The reported application of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) with athletes is growing but remains scarce within sport psychology literature. This study used a single-case multiple-baseline across participants design to investigate the effects of REBT on irrational self-depreciation beliefs and unconditional self-acceptance (USA) with three male mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes. Visual and statistical analyses indicate a reduction in total irrationality and self-depreciation and an increase in USA, which was maintained at 6 months post-REBT for two of the three athletes. Social validation data revealed positive changes in emotion management and performance in all athletes. The mechanisms by which REBT promoted changes in self-depreciation and USA are discussed as are recommendations regarding the future implementation of REBT with athletes.
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The authors would like to acknowledge Andrew Wood, Staffordshire University, for his work on the statistical analyses of data.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Cunningham, R., Turner, M.J. Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Athletes to Reduce Irrational Beliefs and Increase Unconditional Self-Acceptance. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 34, 289–309 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-016-0240-4
- Case study
- Applied sport psychology
- Combat sports