Albert Ellis was one of the most influential psychologists in developing applied theories for clinical psychology and psychotherapy. He caused a stir for the definition and application of a therapeutic approach known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Today, numerous clinicians across Europe and the United States are following this approach.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is based on the idea that we interpret all information that reaches us. This applies to external occurrences (social conditions, situations and events) as well as to our interior (feelings, emotions, sensations). All of these stimuli act like activators on our thoughts, but the latter differ from person to person. This explains why some people experience certain situations as disasters and others do not.
In this context, Albert Ellis created the following model: A (internal or external events) ⇒ B (thoughts that work like a filter and lead to interpretation) ⇒ C (emotional consequences of your respective interpretations).
Irrational thoughts that Albert Ellis discovered in his patients
Albert Ellis worked for a long time as a practicing psychologist and in research. He concluded that we all have a variety of limiting, extremely entrenched beliefs. He assumed that these were the causes of our emotional and psychological complaints.
- Adults have an extreme need to feel love and approval from almost all important people in society.
- In order to consider myself valuable, I have to be competent enough and able to achieve something in every stage of my life.
- There always has to be an exact, correct and perfect solution to my problems. If I can’t find that solution, disaster will be waiting for me.
- It’s terrifying and disastrous when things don’t go the way I want them to.
- However, I have no control over bad things happen to me and have no control over emotional pain and discomfort.
- My past plays a big role when it comes to my behavior in the present. So everything that happened to me once that had an impact on me will affect me forever.
- It is easier to avoid certain responsibilities and difficulties in life than to face them.
- I have to be able to rely on others and always trust someone who is stronger and better than me.
- If something is or could be dangerous, I have to feel very uncomfortable. I also have to keep thinking about something that could happen.
- Some people are simply despicable, evil and mean, and we should indict and punish them for their wickedness.
- I have to worry about other people’s problems and emotional complaints.
“There are three types of must that limit us: I have to do it well. You have to treat me well And the world has to be simple. “
The consequences of these irrational thoughts
We will not delve into these thoughts in detail. It is worth remembering, however, that having at least one of these beliefs ingrained in you is at least a big problem. Such beliefs lead to one of the biggest problems for people seeking psychological help: the “I can’t take it anymore” problem.
In other words, it becomes a psyche problem when one of these thoughts is present even though it is devoid of reality. This happens with people who hold fast to their beliefs with all their might and at the same time have a low tolerance for frustration. They literally “just can’t take it anymore” if they are dissatisfied with the situation at hand. It is this entire process that leads to mental disorders.
What is the “I can’t take it anymore” problem?
If you interpret your reality through the filter of your irrational thoughts, it makes you unhappy. Because without noticing it, you first filter every experience and every experience through these unrealistic thoughts. Your views classify everything that happens to you based on whether it frustrates you or not. The whole process is extremely complicated, but what’s more, your assumptions are wrong in the first place.
That’s when the “I can’t take it anymore” problem arises. It arises from the intensification of your frustration when your thoughts do not come true or when reality exposes them to be false. People with the “I can’t take it anymore” problem amplify that feeling with every setback and discomfort they encounter every day. However, they also really ask a lot of themselves, the people around them and those around them. They try to do everything as they see fit. But having such entrenched beliefs means being exposed to uncomfortable emotions all the time.
We’ll try to put it another way. The “I can’t take it anymore” problem arises when your irrational thoughts determine the interpretation of your life, the processing of your past and the idea of your future. Another consequence of the dominance of irrational thoughts is that you could start to get paranoid and blame anyone and everyone. Getting paranoid means that you start to see everything around you as threatening or dramatic. Also, you will hold other people responsible for everything. The difference between all the problems caused by irrational thoughts is basically just how exactly you experience it.
How do you know if you can’t take it?
People with this problem have a very low tolerance for frustration. It is also very difficult for them to adapt to change. You are not flexible psychologically. They want everything in a certain way, so they don’t accept anything that happens even remotely differently. Ellis believed that there was a tremendous connection between emotional discomfort and irrational thoughts. Therefore, the main goal of his therapy was to identify and change the wrongly drawn conclusions, as well as the dogmatic, absolute beliefs that lead to these conclusions.
It is in the nature of things that you try to heal yourself when you have the “I can’t take it anymore” problem. Albert Ellis has developed some specific psychological techniques that you can apply depending on what you want to change. For this reason, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy uses cognitive, emotional, and behavioral techniques to help you. We’re going to look at some of them now.
Techniques to work on your “I can’t take it anymore” problem
- Arguing or debating over irrational thoughts
- Reference the pros and cons of a habit
- Semantic accuracy. This means that you have to use the right words to express yourself. Because language ultimately also influences your thoughts.
- Written assignments to identify and change your thoughts
- Solve problems. This means looking at life in terms of problem solving. You have to look for what you feel is good and better and not what you or other people ask of you.
- Teach these techniques to other people as well
“If the Martians ever figure out how humans think, they’ll kill themselves from laughing.”
- Exposing yourself to unwanted emotions
- Emotional expression techniques
- Absolute acceptance on cognitive, verbal, emotional and behavioral level. This facilitates unconditional self-acceptance.
- Use stories, myths, jokes, parables and songs
- Exercises to overcome shame or embarrassment
- Exercises to help educate yourself about something intimate, mysterious, or embarrassing
- Self-imposed rewards and punishments overseen by the therapist and / or a family member
- Record new information in real time
- Training of certain skills
- Control of stimuli
To recap, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all cure for the “I can’t stand it” problem. If you observe the characteristics of this problem in yourself, you can seek advice from a psychologist who is performing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
The first step in this therapy is to find out which of the thoughts are behind each area of your “I can’t take it anymore” problem. That way, you can begin to discuss these ideas with yourself, put them to the test, and try to change them.