Knowledge has been the subject of different controversial theories in psychology; recently the idea that knowledge is grounded in the modal systems of the brain has gained considerable evidence. This paper discusses applications of the grounded cognition theory to irrational beliefs, a main concept of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), proposed as core cognitive vulnerabilities for emotional disorders. Irrational beliefs, as grounded maladaptive emotional knowledge structures are considered the result of interactions between linguistic representations and simulations in motivational and emotional brain processing circuits. It is proposed that irrational beliefs (e.g., demandingness) are represented by distorted simulations in motivational and emotional brain processing circuits that bias the online processing of activating events. This biased emotional processing generates emotional disturbance. A three-level model of irrational beliefs is presented. The impact of irrational beliefs on emotions can be analyzed at the verbal or linguistic symbols level, at the simulations and modal symbols level and at the level of relations between verbal symbols and modal symbols. Maladaptive mechanisms and proposed corrective cognitive interventions are analyzed at each level. We conclude that a grounded perspective on irrational beliefs increases the explanatory power of the REBT theory of emotions.
From a comment by Wessler made in 2007 that philosophy could be at the center of REBT, the article takes a trip down memory lane concerning Ellis and his philosophical machinations over the years. Thereafter, there is explication of Heidegger’s work as well as existentialism as crucible for REBT. Finally, the idea of using REBT as common language with a client is developed so that new possibilities are constructed within a therapeutic relationship. This writer’s bias toward pragmatism was explicated.
A close review of Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) demonstrates remarkable similarities between these two systems of psychotherapy. An integrated Logotherapy-enhanced REBT is examined in respect to cognitions, emotions, and the reduction of rumination. Its unique contribution is to balancing discovery of meaning with the use of reason during the process of psychotherapy. Conclusions are drawn, limitations are discussed, and future recommendations are outlined.
The Profile of Emotional Distress (PED) is an instrument elaborated to assess the subjective dimension of functional and dysfunctional negative feelings (affect). To our knowledge, this is the first self-report instrument, elaborated based on Albert Ellis’s binary model of distress, designed to focus solely on the subjective dimension of emotions. Reliability, validity, and normation studies for the Romanian population were conducted on a group larger than 700 participants. Internal consistency coefficients (Cronbach’s alphas) ranged from .75 to .94, which are considered good values for a self-report instrument.