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A Synopsis of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT); Fundamental and Applied Research

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Abstract

The article presents a synopsis on rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT), its fundamental theoretical framework, its applications, and future directions. The paper is organized according to the following structure: in part one, REBT fundamental/basic research is discussed; in the second part clinical/applied research in REBT is presented, including aspects of efficacy and effectiveness, discrimination of disorders for which REBT works most effectively, and its relations to other therapies. Uses and misuses of REBT and their impact on research and future developments are presented as well. While it is true that REBT research has many shortcomings, the overgeneralization and/or magnification of the negative, and the minimization of the positive are dysfunctional beliefs that maintain the false idea in the field that REBT has few empirical studies and that REBT research is in serious trouble. A balanced approach, analyzing both the strengths and weakness, suggest that REBT has hundreds of research articles and that high-quality studies tend to support REBT’s basic theory and efficacy. However, to strengthen this conclusion and to fully explore the potential of REBT, shortcomings of REBT research need to be corrected, and high-quality studies promoted. This is particularly important since, although effective, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapies have not yet reached “the desired standard” of efficacy and effectiveness, as about 30–40% of people are still nonresponsive to these interventions Thus, REBT could be a platform of reinvigorating empirical studies on the efficacy/effectiveness and theory of cognitive-behavioral models of psychopathology and human functioning.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge Maria Avellino, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA, and Ryan Fuller, Albert Ellis Institute, USA, for their assistance in conducting this review. Also, we want to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to this final form of the manuscript. Their expositional and scientific suggestions were very helpful.

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Correspondence to Daniel David.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Biobehavioral and Integrative Medicine Programs, New York, USA.

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David, D., Szentagotai, A., Eva, K. et al. A Synopsis of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT); Fundamental and Applied Research. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 23, 175–221 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-005-0011-0

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