Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and the Importance of the ABC Model

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also called CBT, is a talking therapy designed to improve a person’s mental wellness by helping to change the way they think and react to situations. A form of CBT known as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) uses something called the ABC model to guide patients through the therapy. If you’re a psychologist or psychotherapist, you’re likely familiar with the ABC model but, if you’re not, that’s what we’ll go over next.

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The ABC Model of Therapy

The ABC model was founded alongside REBT by an American psychologist called Albert Ellis. You may be wondering what the letters stand for, so that’s what we’ll start with.

  • A for Adversity (or Activating event)

  • B for Belief

  • C for Consequences

The idea behind the model is that an activating event in life does not bring about strong emotions by itself, but rather the way in which a person processes a situation does. When adversity strikes, we can often find ourselves forming irrational beliefs about situations. These beliefs then cause distress and lead to negative emotional consequences, which is what we want to avoid.

Psychologists and psychotherapists use REBT to help patients separate the irrational beliefs from the rational ones so that they can improve their mental wellness by learning to not always react so negatively to situations. This is done through disputation, which makes up part of the extended ABC model, known as the ABCDE model. Two extra letters are incorporated here.

  • D for Disputation

  • E for Effective new beliefs

By disputing irrational beliefs and challenging them, new beliefs that are healthier and more rational can come through to replace the old ones. This is the E part of the model.

Treatment of Cognitive Disorders Using the ABC Model

Psychologists and psychotherapists can successfully reduce symptoms of cognitive disorders such as anxiety and depression by guiding patients through the ABC model during therapy sessions. If you’re wondering what REBT sessions involve, they tend to look something like this:

  1. Firstly, your therapist will ask you to describe an activating event from the past that brought about negative feelings or an upcoming event that is stressing you out.

  2. Next, you’ll be asked about how the event made or makes you feel and react. There are no right or wrong answers here.

  3. How we feel stems from our beliefs about a situation, and your therapist will help you to recognize the beliefs you hold that bring about the emotions you feel.

  4. Once you’re aware of your beliefs, they can then start to be challenged. Your therapist will help you to recognize which beliefs are irrational and should be challenged and which ones are rational and healthy.

  5. Finally, after challenging your beliefs, you’ll be able to rework the irrational beliefs into more reasonable ones.

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No two situations are exactly the same therefore psychologists and psychotherapists can adapt their approach as appropriate, but the general ABC model is still the same. Some examples of situations that the ABC model and REBT can help people with include:

  • Feeling like a failure after messing up parts of a project at work

  • Stressing about an upcoming assignment or event

  • Feelings of anxiety when having to talk to new people

  • Getting frustrated thanks to being repeatedly talked over during a meeting

The Ultimate Goal

The goal of REBT is to help individuals understand the connection between thoughts and feelings and realize that even if a situation can’t be changed, the way they react to it can. It’s an effective treatment for anxiety and depression as mentioned but also other conditions such as eating disorders, anger issues, and panic attacks.

Once a patient becomes familiar with the ABC model after therapy, they’ll be able to continue applying it to their everyday life. The therapy will have helped them start to look at things differently and approach problems from a different angle, hopefully improving their mental wellness overall for the better.

Private Spaces For Therapy

Privacy and confidentiality are big parts of therapy because it is important that patients can talk freely to their therapists about problems that they aren’t necessarily comfortable with others knowing about. If you’re a psychologist or psychotherapist in Singapore searching for a private place to run your CBD therapy sessions, look no further.

A Space Between provide facilities and therapy rooms for rent out that offer a comfortable atmosphere in complete privacy where no one will be able to disturb. The facilities are a great place to run therapy sessions in a calm environment where patients can feel at ease.

More About A Space Between

There are various rooms available to rent, including those for 1-on-1 therapy sessions as well as larger ones for couples or groups to come together. Whatever you need, A Space Between has got you covered. Simply sign up for a membership or request a trial to gain access to the facilities that are available 24/7 and monitored by security. There are even designated waiting areas and lounge areas to provide maximum comfort for both yourself and your patients.

The Membership Packages

If you’d like to join the A Space Between community, be sure to take advantage of the Drop-In Package. Here, you pay a one-off fee for your account and gain access to the booking system, where you pay-as-you-go. It’s as easy as that!


Alternatively, if you don’t want to commit to a year just yet, you can take on the Trial Package to find out what the facilities are like. With this package, you gain some free booking credits to use and are free to pay for more if you run out during the month-long period.

To wrap up

Times are tough but A Space Between are here to support both therapists and clients in whatever way possible. If you’re in need of a well-managed safe space then be sure to check out the website and get in contact today about membership and what can be done to support your needs.

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Where private practice meets
A Space Between provides flexible co-working office spaces for rent to therapists and other professionals in Singapore.

A Space Between is a destination for mental health therapy activities. Counsellors utilise our many conducive therapy rooms for consultations. Located conveniently downtown and offering your independent therapists rent by the hour, we house many professional mental health practitioners, including LGBTQ+ friendly ones. To find out more about the therapists practising in A Space Between, write to us at [email protected].

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