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The Big Answer

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A New Guide To Rational Living

a book by Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper

(our site's book review)

The authors relate all the information you’ll need to understand rational-emotive therapy, which is based upon the idea that modifying one’s thinking so as to preclude irrational beliefs will allow one to live a self-fulfilling, creative and emotionally satisfying life. In this book, the authors not only explain why self-talk is the answer and how to go about using it. They also show why self-talk, in itself is not sufficient. Beliefs are strong. One has to not only contradict the belief verbally, but in one’s actions as well. In order to do that one has to find the courage to go against oppressive beliefs that have been holding one back. In neurosis, people let their feelings run them, and in getting over neurosis, people have to go from being at effect to being at cause and they have to begin running their feelings rather than having feelings run them. Discarding irrational thoughts is one of the abilities most adults have.

They say “Continual rethinking of your old assumptions and reworking of your past habits can help minimize most of the pernicious influences from your childhood and adolescence.” In therapy, clients are constantly helped to acknowledge and get into various negative feelings that are blocking them, and then powerfully think, emote and act against those feelings. In the Rational Emotive Therapy model, clients naturally and easily think crookedly, emote inappropriately, and behave self-defeatingly, so Rational Emotive Therapy teaches them how NOT to keep doing this.