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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Resignation

 

Page seven of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) practitioners to help clients differentiate between acceptance, demanding non-acceptance, and resignation. I’ve written very little about the latter, as I think it’s worth briefly examining.

 

Before I proceed, it may be helpful to describe the other two terms. In a blogpost entitled Unconditional Acceptance, I examined the differences between unconditional self-, other-, and life-acceptance.

 

Concisely stated, unconditional self-acceptance (USA), unconditional other-acceptance (UOA), and unconditional life-acceptance (ULA) all involve admitting truth—I’m a fallible human being, other people are also imperfect, and earthly life is a flawed experience. I admit this without any conditions to the contrary.

 

To do otherwise would be the antithesis of acceptance and would instead relate to demanding non-acceptance. Regarding a blog entry entitled Demandingness; I addressed this matter by stating:

 

Per one source, “Demands can be conceptualized as rules of life that include inferences, evaluations, and/or philosophical beliefs with words related to should,’ ‘ought,’ or ‘must.”

 

On one hand, if I use USA, UOA, or ULA in my day-to-day life, I’m not likely to disturb myself with inflexible requirements. On the other hand, when I irrationally believe that I should perform to a particular standard, others must also do so, and that life ought to accommodate my expectations, I’ll doubtlessly upset myself with this form of demanding non-acceptance.

 

Aside from the irrationality of demandingness, there are other unhelpful beliefs people use to self-sabotage, even if unwittingly doing so. These include awfulizing, low frustration tolerance, and global evaluations.

 

If USA, UOA, and ULA are the methods to resolve demanding non-acceptance, one may wonder about the element of resignation—the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable. Unlike colloquial use of “resignation,” regarding the act of quitting or giving up a position, this word relates to tolerance from an REBT perspective.

 

In a blogpost entitled TnA, I stated:

 

Merriam-Webster defines tolerance as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own” and “the act of allowing something.” In this way, tolerance is simply the act of not opposing something and instead leaving it undisturbed.

 

Although “quitting” tends to have a negative connotation in common parlance, it can have a positive meaning through the lens of REBT. Through this view, I suppose it’s all a matter of subjectivity.

 

For instance, if you were to quit disturbing yourself with unproductive demands, would you consider this a bad, wrong, or unpleasant measure toward your mental, emotional, and behavioral wellness? Personally, I think it would be a healthy step to take.

 

How might you use this understanding in your own life? Page eight of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites REBT practitioners to assist clients with understanding that acceptance of another person who behaves poorly isn’t akin to an endorsement of the behavior.

 

Rather, we can tolerate that people behave in a manner other than what we desire and accept our limited control and influence over them. After all, we can achieve resignation of this sort as frequently as we allow self-disturbance, though the choice is truly yours to make.

 

Noteworthy, Windy Dryden, Ph.D. is a world-renowned REBT practitioner who coauthored The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion, and whose previous work has been cited by another REBT practitioner famous throughout the world, Walter J. Matweychuk, Ph.D.

 

Fascinatingly, in the written question and answer portion of Dr. Matweychuk’s website, he cites the work of Dr. Dryden in relation to the topic of resignation by stating:

 

It is true that in REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy), we teach acceptance, and our definition does not include resignation. In my view, leading practitioner Dr. Windy Dryden provides the best definition which accurately represents the theory of REBT:

 

To accept something is to (1) acknowledge that it exists, (2) acknowledge that all the conditions are in place for it to exist (3) believe that while it is preferable for this reality not to exist, it does not follow that it must not exist, and (4) resolve to change the existing conditions if they can be changed and adjust constructively and move on if they can’t be changed.

 

As you can see, the definition includes resolve, not resignation, to change the existing undesirable conditions if they can be changed. An example of this would be to tolerate difficult work conditions until you can either encourage the employer to create better working conditions or to find a new job that has better working conditions.

 

As was stated in the introduction of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion, “REBT therapists (and trainees) tend to be an independent lot with divergent ideas about the practice of REBT.” Not all REBT practitioners agree with one another.

 

Dr. Matweychuk ostensibly disregard’s Dr. Dryden’s use of the word “resignation” in The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion by citing other work of Dr. Dryden that doesn’t include this term. Potayto, potahto.

 

Personally, I’m resolved to use resignation in this regard. I can tolerate conflicting information and accept that REBT practitioners disagree on word use. Thus, using a real-life example, I hope to have effectively demonstrated the ability to help the reader understand the concept of resignation.

 

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:

 

Dryden, W. (n.d.). About. Windy Dryden. Retrieved from https://www.windydryden.com/about

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

Free Dictionary, The. (n.d.). Potayto, potahto. Retrieved from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/potato%2C+patato

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

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. (2022, November 4). Human fallibility. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/human-fallibility

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

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. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

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

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

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, 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

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, February 25). Unconditional other-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-other-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Tolerance. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance

Mneimne, M. (2013). Demandingness or “The rules of life: Perceived abilities and $0.02.” The Albert Ellis Institute. Retrieved from https://albertellis.org/2013/01/demandingness-or-the-rules-of-life-perceived-abilities-and-2-cents/

REBTDoctor. (n.d.). Dr. Matweychuk answers your questions on REBT. Retrieved from https://rebtdoctor.com/389-2/

REBTDoctor. (n.d.). Dr. Matweychuk educational and professional background. Retrieved from https://rebtdoctor.com/about-dr-matweychuk/

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