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Practitioners are increasingly aware that religious persons present unique problems and challenges in therapy. Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is among the most widely practiced, highly structured and active directive approaches to treating emotional and behavioral problems. Introduced by Albert Ellis in the early 1950s, REBT is the original cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and its efficacy has been supported by hundreds of treatment outcome studies.
A uniquely belief-focused therapy, REBT is usually quite appealing to clients from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other religious traditions, who respond favorably to REBT's focus on right belief, active engagement in the work of therapy, and reading/practice focused homework.
In this practical and user-friendly guide, the authors outline the congruence between the therapeutic approach of REBT and the presenting problems and concerns of religious persons. They describe an approach to reconciling the sacred traditions and beliefs of religious clients with the no nonsense techniques of REBT. They review the essential components of practice with religious clients--including assessment, diagnosis and problem formulation, disputation of irrational beliefs, and other REBT techniques, highlight the primary obstacles facing the therapist when treating religious clients, and offer many case examples from work with this important client population.
Mental health professionals from all backgrounds will benefit from the detailed yet manual-focused approach to helping religious clients overcome all forms of emotional distress.
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Nielsen, Johnson, and Ellis do an outstanding job of illustrating why REBT is well suited for work with religious persons....Highly recommended for counseling and psychotherapy collections serving upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
Readers who notice that the authors of this volume on religion and counseling include a professor at Brigham Young University of LDS persuasion (Nielsen), a professor of the Naval Academy who is an evangelical (Johnson), and the often-religiously antagonistic Albert Ellis will quickly realize that this book is a significant one. All three authors are impressively knowledgeable about Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), of which Ellis is the founder, and all three authors have collaborated elsewhere on the use of REBT with relilgious themes...Not only is this authorial trio quite remarkable, the content of the book is important. All therapists need to be familiar with current REBT strategies, and this book willgive all readers a good and comprehensive overview of this important clinical approach.
—Journal of Psychology and Christianity
Religious beliefs contribute to the attributions an individual constructs, shaping personal meaning, emotional experience and behavior. Counseling and Psychotherapy With Religious Persons provides a detailed introduction to the application of rational emotive behavior therapy to the clinical consideration of religious beliefs. [It] considers the challenging ethical issue of addressing personal beliefs while respecting a client's faith perspective...[and] contributes to the evolving literature which takes seriously the role of religion in mental health and psychological treatment.
—Edward Shafranske, Ph.D.
When my students ask me for a reference on how REBT can be used with religious clients, I will, without hesitation, recommend this splendid volume. The authors' views blend well together to make this a very important contribution...
—Windy Dryden, Ph.D.
Goldsmiths College, University of London
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