A young woman talking to a therapist during a session

Understanding the Difference Between CBT and REBT

Regarding therapy, various approaches can improve mental health and well-being. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) are used in these cases by a psychiatrist and behavioral health specialist.

This blog will explore those differences and provide a comprehensive understanding of each approach.

What is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular and evidence-based talk therapy focusing on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It operates on the belief that distorted thinking patterns can lead to distress, and by identifying and challenging these thoughts, individuals can change their emotions and behaviors.

During CBT sessions, clients work with therapists to identify irrational or negative thoughts and develop healthier, more adaptive patterns of cognition and behavior. This process involves education, learning new coping skills, and testing these changes in daily life.

What is REBT?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a therapeutic approach that falls under the umbrella of CBT. Developed by psychologist Albert Ellis, REBT focuses on the connection between thoughts, emotions, and actions. It aims to help clients identify and challenge irrational beliefs that lead to emotional distress and replace them with logical thinking.

REBT follows the ABC model, which stands for Activating event, Beliefs about the event, and Consequences. Through examining beliefs and specific events, REBT helps individuals comprehend the influence on their emotions and behaviors. REBT aims to enable individuals to develop a sense of control and find happiness even in challenging circumstances.

Key Differences between CBT and REBT

1. Theoretical Orientation: CBT and REBT share common philosophies but have separate theoretical orientations. CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, while REBT emphasizes the impact of irrational beliefs on emotional well-being.

2. Tools and Techniques: While CBT and REBT use various techniques, such as cognitive restructuring and problem-solving, REBT places more emphasis on confronting irrational beliefs. It encourages individuals to challenge and replace irrational thoughts with more logical alternatives.

3. Treatment Availability: CBT is more widely available than REBT because of its broader range of subtypes and techniques. However, many therapists trained in CBT incorporate REBT techniques into their practice, making it possible to receive adequate treatment using either approach.

4. Length of Treatment: Both CBT and REBT can vary in length. REBT lasts between five and 30 sessions, while CBT treatment can range from a single session to several years, depending on the individual’s needs and the specific therapy modality used.

5. Certification and Training: CBT and REBT therapists do not require specific certification or training beyond their graduate education. However, professionals may choose to enhance their skills and knowledge through specialized training programs offered by institutions like the Albert Ellis Institute and the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Talk to a Therapist Today

CBT and REBT are effective approaches focusing on the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. If you want to experience effective therapy with a behavioral health specialist, you can schedule an appointment with Sioux Center Health to discuss your options.