Dr. Albert Ellis (1913-2007) was an American practitioner of rational emotive behavior therapy and his work contributed to the development of cognitive behavioral therapy. In his work, he was inspired by ancient Stoic philosophy.
During his time as a therapist, he identified 12 common irrational beliefs that many people hold.
Ellis’ definition of an irrational belief is that:
- It distorts reality
- It is illogical
- It prevents you from reaching your goals
- It leads to unhealthy emotions
- It leads to self-defeating behavior
The beliefs are that:
- … it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in his community.
- … one should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile.
- … certain people are bad, wicked, or villainous and that they should be severely blamed and punished for their villainy.
- … it s awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.
- … human unhappiness is externally caused and that people have little or no ability to control their sorrows and disturbances.
- … if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome one should be terribly concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring.
- … it is easier to avoid than to face certain life difficulties and self-responsibilities.
- …one should be dependent on others and needs someone stronger than oneself on whom to rely.
- … one’s past history is an all-important determiner of one’s present behavior and that because something once strongly affected one’s life, it should indefinitely have a similar effect.
- … one should become quite upset over other people’s problems and disturbances.
- … there is invariably a right, precise, and perfect solution to human problems and that it is catastrophic if this perfect solution is not found
- …. you can give people (including yourself) a global rating as a human and that their general worth depends upon the goodness of their performances.
Source: REBT Network