How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything: Yes, Anything
by Albert Ellis
This book provides a guide to REBT, Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy. Developed in 1955 by Albert Ellis. The general tone of the book is confrontational and demeaning. The author expresses that life is hard and that is just the way it is, tough. That is echoed through-out.
I found a summary of this work posted on Thought Co by Cynthia Vinney which summarized the practice well. "[REBT] proposes that psychological ailments arise from our perspective on events, not the events themselves"
With the frequent use of the words musterbation (rigid beliefs that lead people to think in absolute terms like “must” and “should”) and awfulizing (believing an experience or situation is literally the worst thing that could possibly happen) it took me some time to adjust to the flow of the text.
REBT provides tools for investigating underlying beliefs. The author suggests that we hold onto irrational beliefs (IBs) and that they influence our expectations and emotions. By carefully and critically investigating our IBs, we can use the scientific method to challenge ourselves. This can change our rage and depression to discomfort and disappointment. It is also stated that thinking in absolutist terms and holding expectations of how we/others should be treated is ignorant and destructive.
Questioning beliefs about how we, or anyone, ought to act is critical to REBT. Ellis states there are three primary underlying narratives to our Irrational Beliefs.
- I must do well and have the approval by people I identify as important
- Others must treat me fairly and nicely
- Conditions I live in must be comfortable and free of major hassles