Rational Emotive Therapy


Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) is a form of psychotherapy developed by psychologist Albert Ellis in the 1950s. It is based on the premise that our thoughts and beliefs greatly influence our emotions and behavior.

Key Principles:

  • ABC Model: RET utilizes the ABC model, which suggests that external events (A) do not directly cause emotional and behavioral consequences (C), but rather our beliefs and interpretations (B) about those events are the true underlying causes of our reactions.

  • Identification of Irrational Beliefs: RET aims to identify and challenge irrational beliefs, including absolute musts, demands, and extreme expectations, which often contribute to negative emotions and maladaptive behaviors.

  • Disputing Irrational Beliefs: This therapy encourages individuals to actively dispute and question their irrational beliefs by providing logical and rational arguments against them. The goal is to replace irrational thoughts with more realistic and adaptive ones.

  • Effective Problem-Solving: RET helps individuals develop effective problem-solving skills by focusing on practical and feasible solutions rather than dwelling on negative emotions or unchangeable aspects of a situation.

  • Emphasis on Self-Acceptance and Resilience: RET promotes self-acceptance and resilience by encouraging individuals to recognize their inherent worth and to overcome challenges through adaptive thinking and coping strategies.

  • Homework Assignments: Clients are often given homework assignments to practice and reinforce the principles learned during therapy sessions. This allows them to apply rational emotive techniques in real-life situations and track their progress.


Rational Emotive Therapy has been successfully used in various clinical and non-clinical settings, including:

  • Depression: RET helps individuals identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to depressive symptoms.

  • Anxiety Disorders: By targeting irrational fears and thoughts, RET can assist individuals in managing and reducing anxiety symptoms.

  • Addiction: RET can be applied to address the underlying irrational beliefs and thought patterns associated with addictive behaviors.

  • Stress Management: By addressing and challenging irrational beliefs related to stressors, RET helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and reduce stress levels.

  • Relationship Issues: RET aids individuals in identifying and modifying irrational beliefs that contribute to conflicts and unhealthy dynamics in relationships.

  • Performance Enhancement: RET assists individuals in challenging self-defeating beliefs and achieving better performance in various domains, such as academics, sports, or work.