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Book Review
doi: 10.4103/0970-258X.243421

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Integrated

M Manjula
 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Corresponding Author:
M Manjula
Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka
How to cite this article:
Manjula M. Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Integrated. Natl Med J India 2018;31:53
Copyright: (C)2018 The National Medical Journal of India

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Integrated. Anjali Joshi and K.M. Phadke. Sage Publication, New Delhi. 260pp, price not mentioned. ISBN 978–93–528–0512–9.

The book is organized into 10 chapters and includes a preface and acknowledgements and a list of illustrations. Appendices give the Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Integrated (REBT) disputation form, blank and solved.

The preface gives a background for the book with respect to the authors, their experience in REBT, their aims and intended readership. Overall, the authors have put in a lot of effort to get the reader acquainted with all the theoretical material related to REBT.

Chapter 1 gives a background on the development of RT to REBT and reiterates the purpose of the book. Chapter 2 gives a detailed account of the developing years of Dr Albert Ellis (1913–2007), an American psychologist, till his last days including his personal and professional life. Chapter 3 talks about the historical development of REBT highlighting the details of influences from psychoanalysis, behaviour therapy and philosophy. Chapter 4 gives an overview of REBT theory. It elaborates on the ABC framework of emotional disturbance, the link between thought and language, the 12 core irrational thoughts and a brief description of stages in therapy. Chapter 5 describes activating events and beliefs with the help of three cases, which are used across the chapters in the book. Chapter 6 discusses the levels in organization of irrational beliefs in detail with case examples; the biological basis of irrationality and the C component of irrational thinking. The chapter ends with an elaboration on differentiation of healthy and unhealthy emotions made by Ellis. Chapter 7 highlights the relationship between REBT and various schools of thoughts related to human life. The comparisons are drawn between various religions and REBT, humanistic and existential philosophy and REBT taking the examples of the case vignettes given in the beginning of the book to explain the concepts.

Chapter 8 is about the therapeutic process in REBT which gives details on the therapeutic approach of the REBT therapist, characteristics of the therapeutic relationship, phases in therapeutic intervention and steps in the process of therapy with excerpts from the dialogues between the therapist and the client. The end of the chapter talks about goals of therapy keeping the case examples in mind. Chapter 9 is about therapeutic techniques of REBT such as cognitive, emotive and behavioural. Application of these techniques is demonstrated through the case vignettes and excerpts from the dialogue between the therapist and the client. The last chapter is about the application of REBT, which is discussed in the light of sexuality and sexual problems which include research, self-help book, articles on sexuality, sexual abnormality and sexual practices. The second topic discussed under application is love, marriage and family problems. The third area of application is in the school setting as a preventive intervention. The application is explained with a real example of a school wherein REBT was implemented at various levels, including children and teachers. The next application is with alcoholism and substance abuse. The penultimate section talks about application of REBT in ageing. The last section is its application in industry.

The complete title of the books is Rational emotive behavior therapy integrated. However, the authors fail to give justification or meaning to the word ‘integrated’ anywhere in the book. It is left to the imagination of the reader to speculate integration of theory and practice, theory and biography, etc.

The preface mentions that the need for the book is to cover all features of REBT. The authors emphasize the fact that existing books cover only a few basic features and are not comprehensive. They claim that the book is comprehensive and would help those who wish to practise REBT in handling a variety of clients. They also mention that it may be the only book which is all inclusive and that it would be useful to understand the causes of emotional problems, useful for both experienced and beginner therapists to know REBT. It is also aimed at serving as a self-help book helping to develop insights and skills to address issues/disturbances in oneself and self-development for professionals from a variety of fields. The purpose of this book, according to the authors, is multipronged whereas the chapters of the book fall short of addressing all the proposed goals. The chapters provide a lot of detail about the theoretical underpinnings of REBT, and the history of REBT and life of Ellis in compared to the application of REBT. The book is probably useful to those interested in theoretical rather than practical aspects of therapy using REBT. The reason for saying so is that a beginner therapist may not get much help as to how to carry out the therapy by reading this book because of the theoretical aspects in the chapters meant for therapeutic techniques. The book is not written in a format for self-help so the question of using this as a self-help book is not addressed at all and also it is not meant for self-development as it does not talk about its application.

There seems to be an imbalance of theory versus application, indicating the inclination of the authors. Theoretical hair-splitting may not be interesting to many practising clinicians/psychotherapists. It may become dry reading which does not hold the interest of the reader unless one has an interest in knowing the theoretical nuances or doing research on REBT theory. The application is limited to a largely non-clinical sample, limiting the utility of the book to those who do not work with psychiatric conditions.

The biographical details/history of REBT is repeated at many places in the book beginning from the preface. The preface and the first two chapters have grammatical errors.

Overall, reading this book was not easy because it is loaded with theory and many concepts may not be relevant at this point in time. It has limited emphasis on clinical application. There is also much emphasis on details of Ellis across all chapters irrespective of the focus of the chapter.

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