Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach

Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach

Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach

Counseling and Psychotherapy with Religious Persons: A Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Approach

Synopsis

Practitioners are increasingly aware that religious persons present unique problems and challenges in therapy. Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is among the most widely practiced, highly structured and active directive approaches to treating emotional and behavioral problems. Introduced by Albert Ellis in the early 1950s, REBT is the original cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and its efficacy has been supported by hundreds of treatment outcome studies. A uniquely belief-focused therapy, REBT is usually quite appealing to clients from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other religious traditions, who respond favorably to REBT's focus on right belief, active engagement in the work of therapy, and reading/practice focused homework. In this practical and user-friendly guide, the authors outline the congruence between the therapeutic approach of REBT and the presenting problems and concerns of religious persons. They describe an approach to reconciling the sacred traditions and beliefs of religious clients with the no nonsense techniques of REBT. They review the essential components of practice with religious clients--including assessment, diagnosis and problem formulation, disputation of irrational beliefs, and other REBT techniques, highlight the primary obstacles facing the therapist when treating religious clients, and offer many case examples from work with this important client population. Mental health professionals from all backgrounds will benefit from the detailed yet manual-focused approach to helping religious clients overcome all forms of emotional distress.

Excerpt

Since the early 1990s, interest in psychotherapy for religious clients has increased. The number of books, chapters, and journal articles that have included the topics psychotherapy and religion, religious belief, religiosity, or religious membership in their titles and abstracts has gone from 86 published in the 1950s and 84 published in the 1960s, to 99 published in the 1970s, 145 published in the 1980s, and 330 published in the 1990s.

Among these 744 scholarly publications, just five controlled studies have examined how religion can be used in psychotherapy to treat religious clients. These five studies reported scientific tests of religion-oriented cognitive or cognitive-behavioral therapies (Johnson & Ridley, 1992; Johnson, Devries, Ridley, & Pettorini, 1994; Pecheur & Ewards, 1984; Propst, 1980; Propst, Ostrom, Watkins, & Mashbum, 1992). Two (Johnson & Ridley, 1992; Johnson, et al., 1994) focused on religion-oriented REBT. It makes perfect sense that cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapies, and especially REBT, would be used in pioneering attempts to use religious belief material during psychotherapy.

Why? Because REBT is a belief oriented psychotherapy. REBT's famous A-B-C model proposes that it is not A, Adversities or other Activating events, but B, Beliefs about A, which yield C, self-defeating emotional and behavioral Consequences. It is wholly consistent with the . . .

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