Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (TREC) by Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis (1913 – 2007) was one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century and one of the most influential figures in the field of psychology after his break with the school of psychodynamics.

He was the creator of one of the theories which revolutionized the foundations and methodology in the treatment of emotional and psychological problems, he won a place of honor among the greatest psychologists. Let’s talk today about Albert Ellis and TREC.

Albert Ellis and Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (TREC)

His theory (the Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy) It is well known and although many psychologists do not share its principles, others rather join this line, finding a good basis to continue to develop their profession and the appropriate treatment for each disorder, according to the current demands in the field of clinical psychology.

Albert Ellis was born in Pittsburg in 1913 and studied at Columbia University (New York), specializing in training professionals in psychoanalysis. There he obtained his doctorate in 1947. Ellis quickly realized the limits of Sigmund Freud’s theory and, disappointed by the few results he obtained with his patients, gradually abandoned psychoanalytic theory to start working on his theory. own theory.

Already in 1953 he broke completely with psychoanalysis and began to develop a type of psychotherapy which he would call Emotional Rational Therapy, a type of counseling psychotherapy. cognitive behavioral.

TREC: what does it consist of?

But, What is rational emotional therapy? Ellis is known for having received training in the field of letters. Among his studies he had a lot to do with philosophy, which would serve as the main basis for the further development of his theory. Ellis believed that his theory could be summed up in the famous Stoic Greek philosopher Epithet’s saying that “people are not changed by facts, but by what they think about facts.”

Ellis developed his theory by illustrating it as shown by Ellis this graphic:

Albert Ellis considered behavioral and emotional problems they could have their genesis from its three sources: that of thought, emotional and behavioral. He pointed out how thoughts affect psychological disorders.

Ellis (1995) stated that people are largely responsible for their disturbed feelings, which are generated consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, these same people have all the resources to be able to change their thoughts and bring lasting and stable states to their lives.

The link between thought and emotion

According to Ellis, this demonstrates how thought and emotion are related. Ellis argued that what causes the emotional impairment or difficulty is not what happens at point A, but that people create a belief structure at point B and reinforce those beliefs in a negative way and often harmful, manifested by behavioral or emotional reactions: point C, according to Ellis (1962).

This theoretical body and the resulting therapy it has motivated a lot of criticism from some professionals in the field of psychiatry and of psychology itself, by asserting that it sinned from an excess of “rationalism” which made the theory perceived as unsustainable and scientific. However, time has given rise to many studies and investigations of cases where TREC has been applied, achieving high reliability and excellent results. This is why TREC, from its creation by Albert Ellis to the present day, is at the forefront of psychotherapies.

The studies Ellis developed throughout his life paid off. Currently, his institute located in New York continues to work on the training of psychotherapists, through interviews, care of people with family and personal problems and studies that make the science of psychology grow day by day. Tools for a century as demanding as the one we live in.

Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy has a clear mission, as argued by Saranson (2006) in his book Abnormal Psychopathology, the problem of maladaptive behavior, Where he refers to Ellis and Dryden (1977): people need to question their core beliefs (in most cases irrational) and then replace them with more constructive (rational) beliefs.

TREC has not only been applied in the clinical field, but there is much literature on intervention in the fields of work and education. A psychotherapy which offers many opportunities in the study of the human being, the emotions, the thought and the mental health.

Bibliographical references:

  • Cavall, V. (2010), Technical Handbook and Behavior Modification
  • Ellis, A. (2003), Manual of Rational Emotional Therapy, Editorial Desclee
  • Saranson, B. and Saranson, I. (2006), Abnormal Psychopathology, The Misconduct Problem, Pearson Editorial

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