Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy - Assessment and Techniques Used

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy - Assessment and Techniques Used


Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) is a cognitive therapy based on the theory of personality proposed (1956) by Albert Ellis. According to Ellis, when an individual is faced with an activating event (A), their ability to achieve what they desire or aim can be bolstered or disturbed. In response to the event, their belief systems (B) get activated and are applied. Furthermore, they also go through the consequences (C), emotional or behavioural, because of the event. Together this is known as the A-B-C model of personality. 

The A-B-C philosophy is applied to the process of therapy in REBT.  In a therapy session an activating event (A) is identified which could be a situation or the way a person perceives the situation to be. The therapist along with the client identifies the irrational belief systems (B) and offers concurrent rational thinking patterns. REBT belief patterns are as follows1


Rational Beliefs

Irrational Beliefs

Non-dogmatic preferences: Using expressions such as “I WISH to win the marathon”, “I WANT to answer all the question on the interview

Evaluating bad elements: Using expressions such as “It’s unfortunate I didn’t score well”.

High frustration tolerance: “I don’t like to this task but I can stand it”

Not globally rating self or others: Considering oneself and other as fallible human beings

Dogmatic demands: Using absolutes for oneself like “I MUST win this marathon”, “I SHOULD be able to answer all the questions in the interview”).

Awfulizing: Using adjectives such as “This is HORRIBLE”, “This is an AWFUL mistake”.

Low frustration Tolerance : “I can’t stand being around him/her”

Self Rating Oneself/Others: “I’m a bad person”, “She/he is worthless”.


Learning to identify and modify irrational thoughts is a prime focus during therapy. This belief system is also imperative in bringing an effective change in the overall experiences than an individual has (C).

The following are additions to the A-B-C model during therapy:

  • Disputing (D): After identifying irrational beliefs, clients are taught to dispute them using various methods, like using creative expressions, humour, etc.
  • Effective: Dealing with issues in the belief system that helps clients to form an effective philosophy for adaptive living.



Assessment1 in REBT is done in two ways:

  • Assessment of cognitions and behaviours
  • Applying the A-B-C model to identify issues

Both these methods continue throughout REBT. Thus, at different junctions the therapist may re-assess cognitions and behavioural change and also identify irrational beliefs using these techniques. In addition, assessment through various psychological scales and tests is also encouraged to provide an in depth analysis of client issues. For example, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, etc.


Techniques Used

  • Cognitive: REBT allows a therapist to use a number of cognitive strategies to educate the client about the importance of rational thoughts. The cost benefit analysis is one example of such a technique that involves evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of behaviours so as to decide a course of action. REBT therapists help their clients to learn various problem solving methods like using creative expressions, humour etc.
  • Behavioural: Various behavioural techniques are used in REBT to help clients deal with irrational beliefs. For example, rewarding a client with appreciation if the client is able to identify irrational beliefs and alters one’s behaviour accordingly.  
  • Emotional: Various emotive techniques applied in REBT aim at successful change in the belief system.  For example, avoiding statements that use forceful words such as “must” or “should”.


As a cognitive approach, REBT has often been applied to different psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, etc. The emphasis on the belief system is what differentiates REBT with other psychotherapies in general. It helps clients to deal with issues actively and also helps in preventing further disturbances through online counselling.




1.Sharf, R. (2012). Theories of psychotherapy and counselling-concepts and cases. Belmont, CA:Brooks/Cole.

2.Dryden, W. (2009). Rational emotive behaviour therapy. East Sussex, UK:Routledge


Type of Online Therapy Services at HopeQure

For Individuals

Discuss with a psychologist your feelings and resolve your issues.

Start Now

For Couples

Couples can connect with an expert relationship therapist.

Start Now

Someone Else

Connect with subject matter expert psychologist

Start Now


Share your emotions confidentially and discuss plans.

Start Now

Connect with an expert

  • Video Call
  • Messaging
  • Phone


$ 35

Ms.  Preeti
Ms. Preeti
Clinical Psychologist

03 years of experience

M.Phil. Clinical Psychology

I am a RCI Licenced Clinical Psychologist specialized in handling problems of mental, emotional and behavioral nature, Psychometric assessments, Psychotherapeutic interventions and rehabilitation services dedicated to serve people with mental health issues and promote well being in society.


$ 35

Ms.  Shubhangi Bhargava
Ms. Shubhangi Bhargava

06 years of experience

M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

Shubhangi is an experienced mental health professional working closely in the field of Clinical Psychology. She adopts a structured approach in dealing clients with depression, anxiety, OCD, child-parent issues, relationship issues, and oncopsychology, contributing to their self-development. With a zeal to work in the field of mental health to facilitate people in having a better life, she is a trained Hypnotherapist. Have expertise in the field of counseling, therapy, and psychological assessments. She believes in the holistic development of an individual.


$ 35

Mr.  Agam Gupta
Mr. Agam Gupta
Psychological Counsellor

07 years of experience

M.Sc. Neuropsychology

I help my clients to first get an in-depth understanding about their core psychological issues and then work with them to develop an easy & solution focused plan of action to deliver expected results. My incisive knowledge in Applied Psychology and Neuropsychology equips me to understand human behavioral problems and daily life issues stemming from various personal & social stressors and find ways to make my clients reach the state of Psychological Homeostasis ( back to balanced state).


$ 35

Ms.  Arushi Bhatnagar Nigam
Ms. Arushi Bhatnagar Nigam

06 years of experience

M.Sc. Neuropsychology

I am a neuropsychologist dedicated to working closely with individuals to help them deal with procrastination, low motivation, low self-esteem, lack of clarity, and difficulty in managing emotions using Neuropsych-backed techniques. Providing support for anxiety, stress, low moods, behavioral and relationship-related issues.