Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Institute for CENT Studies.

Hi, I have just posted an update to the Institute for Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) Studies homepage, here:

It begins:

Integrating cognitive, psychodynamic and narratives approaches to counselling and therapy, in a social constructionist and moral philosophy framework.

Welcome to the Institute for Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy Studies, which was formed in April 2007, with the following aims:


1. To build upon the early writings of Albert Ellis (especially his 1957 paper to the American Psychological Association, and his 1962 book, Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy); to develop a more complex ABC model which includes the models of mind developed by Freud (id, ego, superego) and Berne ('Parent/Adult/Child' ego states); to explore some ideas from the Object Relations school (e.g. Klein/Fairbairn); to consider the role of narrative approaches to therapy, and a contextual constructionist form of Zen/Taoism.

continued here

Best wishes,

Dr Jim Byrne
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services
The Institute for CENT Studies

Jim's email address

Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Complex Model of Albert Ellis's REBT

I have just (2009, December) posted a defence of Dr Albert Ellis's complex ABC model of REBT, which was challenged by Windy Dryden and Frank Bond (1996), much of which was written by me in 2003.



Copyright (c) Dr Jim Byrne, December 2009

1. Introductory Comments

Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) arose out of my attempts to reconcile Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and certain other elements of therapy systems that I found useful: commencing with Transactional Analysis (TA), and Zen philosophy. It was also shaped by my discovery of some limitations of certain aspects of REBT therapy. However, much of the foundations of REBT still serve as important elements of CENT.

Over the period 1999-2005 I was in correspondence with Dr Albert Ellis, the creator of REBT, concerning my thinking about various aspects of REBT theory and practice, and I was always totally open about those aspects that I found most helpful, and those aspects that caused me some concern.

This paper takes up some elements of an argument mounted against certain aspects of REBT theory in 1996 by Windy Dryden and Frank Bond - Bond and Dryden (1996) - and shows that Albert Ellis had a much more complex model of mind than they had appreciated; and that I had identified some critical errors in the thinking of Bond and Dryden.

...more on Albert Ellis's complex model of REBT, here...


Dr Jim Byrne

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

Jim Byrne's email address

PS: See the Happiness Blog


Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas and Unhappiness

Happy Christmas to all my readers, and I hope you will not be facing emotional distress when things do not work out so well this Christmas. That is the subject of the latest update to my Happiness Blog, here:

This is how the update begins:

Christmas is coming, and the goose is (according to traditional belief) getting fat. If you listen to the radio, you will detect a definite cranking up of the commercial fantasy machine.

"Here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun..."

"Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day..."

And in the shopping centres you will find lots of individuals rushing around trying to find "just the right present" that will "work the magic of Christmas" and produce unusual levels of happiness and good cheer.

The fantasy of Christmas will run until at least the New Year, and affect people from many different cultures other than the Christian and the former-Christian. But behind the tinsel and spray-on snow, there will be a good deal of angry conflict; hurt feelings; depression and loneliness; inappropriate guilt and shame; anxiety about how well the cooking will turn out; and about whether the 'present to end all presents' will work its magic on significant others.

More here.

Best wishes and seasons greetings to you all.


Dr Jim Byrne
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

Email Jim Byrne here.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Happiness Blog - An Update

REBT and CENT both consider that "shoulds" and "musts" are important, but the emphasis is different. CENT retains shoulds and musts as part of the moral discourse of society, while REBT does not concern itself with this issue. CENT tries to help clients to reforumulate their expectations of life, and to learn to look more flexibly at the problems that show up for them.

Take a look and see what you think.

The Happiness Blog Update, Friday 11th December 2009

Best wishes,

Dr Jim Byrne
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

Jim's Email Address

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Reviewing some of REBT's theories

The Happiness Blog - Friday 4th December 2009 - Reviewing Demandingness in REBT
and showing how this is understood in CENT

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2009

In Albert Ellis's first paper on Rational Therapy, in 1957, he outlined a dozen ‘irrational beliefs', which also appeared in Chapter 3 of his first book on Rational Therapy[1]. (Rational Therapy was later renamed Rational Emotive Therapy [RET] and then Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy [REBT]). Those beliefs were clearly irrational, as indicated by the following two examples:

"Irrational Idea No.1: The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in his community.

"Irrational Idea No.2: The idea that one should be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if one is to consider oneself worthwhile."

These are clearly nutty ideas, because of what is demanded or specified within them. However, Albert Ellis and his closest collaborators went on to draw a false inference from the fact that these statements are clearly irrational and indefensible. He, and they, concluded, that it was because of the demand - or ‘dire necessity', in the first belief - and the ‘should' (as a more specific demand) - in the second. However, this does not follow as logically as he, and they, concluded.

Why not?

Continued here, at The Happiness Blog

Take a look and see what you think.
Best wishes,

Dr Jim Byrne
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

Jim's email address