Australian General Semantics Society Inc.


Saturday 18th September 2021
10am Sydney time" 
Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)"


Facilitator: Mr David Hewson

A therapy introduced by Albert Ellis.

It is partially based on formulations that Korzybski put forward, e.g. that a lot of people end up behaving irrationally due to faulty premises / assumptions. In REBT they call these beliefs.

Hence the ABC model, where:
   * A is the activating event,
   * B are the beliefs about the event, and
   * C are the person’s consequences, e.g. their reactions
     or as Korzybski would say, their semantic reactions
     and the behaviours that follow from these.

This therapy helps people us to recognise irrational beliefs and common emotional or behavioural issues lsuch as irrational fear, guilt, depression, anger, excessive need for approval, how to improve our assertiveness, perfectionism, how to make better decisions and solve personal problems more effectively, as well as overcoming blocks to change, etc.

REBT, like GS, looks at our abstracting process and what can go wrong with it.

Given we only have a couple of hours, we will spend most of it on how REBT and GS relate and some practical exercises in some of these areas.

Led by David Hewson.

When: Saturday 18th September 2021 10am Sydney time.

Where: On-line, by Zoom:  Click here to join the meeting.

Cost: Zero, Zilch - it's free!

Contact / Details: Australian General Semantics Society:

Our Seminar

on-line - missing the customary hospitality of Gavan and Pauline at Bonnet Bay,
but enabling us to reach out to include our GS friends in Canada and USA :-(.

Catching Up
Sharing of triumphs and tragedies and miscellaneous yarns.

GS Diary
In the spirit of "applying general semantics principles" to our lives, as opposed to dwelling in theory, we considered members' accounts of observations and applications relating to the principles and formulations of our discipline.

Discussion on "REBT"

Summary of RET talk

Warm up exercises
GS formulations relevant to RET like: abstracting, identification, logical fate and premise change, meaning not in words, maps are static and territory dynamic, etc.
 * Who/what controls you?
 * ABC model of feeling and behaviour in RET
 * Myths about what controls you.
 * Take responsibility but do not blame.
 * Irrational thinking versus rational thinking
 * 12 Irrational rules that people live by.

Abstracting model: Event/situation, perceiving , interpretation, rating /evaluating.

Seven ways we distort our interpretation of reality:
 * black and white thinking,
 * filtering,
 * overgeneralising, and “fact-inference confusions” (jumping to conclusions)
 * via: mind reading,
 * fortune telling,
 * personalising and
 * emotional reasoning.

Five irrational rating distortions:
 * two ways of catastrophising (“it’s awful” and “I can’t stand it”),
 * two ways of demanding (musts and moralising) and finally
 * “people rating”.

Rational self analysis via DEF which comes after ABC model
 * D: Dispute your irrational beliefs. Similar to Korzybski’s change your P1 assumptions method.
 * E: Emotions that you now feel with new beliefs, i.e. The reward for the change in beliefs.
 * F: Formulate what you will do in the future to avoid the same old irrational thoughts and reactions.

RET problem solving via eight steps:
 * Define the problem. Be specific and remove generalities.
 * Define specific goal which if achieved would solve the problem.
 * Generate many alternative solution strategies.
 * Decide which strategies to take further. Delete ineffective ones or those with negative consequences.
 * 5) Find any difficulties to achieving your strategies.
 * 6) Generate specific tactics to overcome difficulties and achieve strategy.
 * 7) Choose your best tactics.
 * 8) Action! Implement your tactics and observe the results.
       If not OK, go back to an earlier step.
      This is similar to Norman’s model of: Goal => Intention (strategy) => Plan how (tactics) => action!

More exercises.


 * Time-Binding: The General Theory p 8 & 9
 * General Semantics Seminar 1937 p 31

Next meeting:
   Saturday 30th October 10am Sydney time:
   Mr Brett McDonald: "Science, Religion and the 'F' Word ... "

This "summary" is a collection of notes derived from our discussion by a number of means.  It is by no means a scholarly dissertation on the subject as presented.  It does not purport to be the "policy of AGS".  Comment and criticism (constructive or otherwise) is welcome.  If anyone has been misquoted, copyrights infringed or confidences betrayed, please Contact us.

Updated by Robert James
18th September 2021