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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Pre-REBT Experience


With my practice Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I don’t have clients lie on a couch while facing away from me and discussing their problems. I’ll leave that sort of thing to psychoanalysts.


Likewise, and although I’ve been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), I don’t wave my hand back and forth during sessions as clients reflect upon trauma. Those who actively practice EMDR are better suited for such treatment.


Moreover, and even though I’ve been trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), I’m not going to go over extensive diary cards with clients in our sessions. However, my behavioral health field colleagues in DBT can continue doing so.


It isn’t as though my approach to REBT is superior to psychoanalysis, EMDR, or DBT. Rather, I practice what resonates with my understanding of how to get better rather than to simply feel better.


All the same, I welcome prospective clients who’ve experienced treatment and management from other psychotherapeutic modalities. Sometimes, these individuals bring with them an idea of what works, doesn’t work, and what has little indication of working or not.


Regarding this topic, page 29 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites REBT practitioners to make use of clients’ pre-REBT experience of personal change, and to integrate this understanding with REBT methods. For instance, consider client X.


When initially reaching out to me, client X wanted assurance that I wouldn’t merely offer minimal encouragers (i.e., “uh huh,” “mhmm,” “go on,” or “how does that make you feel?”) when treating her. She unabashedly stated that such an approach was a lazy form of therapy.


I can’t say that I fully disagree. Client X was seeking a direct approach to psychotherapy, as offered by REBT. Using this method, the client and REBT practitioner engage in back-and-forth dialogue while addressing various problems.


Now, consider the example of client Y. When he first sought behavioral health services from me, he asked if I could incorporate homework into his care, because a previous clinician was said to have done so, and to client Y’s desired effect.


No problem, because I typically negotiate homework with all of my clients. Both clients X and Y brought pre-REBT experience with them. Ultimately, we wound up working well together and they increased their levels of functioning and improved their overall quality of life.


Then, there’s the example of client Z. This person brought to session unhelpful behavior said to have been learned from another behavioral health provider. Client Z was apparently taught to “speak your truth,” as though any one of us has a grasp on truth.


This individual needlessly struggled—more so than my average client—by maintaining use of pre-REBT experience that reinforced irrational beliefs, dysregulated emotions, and dysfunctional behavior.


Presumably because another behavioral health professional first taught client Z of nonexistent personal truth, this individual refused to abandon the impractical notion of individual realities wielded by over 8 billion people on earth. I don’t join with a client’s irrationality.


While I can work with the client Z’s of the world, they tend not to remain in treatment or management with me for very long. About this matter, I remain unbothered, because they’re free to self-disturb elsewhere.


How about you, dear reader? Do you think your pre-REBT experience may benefit you and the work we could do together? Perhaps your former therapist retired, lost a license, died, or simply disappeared from contact (yes, this happens). Are you now in search of a new behavioral health care provider?


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





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, November 18). Big T, little t. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. 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, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. 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, August 8). Was Freud right? Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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