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Unread February 17th, 2007, 09:54 AM
Hornet Hornet is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Alabama
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Default CBT vs REBT

What is the difference between CBT and REBT? They seem so similar that I can't see what the ultimate difference is. Albert Ellis has a different personality than Aaron Beck, to be sure. But how do their therapeutic approaches really differ? How do you demarcate them?
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Unread February 17th, 2007, 10:41 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Default Re: CBT vs REBT

You can find a discussion of the similarities and differences between REBT, CT, and CBT in the forum archives at

If you have more questions after you've seen that thread, post them here.

Last edited by James Pretzer; February 17th, 2007 at 10:42 PM. Reason: addition
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Unread February 18th, 2007, 01:00 PM
Hornet Hornet is offline
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Location: Alabama
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Default Re: CBT vs REBT

It seems like Albert Ellis would be more likely to tell a client that he/she is full of it. Beck would probably be gentler.

Also, Dr. Ellis is more likely to attack the client's grandiosity.
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Unread February 19th, 2007, 08:48 PM
Wayne Froggatt Wayne Froggatt is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
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Default Re: CBT vs REBT

You appear to be falling into two common traps here. The first is to assume that REBT is not CBT, and the second is to think that Ellis' and Beck's methods differ mainly in the style of therapist.

REBT is not different to CBT - it is CBT! So is CT (Beck's 'Cognitive Therapy'). CBT is a generic term for a category - there are many different types of CBT. REBT & CT are the two main types, but there are many others (such as DBT, Schema Therapy, etc).

As I have written elsewhere in this forum (see the link in Jim's earlier message), Ellis & Beck have different styles, but these are typical of the particular therapists - not of the therapies they founded. Both REBT and CT can be conducted aggressively or gently. Ellis is fairly directive in his approach, but many REBT therapists (myself included) are more 'Socratic' (questioning).

Finally, you are correct in saying that REBT & CT are very similar. I think the main differences are in the terminology used; though one key difference between the two is the type of thinking that is the main focus of attention: CT seems to focus mainly on inferential-type thinking (e.g. 'I am always failing'); whereas REBT emphases a focus on evaluative thinking (e.g. 'Failing so much is unbearable / proves I am a failure as a person / should not be happening'). Note that both methods work!

Hope this helps to clarify your question.
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