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Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

The profession of mental health requires therapists to approach the clients with an open mind and clear perspective which enables them to provide therapy by providing the necessary support and consideration. However, in dealing with some clients, certain strong issues surface which clearly contrast with the therapist’s point of view. The issue of “unconditional acceptance of the client” (Garfield, 1995) is a recent concept and in compliance with Carl Rogers and the ‘nondirective approach’. Rational Emotive behavior therapy (REBT) considers the clients as “fallible human beings who may act self-defeatingly but are not bad people” (Vernon, 1996). This concept of acceptance of clients is noted as an important aspect of the relationship between the client and the REBT therapists, so that a suitable and amiable rapport is built between the therapists and the client especially the adolescent clients as the “tend to be more distrustful and defensive about being in counseling” (Vernon, 1996).
Dryden and Neenan (1995) confirm that the contrary to popular misconception, the REBT necessitates the “core conditions of empathy, genuineness and unconditional positive regard for the client” in order to build a “positive therapeutic relationship” but refrains from displaying “excessive warmth and caring” to the client.  REBT is very similar in approach to the person-cantered approach of Rogers, which also creates and atmosphere of acceptance so that the clients become aware of the causes of “their emotional upset and how to help themselves remedy their problems” (Dryden & Neenan, 1995). Different therapists use different theories to bring about positive changes in the clients but the Rogerian core conditions seem to be the basis of the establishment of any positive relationship with the client.


Dryden and Neenan, (1995). Dictionary of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. London: Whirr.
Garfield, S. L. (1995). The Client-Therapist Relationship in Rational-Emotive Therapy. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. 13(2), 101-116

Vernon, Ann, 1996. Counseling Children and Adolescents: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Humanism. Journal of Humanistic Education and Development, v35 n2 p120-27

Tags: Psychology essays, REBT, mental health essays, rational emotive behavior therapy essays.