Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 325–340 | Cite as

Rational-emotive therapy and cognitive behavior therapy: Similarities and differences

  • Albert Ellis


General or nonpreferential rational-emotive therapy (RET)is synonymous with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).Specialized or preferential RET, however, differs from CBT in several ways. Cognitively, it has a pronounced philosophic emphasis, includes a humanistic-existentialist out-look, strives for pervasive and long-lasting rather than symptomatic change, tries to eliminate all self-ratings, stresses antimusturbatory rather than antiempirical disputing methods, recognizes the palliative aspects of cognitive distraction, discourages problem solving that is not accompanied by changes in clients' basic belief system, and emphasizes secondary as well as primary symptoms of emotional disturbance. Emotively, it stresses the discrimination of appropriate from inappropriate emotions, emphasizes methods of working directly with and on emotions, encourages forceful emotive interventions, and uses relationship procedures that heavily stress unconditional rather than conditional positive regard. Behaviorally, it favors penalization as well as reinforcement, is partial to in vivo desensitization and flooding, and makes sure that skill training is done within a philosophic framework of trying to help clients make basic changes in their irrational beliefs.


Cognitive Psychology Cognitive Behavior Therapy Skill Training Belief System Basic Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beck, A. T.Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  2. Benson, H.The relaxation response. New York: Morrow, 1975.Google Scholar
  3. D'Zurilla, T., & Goldfried, M. Problem solving and behavior modification.Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1971,78 109–126.Google Scholar
  4. Ellis, A. Outcome of employing three techniques of psychotherapy.Journal of Clinical Psychology 1957,13 334–350.Google Scholar
  5. Ellis, A. How to live with a “neurotic.” New York: Crown, 1975 (Rev. ed.). (Originally published, 1957.)Google Scholar
  6. Ellis, A. Rational psychotherapy.Journal of General Psychology 1958,59 35–49.Google Scholar
  7. Ellis, A. Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart; Citadel Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  8. Ellis, A. What really causes therapeutic change?Voices 1968,4(2), 90–97.Google Scholar
  9. Ellis, A. A cognitive approach to behavior therapy.International Journal of Psychiatry 1969,8 896–900.Google Scholar
  10. Ellis, A. The cognitive element in experiential and relationship psychotherapy.Existential Psychiatry 1970,28 35–52. (a)Google Scholar
  11. Ellis, A. The case against religion.Mensa Bulletin 1970, No. 38, 5–6. (b)Google Scholar
  12. Ellis, A.Theory and practice of rational-emotive psychotherapy. Cassette recording. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1971. (a)Google Scholar
  13. Ellis, A.Growth through reason. Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books; Hollywood: Wilshire Books, 1971. (b)Google Scholar
  14. Ellis, A. What does transpersonal psychology have to offer to the art and science of psychotherapy?Voices 1972,8(3), 10–20. (Revised version:Rational Living, 1973,8(1), 20–28.)Google Scholar
  15. Ellis, A.Humanistic psychotherapy: The rational-emotive approach. New York: Crown; McGraw-Hill Paperbacks, 1973. (a)Google Scholar
  16. Ellis, A. Are cognitive behavior therapy and rational therapy synonymous?Rational Living 1973,8(2), 8–11. (b)Google Scholar
  17. Ellis, A. My philosophy of psychotherapy.Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 1973,6 13–18. (c)Google Scholar
  18. Ellis, A. Cognitive aspects of abreactive therapy.Voices 1974,10(1), 48–56. (a)Google Scholar
  19. Ellis, A.How to stubbornly refuse to be ashamed of anything. Cassette recording. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1974. (b)Google Scholar
  20. Ellis, A.RET abolishes most of the human ego. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1976. (a)Google Scholar
  21. Ellis, A. Research in cognitive behavior therapy. In D. Meichenbaum, M. Mahoney, M. Goldfried, A. T. Beck, A. Ellis, F. Kanfer, & P. Wachtel,Cognitive behavior therapy research. Cassette recording. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1977; Ellis, A.Fun as psychotherapy. Cassette recording. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1977. (Also:Rational Living, 1977,12(1), 2–6.) (a)Google Scholar
  22. Ellis, A.A garland of rational songs. Songbook and cassette recording. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1977. (b)Google Scholar
  23. Ellis, A.How to live with—and without—anger. New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1977. (c)Google Scholar
  24. Ellis, A. Skill training in counseling and psychotherapy.Canadian Counsellor 1977,12(1), 30–35. (d)Google Scholar
  25. Ellis, A.Cognitive techniques of sex therapy. Cassette recording. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, 1978. (a)Google Scholar
  26. Ellis, A.Discomfort anxiety: A new cognitive-behavioral construct. Cassette recording. New York: BMA audiotapes, 1978. (b)Google Scholar
  27. Ellis, A. A note on the treatment of agoraphobics with cognitive modification versus prolonged exposurein vivo.Behaviour Research and Therapy 1979,17 162–164. (a)Google Scholar
  28. Ellis, A. The use of force in psychotherapy.Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 1979,10 83–97. (b)Google Scholar
  29. Ellis, A., & Abrahms, E.Brief psychotherapy in medical and health practice. New York: Springer, 1978.Google Scholar
  30. Ellis, A., & Grieger, R.Handbook of rational-emotive therapy. New York: Springer, 1977.Google Scholar
  31. Ellis, A., & Harper, R. A.A guide to rational living. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1961.Google Scholar
  32. Ellis, A., & Harper, R. A.A new guide to rational living. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall; Hollywood: Wilshire Brooks/Cole, 1979.Google Scholar
  33. Ellis, A., & Knaus, W.Overcoming procrastination. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1977.Google Scholar
  34. Ellis, A., & Whiteley, J. M. (Eds.).Theoretical and empirical foundations of rationalemotive therapy. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole, 1970.Google Scholar
  35. Emmelkamp, P. M. G., Kuipers, A. C. M., & Eggeraat, J. B. Cognitive modification versus prolonged exposurein vivo: A comparison with agoraphobics as subjects.Behaviour Research and Therapy 1978,16 33–41.Google Scholar
  36. Farrelly, F., & Brandsma, J.Provocative therapy. Millbrae, California: Celestial Arts, 1974.Google Scholar
  37. Frankl, V. E.Man's search for meaning. New York: Washington Square Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  38. Friedman, M.Rational behavior. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  39. Goldfried, M. R., & Davison, G. S.Clinical behavior therapy. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976.Google Scholar
  40. Haley, J.Problem-solving therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977.Google Scholar
  41. Horney, K.Collected writings. New York: Norton, 1965.Google Scholar
  42. Jacobsen, E.You must relax. New York: Pocket Books, 1958.Google Scholar
  43. Kelly, G.The psychology of personal constructs. New York: Norton, 1955.Google Scholar
  44. Lange, A., & Jakubowski, P.Responsible assertive behavior. Champaign, Illinois: Research Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  45. Lazarus, A. A.Multimodal therapy. New York: Springer, 1976.Google Scholar
  46. Lazarus, A. A. A critique of rational-emotive therapy. In A. Ellis & J. M. Whiteley (eds.),Theoretical and empirical foundations of rational-emotive therapy. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole, 1979.Google Scholar
  47. Liberman, R. P., King, L. W., DeRisi, W. J., & McCann, M.Personal effectiveness. Champaign, Illinois: Research Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  48. Mahoney, M.Cognition and behavior modification. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger, 1974.Google Scholar
  49. Mahoney, M. A critical analysis of rational-emotive theory and practice. In A. Ellis & J. M. Whiteley (Eds.),Theoretical and empirical foundations of rational-emotive therapy. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole, 1979.Google Scholar
  50. Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E.Human sexual inadequacy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970.Google Scholar
  51. Maultsby, M. C., Jr. Rational emotive imagery.Rational Living 1971,6(1), 24–27.Google Scholar
  52. Maultsby, M. C., Jr.Help yourself to happiness. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1975.Google Scholar
  53. Maultsby, M. C., Jr., & Ellis, A.Technique for using rational emotive imagery. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1974.Google Scholar
  54. Meichenbaum, D.Cognitive behavior modification. New York: Plenum, 1977.Google Scholar
  55. Meichenbaum, D. Dr. Ellis, please stand up. In A. Ellis & J. M. Whiteley (Eds.),Theoretical and empirical foundations of rational-emotive therapy. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole, 1979.Google Scholar
  56. Palmer, R. D. Desensitization of the fear of expressing one's own inhibited aggression: Bioenergetic assertive techniques for behavior therapists.Advances in Behavior Therapy 1973,4 241–253.Google Scholar
  57. Phadke, K. M.Bull fighting: A royal road to mental health and happiness. Unpublished manuscript, Bombay, 1976.Google Scholar
  58. Raimy, V.Misunderstandings of the self. Self Francisco: Jossey-Boss, 1975.Google Scholar
  59. Rimm, D. C., & Masters, J. C.Behavior therapy. New York: Academic Press, 1979 (Rev. ed.). (Originally published, 1974.)Google Scholar
  60. Skinner, B. F.Beyond freedom and dignity. New York: Knopf, 1971.Google Scholar
  61. Spivack, G., Platt, J., & Shure, M.The problem solving approach to adjustment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1976.Google Scholar
  62. Wolfe, J. L., & Brand, E. (Eds.).Twenty years of rational therapy. New York: Institute for Rational Living, 1977.Google Scholar
  63. Wolfe, J. L., & Fodor, I. G. A cognitive-behavioral approach to modifying assertive behavior in women.Counseling Psychologist 1975,5(4), 45–52.Google Scholar
  64. Wolfe, J. L., & Fodor, I. G. Modifying assertive behavior in women: A comparison of three approaches.Behavior Therapy 1977,8 567–574.Google Scholar
  65. Wolpe, J.Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  66. Wolpe, J.The practice of behavior therapy (2nd ed.). New York: Pergamon, 1973.Google Scholar
  67. Wolpe, J. Cognition and causation in human behavior and its therapy.American Psychologist 1978,33 437–446.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Rational-Emotive TherapyNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations