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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Four Major Irrational Beliefs

 

The theory associated with Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) hypothesizes the existence of four major irrational beliefs which underpin self-disturbance: demandingness, awfulizing, frustration intolerance, and global evaluations.

 

To illustrate each of these unhelpful assumptions, consider the following:

 

Demandingness – “I must be accepted by other people.”

 

Awfulizing – “It would be awful if I weren’t accepted by other people.”

 

Frustration tolerance – “I can’t stand not being accepted by other people.”

 

Global evaluations – “Life isn’t worth living if I’m not accepted by other people.”

 

These rigid beliefs sometimes present alone, as indicated above. Still, they also manifest in conjunction with one another. For example, “I must be accepted by other people, because it would be awful to be rejected. Truly, I can’t stand not being accepted, as life isn’t worth living if I’m rejected.”

 

Page 100 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites REBT practitioners not to assume that clients hold all four irrational beliefs regarding all of their problems. Further, clinicians are encouraged to check with clients to determine which of these assumptions they use.

 

Interestingly, I find that some inferred beliefs which contribute to self-disturbance aren’t as straightforward as others. Therefore, I assist clients by identifying these sometimes obscured assumptions. Consider the following:

 

Demandingness – “I better not fail my exam.” Terms like “better not,” “have to,” “got to,” “gotta,” etc. can serve as derivatives of should, must, and ought-type phrases. All the same, these words may constitute self-disturbing beliefs.

 

Awfulizing – “Fuck this shit!” Not all forms of awfulizing relate to direct statements containing words such as “awful,” “terrible,” “horrible,” etc. Therefore, I ask clients about the underlying meaning of their phrases. “Fuck this shit” generally presents in many self-disturbed instances of awfulizing.

 

Frustration tolerance – “She’s insufferable…absolutely insufferable.” Assuming that someone or something is “insufferable,” “intolerable,” “unbearable,” etc. relates to belief in one’s diminished capacity to tolerate and accept matters as is. This, low frustration tolerance, or the “I-can’t-stand-it” narrative, is a function of self-disturbance.

 

Global evaluations – “Fuck my life!” This is a tricky one, because it’s closely related to awfulizing. However, if I were to experience a traffic jam and shout within my car, “Fuck this shit,” I would infer that the specific moment of traffic was awful. However, stating, “Fuck my life” infers that my entire existence is insignificant. As such, this is a globally self-disturbing narrative.

 

Although not all four major irrational beliefs may present at the same time, I find it useful to check with clients to determine whether or not they can identify what self-disturbing assumptions they use. Once people understand that these beliefs cause disturbance, they can then do something to reduce the upset consequence of their unhelpful beliefs.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

최최성희 .(2024, March 13). Make 3d shoe box [Image]. Playground. Retrieved from https://playground.com/post/make-3d-shoe-box-and-there-be-written-404-words-outside-o-cltprxj2s0292s601kza49ymq

Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2023, September 18). The four horsemen. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-four-horsemen

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

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