At Keys to Counseling in Tampa, FL, I specialize in a specific type of therapy called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Established by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955, REBT is an active, directive, solution-focused, and goal-oriented approach to counseling and it is recognized as the pioneering form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 


REBT helps you to recognize that another person, event, or circumstance (as awful as they may be) cannot in and of itself cause you to feel disturbingly upset. You are responsible for your own emotional and behavioral reactions to yourself, your partner, other people, world events, and life in general! In other words, only you can upset yourself, only you can make yourself emotionally activated, and only you can choose NOT to continue to do so! Emotional activation signals the presence of unhealthy negative emotions such as:


  • Anxiety/Fear
  • Depression
  • Anger/Rage
  • Shame 
  • Guilt
  • Problematic Jealousy 
  • Problematic Envy


Therefore, next time you begin to feel emotionally activated, ask yourself: 


How is feeling this way helping me to…


  • accomplish my personal goals?
  • be present in the moment?
  • live fully? 


Furthermore, ask yourself: 


  • What specifically am I thinking, regarding the adversities that I am facing, whenever I start  feeling this way? 
  • How am I behaving when I am thinking and feeling this way? 


Take note of your irrational beliefs: thoughts that are stubborn, rigid, maladaptive, and self-sabotaging in the sense that they do not help you to achieve your goals and sustain your relationships in a healthy and constructive manner. 


Your unhealthy negative emotions and unhelpful behaviors are a consequence of your irrational thinking!


To reiterate this point, while emotionally activating events and adversities can trigger or contribute to your emotional upset, only you can actually upset yourself, and you do this by (unintentionally and often habitually) thinking irrationally. 


Once you realize that you (and only you) are responsible for your own emotions and behaviors, you will realize that you also hold the intrinsic power to change how you feel and how you react: to cognitively transform your unhealthy negative emotions into healthier alternatives and your unhelpful behaviors into helpful alternatives! When you consciously choose to take responsibility for your emotions and your behaviors, you will begin to understand that your greatest freedom lies within your thoughts: change the way you think, and you can change the way you live!


To learn more about taking emotional and behavioral responsibility of your life, read my article on: 5 Rational Self-Help Strategies for Improving Your Mental Health & Wellness! 


At Keys to Counseling in Tampa, Florida, my mission is to promote healthy living through rational thinking! I provide both individual and couples counseling, and I would be honored to cognitively, emotively, and behaviorally accompany you on your journey to living, loving, being, and staying better! 


Written by Jaclyn Hall, Founder of Keys to Counseling in Tampa, FL


If you are ready to take a positive and empowering step into your future, reach out to Jaclyn Hall at Keys to Counseling for a truly life-changing approach to individual and couples counseling. Call her office today at (813) 397-8099 for a free phone consultation!