CBT and REBT Sample Research Essay

Cognitive Behavioral Theory versus Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory


The philosophy of the rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) is that some form of thoughts intrinsically result to problems and always occur when an individual is troubled regardless the type of difficult an individual is going through (Turner et al, 2014). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on how an individual thinks, feels, and behaves (Bell et al, 2015). Even though both REBT and CBT specifically focus on an individual’s tendency to develop own “emotional” difficulties, these therapies have their own differences as well. CBT and REBT Sample Research Essay

Both therapies hypothesize that emotions and beliefs are as a result of ideas, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs and not events and hence change of thinking can lead to emotional change and hence change in behavior (Ruggiero et al, 2016).

However, these therapies have a significant difference. While REBT focuses of solving emotional and behavioral problems in order to transform the illogical beliefs into rational beliefs, the CBT focuses on the distorted thinking in order to assist an individual to become aware whenever one makes negative interpretations or behaviors supporting distorted thinking (Turner et al, 2016). Additionally, while the CBT assists an individual to develop alternative thinking and behavior pattern in order to decrease the psychological distress, REBT helps individuals to identify the irrational beliefs and encourages an individual to change the false beliefs and accept the reality (Turner et al, 2016). Another difference involves the components of both therapies. The key elements of the CBT practice include clinical diagnosis, CBT theorization, and sound therapeutical relationship (Ruggiero et al, 2016). On the other hand, the key elements of REBT include the activating event, the beliefs and the consequences whereby the irrational beliefs are analyzed (Sarkar et al, 2015).


I would recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for my clients. This is because CBT is more in-depth because it focuses on the root cause of the distorted thinking and faulty cognitions (Ruggiero et al, 2016). Therefore, during therapy the patient is taught how to identify distorted thinking through evaluation. This hence helps the patient to learn to identify how cognition affects their feelings, and to monitor their thinking; as a result beliefs and thinking starts to change and eventually the behavior changes (Ruggiero et al, 2016).


Similarities between CBT and REBT include that both therapies focus on emotions and beliefs. The key differences include REBT focuses on emotional and behavioral problems while CBT focuses on distorted thinking. Additionally, REBT aims to help people identify and change irrational beliefs while CBT helps people to develop alternative thinking pattern. Their practice components are also different. I would use CBT on my clients. This is because this form of therapy is more exhaustive because it aims to change thinking patterns and eventually behavioral pattern. CBT and REBT Sample Research Essay


Bell, T, Mackie L & Bennett- Levy, J. (2015). ‘Venturing Towards the Dark Side’: The use of imagery interventions by recently qualified cognitive-behavioural therapists. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy. 1(22), 591–603

Ruggiero G, Spada M, Caselli G & Sassarol S. (2016). A Historical and Theoretical Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: From Structural Self-Knowledge to Functional Processes. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. 1(2), 1-26.

Sarkar M, Fletcher D & Brown D. J. (2015). What doesn’t kill me. Adversity-related experiences are vital in the development of superior Olympic performance. J. Sci. Med. Sport. 18 (1), 475–479.

Turner M. J., Barker J. B. (2014). Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy with Athletes. Sport Psychol. 28(1), 75–90.

Turner M. (2016). Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Irrational and Rational Beliefs, and the Mental Health of Athletes. Front Psychol. 1(7), 1423. CBT and REBT Sample Research Essay

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