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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Global Evaluations

Regarding Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), one source identifies “four categories of irrational belief: demandingness, frustration intolerance, awfulizing, and global evaluation (depreciation).” To date, I’ve written specifically about each except for the latter.

According to a separate source, “Global evaluation means that if your rigid desires are not met, you, others, and/or life are totally bad (e.g., “I am bad, you are bad, and/or life is bad”).” Regarding this, forgive me a personal anecdote.

When enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, I was required to qualify my rifle proficiency on an annual basis. Whatever score I earned had the potential of affecting my ability to promote to the next highest rank.

Though not directly competing with Marines to my left or right when on the rifle range, there was indirect competition for a limited number of promotional slots. Due to this reality, there was a lot of pressure to shoot as well as possible.

Consistently qualifying at the “expert” level, I understood that if I allowed my thoughts to flood my mind when shooting I could become so distracted that my downrange shot pattern would suffer. Back then, I wasn’t aware of REBT.

I didn’t understand the belief-consequence connection and how assumptions I maintained could result in emotional, bodily sensation, and behavioral consequences. However, I was aware that telling myself things like, “I suck at shooting,” had some effect on my ability to perform.

Moreover, when allowing myself to think in such a manner, I didn’t stop at extreme assessments of my abilities. At times, I used global evaluations of my own self-worth by stating things like, “Not only do I suck at shooting, I suck altogether!”

Per one source, “Self-worth ratings are irrational beliefs that pertain to global evaluations about our own human value.” These assumptions are irrational, partly because they don’t take into context other information about one’s value.

For instance, I may have shot poorly when on the range one day, as these things tend to occur. However, what did such an occurrence have to do with how much my friends and family loved me, how I performed as a military police platoon sergeant, etc.? Nothing!

Placing the entirety of my worth on a day at the range wouldn’t be based on or in accordance with logic or reason. Therefore, a global evaluation of such limited focus would be unhelpful.

One source states:

REBT theory recognises the complexity of humans and life events and so holds the position that humans cannot be rated as wholly good or of worth or wholly bad or worthless, however, I observe that there is a prevalence of the philosophy of contingent worth within western society, where success is seen as a sign of human value. The belief that a person should be competent and failure-proof to be able to be considered worthwhile has been a core observation of irrationality since the first inception of REBT in the 1950s.

When we address the irrational beliefs which cause self-disturbance, rather than feeding into the chaotic cycle of undervaluing nonsense we tell ourselves, we can then evaluate matters as they actually are. After all, drawing conclusions based on limited or faulty information may exacerbate an unpleasant emotional, sensory, or behavioral experience.

Rather than upsetting oneself, a person can practice unconditional acceptance. Describing this approach, one source states, “Here the person accepts herself and others as fallible humans who do not have to act other than they do and as too complex and fluid to be given any legitimate or global rating.”

Given this understanding, I could’ve missed several shots on the rifle range—or completely ruined the majority of my shot grouping altogether—and still assessed myself as a worthy individual. As such, global evaluations of oneself, others, and life aren’t necessarily helpful.

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


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