Human beings are dynamic beings and there does not seem to be a simple way they become emotionally disturbed, and there does not seem to be a simple way for them to be helped from feeling defeated (Ellis, n.d). The psychological issues which come up often arise from a client’s misperceptions, including his emotional underreactions or overreactions to unusual events or circumstances; and his dysfunctional patterns of behaviour also lead him towards repeating responses even if he knows he is behaving poorly (Ellis, n.d). The framework or model for the REBT is based on the ABC model where A=the activating event; B=the belief; and C=the consequent emotion which may include anxiety or depression (Philippe, 2010). The process may extend to include letters D and E which refer to disputing of irrational beliefs and effect (Stolear, n.d).
REBT is based on the premise that our reactions are based on our unconscious interpretations and philosophies. We feel anxious or sad because we strongly believe that it is terrible for us to fail or be rejected (Ellis, n.d). We also feel hostile or angry towards other people because we believe that people behave unfairly towards us. For therapists in this field of practice, they often use the first few sessions with the client in order to place a finger on the main irrational philosophies which the client passionately adheres to. Afterwards, they attempt to show to the clients how these philosophies lead to emotional problems and inevitably, to clinical symptoms (Ellis, n.d). The goal of the therapist, in this case, is to uproot the client from such set philosophies and to try to replace them with more rational theories and hypotheses about themselves and the world around them; and eventually, to conceptualize how such rational theories can be used to understand the world and to deal with their issues (Ellis, n.d).