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Forum Assignment for the Week: Explain how people acquire their belief systems. How can you identify your irrational beliefs? What is the goal of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and describe the therapeutic techniques used to achieve it.


Classmate One (Frances): Good Morning and happy week 3!. This week we are discussing Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and our belief system. How we come into our beliefs is rather simple really. Our beliefs are really just a collection of thoughts that come from an external source as we learn and begin to think on our own. Usually from our parents, caretakers, and our societal surroundings that continue to send out information regarding the understanding of life and all it has. These beliefs continue to grow and become more independent of the original learnings as we get into school and began to develop our own beliefs. Irrational thoughts happen when we find ourselves trying to live up to the thoughts and expectations of others. We sometimes think that a situation and how it is supposed to have played out in our minds and when it doesn’t it creates a negative emotion. These thoughts and emotions create an uncomfortable feeling and impost conditions on your happiness. These thoughts about ourselves and other that doesn’t really match with reality can cause us to be very unhappy and second guess every thought and every move we make. Ellis list twelve common irrational beliefs, a few are the constant need for approval, guilt and condemnation, feeling that suffering is normal and that its caused by others, avoidance, fear of incompetence, and thinking one much have perfect control over situation. This just names a few but we see the trend of irrational thinking. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy or REBT was created by Ellis in the 50’s after more than twenty years in practice and seeing little progress in his patients he questioned psychoanalysis. Ellis felt that people have the prospective to be self-constructive and self-defeating. REBT see this and looks at thoughts and feelings together. According to our readings this week we know that REBT people get stress relief from distraction that reduces stress because it also allows one to not see others acceptance as all that important, Engagement is activates one enjoys such as arts, sports, or other social events can help engage ones attention even if only for a while. Therapy will use methods that will satisfy the person need for acceptance, REBT looks at the irrational beliefs and its goal is to help the client learn to differentiate between must do and desires. The job of the therapist is to confront those irrational beliefs and thoughts by using methods that change the cognition by prolonging a situation to learn to deal with the irrational thoughts. REBT is a somewhat aggressive technique compared to other cognitive therapy treatments and do not spend much time going over the history of the client but instead facing the issues head on.


Arreola, G. (2019, April 30). Identifying Your Irrational Beliefs Can Improve Your Well-Being. Retrieved from

Ellis, A., & Ellis, D.J. (2014). Rational emotive behavioral therapy. In D. Wedding & R.J. Corsini (Eds.), Current psychotherapies, 10th ed. (pp. 55-94). Belmont, CA: Cengage.


Classmate Two (Jessica):  Hello class,

According to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, as it was developed by Albert Ellis, one way in which people develop their belief systems is through the influence of family and community; especially at a young age.  In fact, it is believed that people, by nature, are easily influenced by their family and other social pressures during their childhood, and that these influences persist throughout the lifespan. For instance, if I child grows up in an environment that condemns him for imperfections, such as not receiving an A in every subject, he may begin to develop the irrational belief that everything he does must be perfect, and if it is not perfect he is worthless.  This would lead to emotional distress when he receives a lower grade, not because of the grade itself, but because of his irrational belief that he should be perfect.

Identifying irrational beliefs can be done by challenging them.  For instance, if an individual finds herself feeling like she is utterly unlikeable and no one would ever want to date her, she (or a therapist) can question the truthfulness of that statement.  Likely, this is due to believing that she should be more popular than she is, or that she should be liked by particular people. This, of course, is not true. Therefore, she could ask if it is true that no one could ever like her.  Of course not, she has had friends. She could also ask herself if it is true that she should be liked by everyone. Again, the answer is no; nobody is liked by everyone. By challenging these ideas and being forced to defend them, she will likely see that they are irrational and be able to work toward adjusting her beliefs and accepting what is instead of what she believes should or should not be.

The goal of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is to help clients develop a more realistic and tolerant perception of the world.  The way this is done, is by changing the irrational beliefs of the clients and teaching them to accept what is instead of becoming distressed by what they believe should be.  This is done through a variety of methods, including challenging those beliefs as I mentioned above, role-playing, and working to minimize demanding. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapists may also use distraction or techniques to fulfill the demands of the clients while they work toward resolving these beliefs.

Very Respectfully,


Classmate Three (Derek): Howdy class and Professor.

Hard to believe we are already in week three.


Seitz, Paloutzian, and Angel (2017) define belief as a brain function of humans that works to result in representations that have attributes of personal meaning and value that guides behavior. For me, this means beliefs are rules we follow based on how we view society and situations. We build beliefs through interaction with others, particularly as young people from those in authority. For example, I believe sex to be an activity that should only be perpetuated between husband and wife; I have built this belief by being raised by religious parents and going to church every Sunday. With this belief comes the activity of abstinence. Other beliefs come as reactions to activity. One can be the subject of gun violence and believe guns should be outlawed in the nation. 


The act of reason is absolute but not infallible (Corsini & Wedding, 2014).  An important step in identifying irrational beliefs is to understand that we as people have limitations and we must live in a way that we come to terms with this truth. When we stop living with a sense of the need for perfection, we can then utilize efforts to recognize our faulty views and correct them. This often takes psychoeducational approaches such as workshops and learning material to point out irrational positions about life. In REBT, the goal of REBT is to help patients identify their fallacies and overcome them. For patients, it is about understanding why the way they think and addressing the views that just do not make sense; it is about the promotion of a sense of peace and recognizing what is absurd.


The goal of this therapy is to address irrational thoughts and behaviors in an attempt to correct behaviors that will then decrease distress (American Public University, n.d.).  This is done by going through several steps, something the lesson dubs “The ABCD Model.” Here, the therapist seeks to find situations where the patient had a strong emotional response following an activity; they then establish a cause and effect model. Beliefs create emotional responses, and these responses lead to stress; the issue the therapist tries to identify. They then employ a “rapid-fire-directive-persuasive-philosophical” methodology to directly challenge the beliefs that have fueled the distress (Corsini & Wedding, 2014). By addressing these beliefs, they can promote a sense of peace for the patient, helping them understand they have limitations and changing the perfectionist views can lead to overcoming disorders, especially depression and anxiety. 


American Public University. (n.d.). Week Three Lesson. Retrieved February 17, 2020, from

Corsini, R. J., & Wedding, D. (2014). Current Psychotherapies (10th ed.). Retrieved from!/4/2@100:0.00

Seitz, R. J., Paloutzian, R. F., & Angel, H. F. (2016). Processes of believing: Where do they come from? What are they good for?. F1000Research, 5, 2573.

In order TO NOT contradict in my responses to my classmates,   please   read   my   original   post   to   this discussion   board.     (DO   NOT   RESPOND   TO   THIS, THIS   IS   MY   ORGINAL   POST)   **READING PURPOSES ONLY

Human beings tend to develop structures of norms that usually define their perceptions of reality. The structures of norms that help individuals to define their sense of what reality is can be termed as belief systems (Uso-Domenech & Nescolarde-Selva, 2016). They are essential as they can enable individuals to make sense of or understand the world around them. Indeed, belief systems are usually acquired by human beings in several ways as discussed below. One of the ways people acquire their belief systems is through narratives and rituals (Seitz, Paloutzian, & Angel, 2017). Narratives and rituals are generally shaped by the history of the society or community and they can be passed to people from one generation to another. When human beings are repeatedly or continuously exposed to narrative that defines a specific community or society, they end up internalizing and integrating it to their belief systems.

Another way in which belief systems can be acquired is through the personal or individual experiences of people (Seitz et al., 2017). The personal experiences of individuals can play an essential role in the development of the same. When people repeatedly interact with information or environmental object, they become more familiar and confident leading to the acquisition of knowledge that forms an integral part of their belief system (Seitz et al., 2017). Oftentimes, the individual experiences help to create emotional loading that creates their belief systems depending on frequency at they which they interact with objects.

Irrational beliefs are usually linked to negative or positive dysfunctional emotions that cannot be based on logic, pragmatic,or empirical foundations (Mogoase, Stefan, & David, 2013). As such, they could be regarded as illogical beliefs that tend to unrealistic. An individual can identify irrational beliefs through the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) framework (Mogoase et al., 2013). REBT helps individuals to identify their irrational beliefs based on demandingness, awfulizing, low frustration tolerance, and global evaluation of oneself (Mogoase et al., 2013). For instance, an individual who possesses irrational beliefs can utilize demandingness to realize that they possess absolutistic demands or requirements which can be exhibited in the form of “musts” or “oughts” (Mogoase et al., 2013). As such, individuals could possess irrational beliefs by asserting that something ought, must or should occur and if it does not, then they fail to accept the outcome.

REBT aims at helping human beings to change and replace their irrational or dysfunctional beliefs that tend to inform their illogical reasoning with rational or positive beliefs that enhance self-actualization in their lives (Najafi & Lea-Baranovich, 2014). Albert Ellis who developed REBT recognized adverse role of dysfunctional beliefs that tend to shape perceptions of people about life events hence preventing them from self-actualization. They are usually based on absolute requirements or imperatives that include shoulds, musts, and oughts which create maladaptive behaviors in people.

Three main therapeutic techniques can be used to achieve REBT. One, cognitive techniques can be employed to help the clients change their irrational beliefs through asking them questions that help to raise their cognition or consciousness to debunk and enable them think in a more rational manner (Najafi & Lea-Baranovich, 2014). Second, the clients could also use emotional techniques that assist their patients to imagine or reflect themselves in different circumstances. Emotional techniques can help the clients to stop feeling guilty, accept healthy disappointments, and embrace other people unconditionally as worthwhile.

Finally, the REBT could also be achieved through behavioral techniques (Najafi & Lea-Baranovich, 2014). In this technique, the clients could be requested to perform activities that they avoid to reinforce pleasurable behaviors. Additionally, they could undertake unpleasant activities that could result in penalties if they failed to change their resistance.


Mogoase, C., Stefan, S., & David, D. (2013). How do we measure rational and irrational beliefs? The development of rational and irrational beliefs scale (RAIBS)-A new theory-driven measure. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, 13(2A), 529-546.

Najafi, T., & Lea-Baranovich, D. (2014). Theoretical background, therapeutic process, therapeutic relationship, and therapeutic techniques of REBT and CT; and some parallels and dissimilarities between the two approaches. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(2), 1-12.

Uso-Domenech, L., & Nescolarde-Selva, J. (2016). What are belief systems? Foundations of Science, 21, 147-152.

Seitz, R. J., Paloutzian, R. F., & Angel, H. F. (2017). Processes of believing: Where do they come from? What are they good for? F1000Research, 5.

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