Blog Entry for Open Center prior to REBT Webinar: March 8th, 2014 from Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis.
Debbie Joffe Ellis here, happy to share some thoughts with you prior to my Webinar titled:
Minimizing Emotional Distress and Maximizing Joy in Life: The Vigorous and Empowering Approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
Seems like quite a mouthful perhaps! – but essentially that is what our time together will be about.
Is there anyone you know of who would rather not experience a life with less agitation and more happiness? I doubt it. And that is a healthy desire of course – to relish our experiences in life, and to cope with the difficulties in wise and effective ways without being consumed by pain, regret or even greater emotional turmoil.
I have just days ago returned from presenting on the topic to both professional groups and members of the general public, in parts of India and in Puebla, Mexico. In recent years I have also presented in Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and in various cities within the USA. What I observed in each and every one of these remarkable places was that the human condition was the same – regardless of culture, religion, upbringing or any other factor – humans want to be happy. And too many of us do not realize that we create our own emotional destinies: that we have the power to choose how we feel and respond to events and people – even if we may not be able to change all of our circumstances.
That’s what I’ll be sharing with you in the Webinar ! The “How-To’s” !
Life contains inevitable suffering, and also opportunities for enjoyment and delight, but unfortunately too many people blame their circumstances for their joys and their anguish. The reality is that it is NOT our circumstances which create our emotions, but our thoughts about the circumstances. Albert Ellis PhD (my late husband) was the brilliant pioneer of the cognitive therapy revolution in psychology, counseling and therapy. In his many writings on his approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) he explained, with precision and clarity, that when we think in unhealthy irrational ways we create unhealthy debilitating emotions such as anxiety, depression, rage, jealousy, guilt, shame and more. When we think in healthy and rational ways we create appropriate and healthy emotions in response to adversities – such as concern, sadness, appropriate anger in response to injustice – none of which debilitate, and each of which may result in motivating us to take beneficial action in response to whatever happened. With awareness, we have choice. We can allow ourselves to think in self-defeating ways, and create unnecessary misery, or can choose to think in life-enhancing and realistic ways which create a healthy and empowering emotional climate within.
Again – with awareness we have choice.
In this Webinar, you will learn the clear differences between healthy and unhealthy thinking; between healthy negative emotions vs unhealthy negative emotions; techniques which can help us create the changes we seek; the main aspects of REBT and the ways it can empower each individual who practices it. You will have the opportunity to have your questions answered. There will be the opportunity to see the approach demonstrated ! The tools which will be taught are the keys to living a life of greatest potential for stability, authentic serenity, and immense enjoyment. You will hear about the importance of unconditional acceptance – not only as a recommended philosophy for a contentment-filled life, but also as a tool for maximizing healthy self-acceptance and living most comfortably. Rather than giving emphasis to fickle self-esteem – you will hear about REBT’s emphasis on unconditional acceptance and about the importance of deeply knowing that each one of us has worth – simply because we are alive.
The Webinar welcomes one and all to partake – including therapists and others in the field of health care and human services, educators, managers and administrators, tertiary students, parents, and others !
I welcome you to join me for 2 hours of learning, contemplation, enjoyment and, perhaps, the unexpected !
Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis.
*Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, by Albert Ellis & Debbie Joffe Ellis, 2011: American Psychological Association Publishing.
*The Myth of Self Esteem, by Albert Ellis, 2005: Prometheus Books.
*Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: DVD, Debbie Joffe Ellis, 2014: American Psychological Association (For professionals in the psychology and mental health counseling fields, for education purposes).