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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Shhhh


 

Since practicing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) professionally, I’ve become aware of a habit exhibited by some clients which serves as a form of speech-related self-censorship—the practice of an individual actively suppressing or prohibiting free expression of spoken words.

 

For instance, in-session, client X may say, “I told myself that I shouldn’t…that it would’ve been better had I responded in a different way,” rather than admitting, “I told myself that I shouldn’t have responded that way.” I understand how this sort of behavior occurs.

 

Therefore, I use psychoeducation to teach clients about the ABC model and the four major irrational beliefs which contribute to self-disturbance: demandingness, awfulizing, frustration intolerance, and global evaluations:

 

Demandingness – “Others must not disrespect me.”

 

Awfulizing – “It would be awful to be disrespected by other people.”

 

Frustration tolerance – “I can’t stand being disrespected by people.”

 

Global evaluations – “Anyone who disrespects me is a piece of shit.”

 

When these irrational beliefs are used in relation to undesirable activating events, the assumptions and not the events themselves are what cause an unpleasant cognitive, emotive, bodily sensation, or behavior consequence (e.g., anger). In essence, we disturb ourselves with what we believe.

 

Therefore, I teach people to dispute unproductive assumptions so that they may form more adaptive beliefs. Likewise, I invite clients to challenge the desire to avoid an uncomfortable disputation process so that they may pragmatically practice REBT as intended.

 

After all, it isn’t necessarily a joyous or pleasurable affair to argue against one’s illogical and unreasonable beliefs, especially when a person maintains that the assumption is inherently true. However, some people habitually self-sensor rather than endure discomfort.

 

By stopping oneself from speaking aloud the four major irrational beliefs, some people censor themselves, as though to deny the existence of self-disturbing beliefs. It’s as though they mentally tell themselves something like, “Shhhh, I shouldn’t use should statements.”

 

Doing so isn’t demonstrative of REBT. Rather, this behavior functions as a form of denial—pretending as though the automatic beliefs they have don’t actually occur. Although avoidance of this sort may provide temporary relief, it isn’t a way to live rationally.

 

Therefore, when I detect that this unhelpful habit is present I call attention to it. Because self-censoring isn’t an action that may teach people how to effectively self-challenge, I reinforce the need to tolerate discomfort – which is in essence a healthy should statement (i.e., I should tolerate discomfort).

 

Remarkably, I learned about REBT when attending graduate school between 2009 and 2011, and underwent official training in 2021. As a professional REBT practitioner, I still experience the four major irrational beliefs.

 

It’s natural for the mind to use such assumptions. Still, because I actually practice REBT – and do so regularly – I don’t disturb myself through use of these irrational beliefs nearly as much as I used to. This is because I don’t shush myself and I instead dispute unhelpful assumptions.

 

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:

 

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

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

Hollings, D. (2024, April 2). Denial. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/denial

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. (2024, April 2). Four major irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/four-major-irrational-beliefs

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, 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. (2023, January 8). Logic and reason. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/logic-and-reason

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

Hollings, D. (2024, January 1). Psychoeducation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/psychoeducation

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. (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. (2022, November 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

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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