26 Dec 2022


Cognitive Behavioral Theory versus Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory

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Academic level: Master’s

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory share similarities but also have distinct differences. According to Iftene et al., (2015), the two models are reliant on ABC method in coming up with conclusive recommendations and cognitive focus on human self-discovery and on feelings. Both REBT and CBT are very structured and active frameworks used in informing human behavior and emotions. The two theories demand explicit situation and problem identification in which they occur. The two methods are used in pinpointing and arriving at an exact problem regarding human behavior and emotions. REBT and CBT are empirical in nature as they gather evidence and hypothesis about client guides and thoughts to resolve issues by arriving at scientifically tested results ( Iftene et al., 2015) . Both theories have some aspect of teaching effective assertiveness and problem solving to individuals. 

On secondary disturbance, REBT focuses on essence of secondary disturbance while CBT does not give attention to secondary disturbance. The two theories differ on unconditional self-acceptance. REBT lays emphasis on significance of unconditional self-acceptance but not pay attention to any type of self-rating. Contrary, CBT focuses on improving client’s self-esteem by strengthening their positive qualities ( Robertson, 2019) . CBT views some anger as beneficial and healthy unlike REBT which maintains that anger has a dictatorial, commanding, philosophical and condemning tone. CBT has a different perspective of negative emotions and self-destructions unlike REBT which urges people to see the positive side of a circumstance by thinking differently ( Iftene et al., 2015)

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The differences between REBT and CBT would adversely affect my practice due to different and conflicting recommendations on how to evaluate and treat mental health patients. The difference would led to application of heterogeneous therapies in addressing mental health problem which would be counterproductive. 

I would use Cognitive Processing Therapy version of CBT since the method is effective in addressing conditions such as PSTD due to its focus on teaching skills that counter negative thoughts and enable patients gain control over their life. 


Iftene, F., Predescu, E., Stefan, S., & David, D. (2015). Rational-emotive and cognitive-behavior therapy (REBT/CBT) versus pharmacotherapy versus REBT/CBT plus pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder in youth; a randomized clinical trial.  Psychiatry Research 225 (3), 687-694. 

Robertson, D. (2019).  The philosophy of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): Stoic philosophy as rational and cognitive psychotherapy . Routledge. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Cognitive Behavioral Theory versus Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory.


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