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Science and Philosophy: Comparison of Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

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Abstract:

Aaron T. Beck's Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Albert Ellis' Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) are compared. A major difference between these therapies is that CT is an empirically based therapy and REBT is philosophically based. The origins and subsequent development of the therapies are reviewed with this difference highlighted. Comparisons between CT and REBT practice are made regarding attitudes toward client beliefs, use of guided discovery, types of cognition addressed, and the nature of the client-therapist relationship. The scientific foundations of CT are summarized in terms of the specificity of its conceptual models, the construction of targeted treatment protocols, and empirical findings that support both CT conceptualizations and treatments.

Keywords: AARON; BECK; COGNITIVE THERAPY; ELLIS, ALBERT; RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY; REBT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/jcop.17.3.211.52536

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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  • Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy is devoted to the advancement of the clinical practice of cognitive psychotherapy. This scholarly journal seeks to merge theory, research, and practice and to develop new techniques by an examination of the clinical implications of theoretical development and research findings.
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