The basic premise of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy is that we are not affected emotionally by events themselves, but by how we interpret them based upon our perceptions, attitudes, and the language we use to describe them. If we’re watching a football game and a team scores a touchdown, that’s an event. How we feel about that event depends upon which team we happen to be rooting for.
Most of us want to be happy, not miserable, anxious, or depressed. We want to get along with others, be well informed, well educated, have a good job that stimulates us and we want to enjoy our leisure time. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way we plan them. Sometimes, our goals are blocked by events we have little or no control over. REBT advances the theory that our reaction to having our goals blocked is determined by our beliefs.