions and behaviors surrounding the events concerning her half brother (Murdock, 2009). In Sarah’s case, the A, or activating experience, is her becoming knowledgeable of her half brother and the previous events and behaviors relating to him. The C, or consequence, is the feelings of anger, frustration, and anxiety that Sarah is expressing as well as the avoidance of her family members involved in the situation. The B, or belief about A, that Sarah is expressing is an irrational belief in this case, stemming from the category of other-demandingness and conclusion of damnation. Sarah is rating her grandparents and her parents as horrible based on their actions and beliefs surrounding this one situation. Although “the person and behavior must be separated,” (Murdock, 2009, p. 283) Sarah is viewing her parents and grandparents as bad people because they made bad choices rather than seeing the behavior as bad but not defining of the person. REBT explains that Sarah’s A activates her B which then causes her Cs, also shown by the equation...

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