Rational Emotive Therapy Articles

Dr. Robert Heller – Rational Emotive Therapy Articles

I have written many articles for performance enhancement, mental and emotional skills training, managing stress and sports related topics. Each week, I will add new articles your general information. Your comments are welcome.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its “sister” therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) have been around and well researched for approximately 60 years. They are generally highly effective approaches for many individuals and conditions when applied by a well skilled and experienced clinician. I was trained by the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dr.Albert Ellis and have been using this approach with clients for over 35 years.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if CBT might be a good approach for you:

  1. Do you prefer to focus mostly on what’s going on in the present and not spend a lot of time reviewing/exploring my past?
  2. Would you rather talk about your current situation and what you can do to improve it vs. talking about your parents, early childhood or dreams?
  3. Are you looking for an approach where the therapist does MORE than quietly just politely listens?
  4. Would you like to not only feel better but get better by learning and applying specific tools you can use in and out of the therapy office?
  5. Would you prefer an approach that is more structured and less open ended?
  6. Do you basically believe that your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs largely affect how you feel?
  7. Do you like the idea of identifying goals for therapy and a plan for accomplishing those goals?
  8. Are you looking for an approach where you may not need medication to manage your emotions or where you might be able to cut down or get off of medication you are currently taking?
  9. Are you willing to put in time and effort between sessions to do “homework” which may include reading, writing, listening and practicing various exercises?
  10. Are you seeking an approach that may help you reach your goals over a period of months vs. years?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, that you are very likely a good candidate for working with and benefiting from CBT and/ or REBT.


As a psychologist who uses hypnosis, I find people have lots of questions and hold many myths about hypnosis.  Here are some common questions and answers regarding hypnosis:

1. How is it hypnosis is advertised for so many conditions?

Hypnosis is a tool. Anything treated with hypnosis can be treated without it although, not always as rapidly or successfully. Anyone using hypnosis with patients should be first trained and licensed in their profession- psychology, psychiatry, social work, dentistry etc. and then receive specialized training in the use of hypnosis. <more>

Understanding and Managing Dental Fears

A recent headline in the Wall Street Journal read, “More Dentists Taking Pains to Win Back Fearful Patients”. It noted that nearly one quarter of all Americans avoid the dentist because they are afraid, according to surveys conducted by the American Dental Association.  <more>

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy and Self-Acceptance

While most people strive for self esteem, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy,  Dr.Albert Ellis, believed that it was far better to work on Self Acceptance. According to Ellis, if you strive for self esteem you are rating you self worth.<more> 


Rational Emotive Therapy for Marital Problems

The Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy approach for “marriage problems” includes an assessment of each of the partners as well as the relationship. I meet with the couple together and then separately with each partner privately.  <more> 


Rational Emotive Therapy for Weight Loss

As with most problems, “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy” for weight loss focus on first identifying the non-productive thoughts and beliefs that give rise to excess and overeating and attitudes that interfere with pursuing an active lifestyle needed to lose and maintain a healthy weight and fit body.

Cognitive therapy helps clients dispute self-defeating thoughts….<more> 

Rational Emotive Therapy Treatment of Depression

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and other cognitive therapies view depression and other mood disorders as often caused and maintained, largely ( but not entirely) by unhealthy beliefs that are learned early on in life and maintained throughout the lifespan usually without the conscious awareness of the individual.

REBT as well as cognitive behavioral therapy help clients to identify dysfunctional beliefs and replace them with more functional ones. <more>


Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol Problems

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) has long been a useful treatment approach to alcohol and drug related problems. In fact, the founder of a national group self-help program, Rational Recovery ( now widely known as SMART Recovery, Jack Trimpy, attributes attaining sobriety by working with Dr. Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. <more>


Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

As a long time practitioner of REBT, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, I can say that next to depression, “anxiety” is the second most common reason people seek help from therapy.

In the ABC theory of emotions, Anxiety is the emotional consequence ( C ) of your beliefs, that is, what you tell yourself ( B ) about the activating event, trigger or situation ( A ). <more>


Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy : Your First Session

As a practicing psychologist for 35 years now and 15 of them being in Boca Raton, Fl., both myself and  most of my clients seem comfortable with the informal setting of my home office which overlooks a lake and trees. I have a solo practice and choose to see a relatively small number of clients as I continue to write self-help books and lecture/consult periodically to colleges, businesses and organizations.

The first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit, examine your goals for treatment, get some initial relevant background history and share with you how REBT, cognitive therapy, and other services I provide might fit in to your reaching your goals. <more>


Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy or REBT was developed in the 1950’s by the late and great psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis. Ellis was originally trained as a psychoanalyst and practiced that way for a few years but gave it up because he found it both too long and largely ineffective. He originally called in Rational Emotive Therapy but changed to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy in the 80’s because many of the methods used were behavioral in addition to the cognitive ones he used and invented. <more>


HYPNOSIS TREATMENT FOR IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Stress affects the body in various ways. “Gut” related problems such as IBS are common reactions to stress. The nausea, bloating, constipation and diarrhea result in visits to the family doctor and gastroenterologist to rule out medical causes. Most often, no medical causes are found. Most doctors give medications. That is what they know and that is what they do. Some, who are more informed recognize the stress– gut connection and refer to psychologists and other mental health professionals who can help by teaching stress management tools and providing counseling and therapy to get to the roots of the distress and relieve it. <more>



During the winter Olympics, in the women’s figure skating event, Sasha Cohen was the clear favorite to win the coveted gold medal, especially after Michelle Kwon pulled out last minute with an injury.

As she was warming up just minutes before her performance, Cohen missed a jump-turn and ended up falling on the ice. Clearly, not the last thing you want to finish with just moments before possibly your most important performance ever! <more>


Hypnosis is a specialized treatment approach used in counseling and therapy to help people make changes and adjustments in how they think, feel and behave.

Hypnosis is a combination of relaxation and suggestion. When your body and mind are relaxed, you can focus more fully and are more receptive to making desired changes in how you think, feel and behave. <more>

Dr. Robert Heller – Boca Ration Psychologist – Rational Emotive Therapy

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