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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Parable of the Sower

When thinking about my approach to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I appreciate the biblical wisdom related to the parable of the sower. Within Matthew 13, verses three through eight, it is stated of Yeshua:

3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

To be exceedingly clear, I am not in any way, shape, form, or fashion intending to strictly compare myself to Yeshua or REBT to the message of G-d. Rather, I’m grateful for the comparison between spreading the word of G-d and disseminating information relating to REBT.

I practice REBT in my personal and professional life. Because this psychotherapeutic technique doesn’t require dependence upon a clinician in order to use and it can be employed by people who aren’t undergoing treatment with me, individuals in my close circle are all familiar with this helpful tool.

For clients under my care, REBT is discussed during the initial consultation and practiced throughout the course of mental, emotional, and behavioral health care services I provide. I think of myself as a farmer, REBT principles as seeds, and the people with whom I share this technique as various types of ground.

Verses 18 through 23 of Matthew 13 state:

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Sometimes, the seed of REBT lands upon a path. A client may present to one or two sessions, remain silent about confusion related to the technique, and disappear from treatment after never having voiced concern about misunderstanding the tool.

Other times, a friend may receive the seed upon rocky ground and express joy for a pragmatic method of changing the person’s life. However, the rootlessness of an accepted though unapplied technique results in the individual quickly reverting back to self-disturbing behavior.

For other occasions, an acquaintance will receive the seed that falls amongst thorns. This person’s irrational beliefs about how life really should, must, or ought to function then create worry which chokes any growth and the fruit of the individual’s seedling is never fully realized.

At other times, the seed of REBT falls on fertile soil for a client. I then observe as the person’s dedication to the application of REBT principles results in an abundant harvest while the person begins doing more of that which serves the individual well and less of that which doesn’t.

What I remind myself about REBT is that no matter where the seed lands, I don’t need to disturb myself about various outcomes experienced by others. After all, I make reasonable attempts to help others with the process of growth.

Unfortunately, not everyone who receives the seed will enjoy fruitful outcomes. Given this truthful admission, I know that friends, acquaintances, clients, and others will have mixed results. Who’s to say they shouldn’t?

To the prospective client who has had your field seeded with other psychotherapeutic modalities and you haven’t experienced the level of change you previously expected, I offer the current blogpost as a word of caution. Whether or not your soil is fertile will heavily depend upon you.

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


Bible Gateway. (n.d.). Matthew 13 –New International Version. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, March 4). M-E-T-H-O-D, man. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, March 20). Practice. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 15). Psychotherapeutic modalities. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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