Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) is one big step made by Albert Ellis. The main cause of human problem is not on the events that they have to get through, but on HOW they decide to act upon it. The past is not important anymore. The focus is on the present and how it can affect our future. Our thoughts and emotional feelings can bring our future down… or it can bring us up! It’s a choice …
We really have no absolute control upon what is happening around us, but we have a power to control our thoughts about this world. That thought will determine on how we react during hard times in our lives. When we believe something irrational in our daily lives, then it will affect our behavior. For example: avoiding a black cat when we cross a street, or knock on the wood for 3 times whenever we hear or say something terrible.
In therapeutic setting, RET is one of the therapy that counter the negative thought of clients. It is confrontational. At first, counselor is detecting the irrational belief as the cause of client’s problems. Whenever counselor get it, it is important to challenge such negative thoughts and refuse it!
The therapy works with 3 main methods: FACE – TRACE – REPLACE
RET teaches clients to face the irrational thoughts that they have and be responsible for the consequences and trying hard to replace such negative thoughts. It means that clients have their full responsibility to control what is going on inside their heads. They can stop their irrational thoughts when it comes and replace that thoughts with something positive.
For example: in a case of a little girl who had been a victim of verbal abuse by his father. This little girl is having problems with her self-esteem, because she used to believed that she has no positive points in her life. She used to believe whatever her father said to her, that she is just a girl who can’t do anything well and will have no use in the future. David Goodwin taught her on how to replace such thoughts. Whenever that little girl starts to relieving his father’s label upon her, she will replace that thoughts with the word of God. For you, who are not a religious-based counselor, you can teach your clients to replace such negative thought with positive thought about themselves.
Another lesson learned!