Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety – Boca Raton Psychologist
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 rational emotive behavior therapy for anxiety, we use the ABC theory. Anxiety is the emotional consequence (C) of your beliefs, that is, what you tell yourself ( B ) about the activating event, trigger or situation (A ).
For example, someone who is very anxious about giving a speech has to be thinking something very negative about what they expect or what might happen. This is called “anticipatory anxiety”.
In this case, the activity is the upcoming speech, the emotional consequence is the anxiety and the cause of the anxiety is the negative belief or beliefs. Examples of typical negative beliefs that cause this problem are, “ I might mess up and that would be awful.” “Other people would think less or badly of me if I didn’t do a good job.” “I can’t stand the anxiety I experience when I have to give a speech.”
In Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety, clients are taught how to examine and then challenge there negative beliefs and eventually embrace healthier more rational and productive thoughts.
Over a series of cognitive therapy sessions a client might develop more positive beliefs such as, “I might mess up but even if I did, it would not be SO bad.” “Others probably won’t judge me negatively even if I don’t present too well. If they do, so what, I really don’t NEED their approval or acceptance.” “I don’t like the anxiety I experience when I make a speech and hopefully I can learn to reduce it. In the meantime I certainly can stand it!”
Through persistent recognition and challenging of negative beliefs clients eventually are able to change their feelings and develop a set of healthy beliefs about themselves, others and the world.
The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety provides individuals with useful tools, exercises and homework to overcome anxiety and worry.