CBT vs REBT: Difference and Comparison

Both CBT and REBT are used to treat mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression and behavioural disorder. Even though they treat the same issues, they have different methods and procedures to reach their goals.

Their ultimate goal is to give healthy mental health, but they take different approaches and attitudes to accomplish their objectives.

Key Takeaways

  1. CBT focuses on identifying and modifying maladaptive thoughts, while REBT addresses irrational beliefs that cause emotional distress.
  2. REBT utilizes a more philosophical approach, while CBT employs a problem-solving orientation.
  3. REBT founder Albert Ellis developed the ABC model, whereas Aaron Beck, the founder of CBT, emphasized the cognitive triad.


The difference between CBT and REBT is that CBT aims to change the current negative and destructive behaviour of someone, and REBT targets to change the negative and lethal perspective or belief of someone. CBT is a vast method that gets its base from REBT and REBT is one particular set method.


CBT a is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a therapy through which one’s current negative behaviour can be replaced with a positive and wholesome one. It is a vast method that includes many other specific processes under it.

Its main focus is to change behaviour.

REBT is Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. With this therapy, someone’s deep-seated beliefs and notions can be uprooted. This therapy helps to see life and the world in a new light.

This helps to abandon toxic thoughts and impressions. It enables one to accept oneself unconditionally.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCBTREBT
Full form CBT means Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.REBT means Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.
ModificationThis therapy is used to change a person’s current behaviour.This therapy is utilized to modify a person’s underlined belief.
FocusThis therapy focuses on changing behaviour.This therapy focuses on the irritational behaviour of the person.
ApproachThis therapy takes a collaborative approach.This therapy takes up a confrontational approach.
Point of View It undertakes a fictional point of view towards a complication.It undertakes a philosophical point of view towards a complication.

What is CBT?

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a psychotherapeutic method. This therapy method can be utilised to treat various mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.

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These two have become two very common issues in recent times. CBT can effectively control these two conditions.

This cognitive behavioural therapy believes that thoughts, feelings, and behaviour have a connection. All these are interconnected. Using this idea, we can explain how our thoughts have the power to determine our mood, feeling, and behaviour.

All these share a closed relationship. Psychology gives impotence to our thoughts and uses this method. A psychologist observes the function of our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our behaviour and mood.

Thoughts can commence changes not only in the body but in the mind as well.

CBT improves the dire situation that mental health issues cause. This therapy provides relief from suffering.

It points out the negative thoughts, and then it gets solved by the therapist. It also offers an overall improvement and helps to lead a healthy life.

What is REBT?

REBT, or Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, was proposed in 1955 by a psychologist named Albert Ellis. According to Ellis, people have different notions about themselves and the world as well.

Different environments and surroundings cause differences in our opinion and beliefs. In many cases, these beliefs are irrational. And these beliefs determine our actions and behaviours.

So if a person has negative beliefs, then that person can not have a healthy life.

By utilising REBT, a person can be helped to overcome overwhelming negative notions. This therapy method has a technique called ABC Model, which is used to negate irrational beliefs.

Not only for mental disorders, but REBT is also capable of encouraging people to win over difficult situations. REBT takes up a philosophic angle towards the emotional disturbance.

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REBT also helps to unravel self-esteem problems. It develops the ground on which one can accept oneself unconditionally. REBT can also play an important role in anger management.

Negative, self-destructive thoughts, anger, anxiety, depression, and anything related to mental health can be found its treatment in this therapy. Case of suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, childhood trauma and sexual abuse shows the effective outcome of REBT.

Main Differences Between CBT and REBT

  1. The full form of CBT is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the full form of REBT is Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.
  2. CBT method is used when the aim is to change a person’s current negative behaviour, which is becoming an obstacle towards prosperous mental health, whereas REBT is used when a person’s underlying beliefs and notions need to get a modification for a better lifestyle.
  3. On the one hand, CBT concentrates on changing negative behaviour, and on the other hand, REBT concentrates on the irritational thoughts and behaviour of someone.
  4. CBT is a vast method that includes many separate subdivisions. CBT is based on the foundation of REBT and CT. But REBT is a particular therapy method that is not vast but to the point.
  5. CBT has a collaborative procedure towards the problem, while REBT has a confrontational strategy.
  6. CBT goes forward with a fictional attitude, but REBT is more concerned about the philosophical temperament of a problem.
Difference Between CBT and REBT
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016517811400907X
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-93118-0_3

Last Updated : 26 July, 2023

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25 thoughts on “CBT vs REBT: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table provided here is incredibly helpful in distinguishing the key parameters between CBT and REBT. Both approaches sound quite effective.

  2. The distinctive point of view and methodology between CBT and REBT is quite distinctive. Their varied approaches open up new avenues for the enhancement of mental health.

    • Indeed, both CBT and REBT offer unique perspectives that can complement each other in addressing mental health concerns.

    • The article does an excellent job of showcasing the diverse approaches of CBT and REBT, emphasizing their significant contribution to mental health treatment.

  3. The function of REBT in anger management and nurturing unconditional self-acceptance is quite remarkable. Their multi-faceted approach to mental health is impressive.

    • Absolutely, REBT’s role in fostering self-acceptance and managing anger demonstrates its comprehensive methodology in the mental health domain.

  4. The detailed explanation of CBT’s focus on thoughts, feelings, and behavior being interconnected is captivating. It highlights the psychological significance of thoughts in our well-being.

    • This article has provided such a clear understanding of how CBT intervenes to improve mental health. The insight into thoughts influencing behavior is especially noteworthy.

    • Absolutely! CBT’s emphasis on the impact of thoughts on mood, feelings, and behavior is an essential aspect of its method.

  5. Observing how CBT and REBT pursue the change of behavior and beliefs respectively is thought-provoking. Their distinct approaches are quite fascinating.

  6. The real-life applications of REBT in addressing negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression illustrate its efficacy in treating various mental health issues. It’s a compelling approach to mental well-being.

    • Agreed! REBT’s tangible impact on mental health concerns signifies a valuable therapeutic strategy for individuals undergoing emotional distress.

  7. The comprehensive details provided about both CBT and REBT offer a profound insight into their intervention capabilities. This article serves as an essential guide for understanding their therapeutic roles.

    • Indeed, the meticulous comparisons between CBT and REBT present a compelling case for the distinct approaches they bring forth in addressing mental health issues.

    • Absolutely, these detailed descriptions elucidate the pivotal aspects of CBT and REBT, providing a comprehensive understanding of their roles in mental health treatment.

  8. The explanation given for CBT and REBT’s differences is very well defined. It helps understand the focus and approach of both therapies clearly.

  9. Understanding the philosophical approach of REBT and its use in accepting oneself unconditionally is an eye-opener. It offers a distinctive treatment perspective on mental health concerns.

    • Agreed! REBT’s focus on philosophic notions towards emotional distress provides a unique avenue to address mental health issues.

  10. It is fascinating to see how both CBT and REBT help address mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, but through completely different methods and procedures. CBT focuses on identifying and modifying maladaptive thoughts, while REBT addresses irrational beliefs that cause emotional distress.

    • Absolutely! It’s amazing to see how their ultimate goal of providing healthy mental health is achieved differently through their unique approaches and attitudes.


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