ABSTRACT Rational emotive behavior therapists view stress-related disorders as originating in irrational beliefs (iB’s), philosophies and attitudes, as opposed to the stressor. People who suffer from stress differ from people who suffer from emotional or neurotic problems mainly in that the stressed people have iB’s about specific, short-term or more readily identifiable events, as opposed to the more mundane and diffuse difficulties suffered by the neurotic individual. Both the conscious and unconscious antecedents to stress difficulties and how they relate to distorted thinking and psychophysiological disorders are discussed from an information-processing perspective. Rational emotive behaviour treatments for stress-related disorders are detailed and explained.
When mental health professionals examine stress as an object of treatment, we are really talking about the distress, both physical and emotional, that ensues from a series of interpersonal and environmental irritants, or a particularly compelling one. The term `stress’ is a broad or generic term applying to many different states and situations that act on the psyche and body to reduce homeostasis (Elliot & Einsdorfer, 1982). The lack of a consistent definition of stress makes any discussion of treatment difficult. After all, stress is not always bad. Yerkes & Dodson demonstrated this over a generation ago. Stress-related arousal frequently serves to enhance performance. In clinical work we typically use the term to apply to those pressures and strains of living that reduce the quality of life, and require changes in the individual to restore homeostasis. We shall also use the term to represent the result of several kinds of dysfunctional or irrational thinking.
REBT is based on the assumption that what we label our “emotional” reactions are largely caused by our conscious and unconscious evaluations, interpretations, and philosophies. Thus, we feel anxious or depressed because we strongly convince ourselves that it is terrible when we fail at something or that we can’t stand the pain of being rejected. We feel hostile because we vigorously believe that people who behave unfairly to us absolutely should not act the way they indubitably do, and that it is utterly insufferable when they frustrate us.
Like stoicism, a school of philosophy that existed some two thousand years ago, rational emotive behavior therapy holds that there are virtually no good reasons why human beings have to make themselves very neurotic, no matter what kind of negative stimuli impinge on them. It gives them full leeway to feel strong negative emotions, such as sorrow, regret, displeasure, annoyance, rebellion, and determination to change social conditions. It believes, however, that when they experience certain self-defeating and unhealthy emotions (such as panic, depression, worthlessness, or rage), they are usually adding an unrealistic and illogical hypothesis to their empirically-based view that their own acts or those of others are reprehensible or inefficient and that something would better be done about changing them.
Rational emotive behavior therapists — often within the first session or two of seeing a client — can almost always put their finger on a few central irrational philosophies of life which this client vehemently believes. They can show clients how these ideas inevitably lead to emotional problems and hence to presenting clinical symptoms, can demonstrate ex actly how they forthrightly question and challenge these ideas, and can often induce them to work to uproot them and to replace them with scientifically testable hypotheses about themselves and the world which are not likely to get them into future neurotic difficulties.
Dr. Abrams’ approach, is to help people with cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This well-researched psychotherapy helps people change the aspects of their thinking and behaving that leads to anxiety, depression, and intimacy problems. It is a humanistic approach in that it accepts the client’s own construction of the world as being unique and important.. Dr. Mike Abrams’ and Dr. Lidia Abrams’ pragmatic and genuine approach is to help people understand those aspects of their personal philosophy, their beliefs, and their world view that are working to create fear, anguish, sexual, relationship or confidence problems. CBT helps people change his or her perspective in such a way so as to allow them to better enjoy life, improve their confidence, mood, and social functioning. Drs. Abrams have practiced this, taught this, and wrote on it for more than a quarter of a century; In addition, they are the among the only psychotherapists in Northern New Jersey who are board certified in these methods. With more than 25 years as psychologists in NJ they help with psychotherapy, counseling, sex therapy, couples counseling, and life coaching