Belief Therapy Certification offered by Healing Thine Hearts Ministries in conjunction with the Therapon Institute
One of the main pillars of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is that irrational patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving are the cause of much human disturbance, including depression and anxiety. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy teaches that turning flexible preferences and wishes into grandiose absolutistic demands and commands will cause disturbances. Albert Ellis has suggested three core beliefs that cause disturbances (Ellis, 2003):
“I must be thoroughly competent, adequate, achieving, and lovable at all times, or else I am an incompetent worthless person.” This belief usually leads to feelings of anxiety, panic, depression, despair, and worthlessness.
“Other significant people in my life, must treat me kindly and fairly at all times, or else I can’t stand it, and they are bad, rotten, and evil persons who should be severely blamed, damned, and vindictively punished for their horrible treatment of me.” *:This leads to feelings of anger, rage, fury, and vindictiveness and lead to actions like fights, feuds, wars, genocide, and ultimately, an atomic holocaust.”
“Things and conditions absolutely must be the way I want them to be and must never be too difficult or frustrating. Otherwise, life is awful, terrible, horrible, catastrophic and unbearable.” This leads to low-frustration tolerance, self-pity, anger, depression, and to behaviors such as procrastination, avoidance, and inaction. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy then holds that an irrational belief system has strong tendencies to the following self-defeating components: Demands (or as Ellis calls musturbation), Awfulizing, Low Frustration Tolerance, People Rating, and Overgeneralizing.
It is therefore the evaluative belief system, based on core philosophies, that is likely to create unrealistic, arbitrary, and crooked inferences and distortions in thinking. REBT therefore first teaches that when people in an unsensible way overuse absolutistic and rigid “shoulds”, “musts”, and “oughts”, they will very likely disturb themselves. Essential to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is that most “isms” and dogmas are, by nature, unhealthy and self-defeating, and that absolutistic ways of thinking will, in most cases, create unnecessary disturbances. These inflexible philosophies are, therefore, better replaced with more flexible, un-dogmatic and self-helping attitudes. The healthy alternative to demandingness is therefore unconditional acceptance of humans — not their behavior, but that which cannot be changed — and rigorous, effortful problem solving.
Disturbed evaluations occur through overgeneralization, wherein one exaggerates and globalizes events or traits, usually unwanted events or traits or behaviors, out of context, while almost always ignoring the positive events or traits or behaviors. For example, awfulizing is mental magnification of the importance of an unwanted situation to a catastrophe, elevating the rating of something from bad to worse than it should be, to beyond totally bad, to intolerable, to a holocaust. The same exaggeration and overgeneralizing occurs with human rating, wherein humans come to be defined by their flaws or misdeeds: the person is bad based on bad behavior or bad traits. Frustration intolerance occurs when one sees that tasks are more difficult, tedious, or boring than one wants, but exaggerates the badness of this to something that is wrongly too hard, too much, not as easy as it should be or beyond what one can stand.
Many of these self-defeating beliefs are both innately biological and indoctrinated in early life and might grow stronger as a person continually revisits them. By emotive, cognitive and behavioral methods the client learns to replace the absolutistic and dogmatic musts with flexible and non-rigid preferences, which are likely to cause more healthy and constructive emotions and behavior. The Rational Emotive Behavior therapist strongly believes in a rigorous application of the rules of logic, straight thinking, and of scientific method to everyday life (Ellis, 2003).
REBT points out that irrational beliefs will often be obvious in how people talk to themselves. The therapist asking, “What are you telling yourself about…?” will usually reveal both irrational inferences, and, by closer examination, demands and exaggerated evaluations. The therapist is most interested in finding core-beliefs and deep-rooted philosophical evaluations. These are usually the automatic causes of negative inferences and higher level evaluative thoughts.
REBT teaches that:
Unconditional self-acceptance, other-acceptance and life-acceptance is of prime importance in achieving mental wellness.
People and the world are fallible and that people better accept themselves, life’s hassles and unfairnesses and others “as is”.
They consider themselves valuable just as a result of being alive and kicking; and are better off not to measure their “self” or their “being” and give themselves any global rating, because all humans are far too complex to rate, and do both good and bad deeds and have both, not either-or, good and bad attributes and traits.
REBT holds that ideas and feelings about self-worth are largely definitional and are not empirically confirmable or falsifiable (Ellis, 2003).
REBT believes that the client has to work hard to get better, and this work may include homework assigned by the therapist. The assignments may include desensitization tasks, i.e. by having the client confronting the very thing the client is making himself afraid of. Often Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy focuses on specific problems and is used as a brief therapy, but in deeper problems longer therapy is promoted. Another factor contributing to the brevity of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is that the therapist helps the client learn how to get better through hard work, and help himself to get through future adversities. It holds that hard work, and hard work only, is the only way to get, and stay, better and not only temporarily feel better. An ideal successful collaboration between the REBT therapist and a client results in changes to the client’s philosophical way of evaluating himself, others and his life, which is likely to yield effective results: The client’s better move toward unconditional self-acceptance, other-acceptance and life-acceptance.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy’s (REBT) central premise is that events alone do not cause a person to feel depressed, enraged, or highly anxious. Rather, it is one’s beliefs about the events which contributes to unhealthy feelings and self defeating behaviors.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy teaches the client to identify, evaluate, dispute, and act against his or her irrational self- defeating beliefs, thus helping the client to not only feel better but to get better.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is an active-directive, solution-oriented therapy which focuses on resolving emotional, cognitive and behavioral problems in clients. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is one of the first forms of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and was first expounded by Ellis in 1953. Fundamental to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy ) is the concept that emotional suffering results primarily, though not completely, from our evaluations of a negative event, not solely by the events themselves. In other words, human beings on the basis of their belief system actively, though not always consciously, disturb themselves, and even disturb themselves about their disturbances.
The Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy framework assumes that humans have both rational and irrational tendencies. Irrational thought/images prevent goal attainment, lead to inner conflict, lead to more conflict with others and poor mental health. Rational thought/images lead to goal attainment and more inner harmony. In other words rational beliefs reduce conflicts with others and improved health.
REBT claims that irrational and self-defeating thinking, emoting and behaving are correlated with emotional difficulties such as self-blame, jealousy, guilt, Low Frustration Tolerance, depression, and anxiety. This is a view shared with some other well-known therapies, such as Re-evaluation Counseling and Person-centred counseling – as these both arose in the mid-50s, Ellis is thought to have had an influence on them. REBT is an educational and active-directive process in which the therapist teaches the client how to identify irrational and self-defeating tendencies which in nature are unrealistic, illogical and absolutist, and then to forcefully and emotionally dispute them, and replace them with more rational and self-helping ones. By using different methods and activities, the client, together with help from the therapist and in homework exercises, can gain a more rational, logical and constructive rational way of thinking, emoting and behaving.
One of main objectives in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is to show the client that whenever unpleasant activating events occur in people’s lives, they have a choice of making themselves feel healthily and self-helpingly sorry, disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed, or making themselves feel unhealthily and self-defeatingly horrified, terrified, panicked, depressed, self-hating, and self-pitying.
The Therapon Institute and Belief Therapy credentials are not state credentials. They are, however, independent, faith-based, Christian, Biblical, complementary and alterative credentials. Certified and Licensed Belief Therapists use this distinctive mark to announce their association with Belief Therapy and to distinguish themselves from others who are in the faith-based counseling field.
The Belief Therapist, unless he/she is a licensed professional, is a paraprofessional personal human development therapon. The Belief Therapist uses this distinctive mark to announce his/her association with Belief Therapy and to distinguish themselves from others who are in the faith-based counseling field.
The task of the Belief Therapist is to act as a discernotician, therapon, educator, Scripturologist and technical consultant who assesses maladaptive cognitive processes (lies people believe) and works with the Christian client to design learning experiences that will replace the lies he/she is believing with the truth of God’s Word and the behavioral and affective patterns with which they correlate. For the Belief Therapist, listening must therefore be below the surface. Listening includes spiritual discernment. (1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 12:10; Hebrews 5:14)
The Belief Therapist is to emphasize the primacy of agape love and the need to develop a warm, genuine and emphatic relationship with the client that is collaborative. (John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 2:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:9)
The Belief Therapist must deal Scripturally and more adequately with the past, especially unresolved developmental issues or childhood experiences that are affecting their present pain, with the judicious use of prayer for healing. (Philippians 3:13; James 5:13-16)
The Belief Therapist must also pay special attention to the meaning of spiritual, experiential and mystical aspects of faith and life and not overemphasize the rationalistic dimension. (Matthew 17:14-21; Hebrews 11:1-3)
The Belief Therapist should always be sensitive to the possibility of demonic involvement in some cases. (Ephesians 6:12)
The Belief Therapist should use Biblical truth and not relativistic, empirically oriented values in conducting belief restructuring to change problematic thinking, darkened emotions and godless, negative, maladaptive behavior. (Romans 12:1-2)
The Belief Therapist also emphasizes the ministry of the Holy Spirit in processing inner healing, cognitive, behavioral and emotional change. (John 14:17; John 16:13)
The Belief Therapist may use only those techniques that are consistent with Biblical truth, morality and ethics and not simplistically use whatever techniques are perceived to work. (John 14:16; Matthew 7:14; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 2:6-7; 2 Tim. 3;16)
The Belief Therapist may utilize rigorous outcome research methodology before making definitive conclusions about the superiority (not just the general effectiveness) of Belief Therapy. (Galatians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
1. Man was created to see things from God’s perspective. God-like thinking was necessary for the dominion management Creator God gave to man. (Gen. 2:15)
2. People do what they do because they believe what they believe. (Prov. 23:7; Mark 7:6-23) The source of destructive consequent behavior is our belief system.
3. Jesus established the Belief Therapy system in the book of Matthew chapters 5, 6& 7, when He said, “You have heard it said ….. but I say unto you.” He exposed a lie, half-truth or godless tradition and replaced it with the truth.
4. A lie is as powerful as the truth if you believe it. A person is made free from the bondage of a lie when he/she replaces the lie with the truth. (John 8:31-36)
5. Man is a sinner by nature, by choice and by practice. Eve chose to believe Satan’s lie. (Gen. 3:1-13; Romans 3:23)
6. God is always right. When human viewpoint is in conflict with Divine viewpoint, God is always right. The Bible is Belief Therapy’s body of truth. (Isa. 55: 7-9; 2 Peter 1:3)
7. Belief is the most powerful healing value known to man. (Luke 18:27)
8. The mind is the battlefield. (Rom. 12:1-2)
9. Positional truth is the fundamental principle essential to a constructive, healthy and godly personal identity. A healthy self-concept of who we are “in Christ” is necessary for a healthy self-worth concept. Positional Identity Disorder, trying to become who you already are, is the Christian’s most common disorder. (Col. 2:9; Col. 3:1-4; Romans 6)
10. All addiction is identified in the Bible as bondage. (Rom. 1:21-23; Rom. 6:14-18)
11. Life-controlling problems have a spiritual root regardless of a possible organic disorder. (John 9:1-7)
12. In the presence of cognitive dissonance, a person must perform an emotional by-pass procedure and act upon the truth whether he/she feel like it or not. (James 1:8)
Belief Therapy is a Biblical, faith-based, Scripturodynamic, Christian, cognitive analytical process based on Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy with spiritual dynamics added. Belief Therapy rests upon the axiom that core beliefs are the gates through which thoughts originate, emotions are formed and behaviors are ultimately acted out. BT places the role of beliefs as the “sine qua non” of human addiction. According to the model, certain beliefs (lies people believe) drive and maintain even the addictive process. BT is a lie versus truth modality. With BT, knowing and appropriating the truth will progressively (and sometimes immediately) make a person free from any bondage, i.e., “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “And if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Belief Therapy points out that in dealing with false beliefs and/or half-truths, Jesus often corrected thinking errors by saying, “You have heard it said by them of old times, but I say unto you.” (Matthew 5, 6 & 7)
Belief Therapy is ineffective without bringing the power of God and the Scriptures into the treatment process. Jesus said to the most religious people of His day, “You are wrong not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) To leave these two essentials out of the treatment process makes healing incomplete.
In Belief Therapy the heart is emphasized as the center, the core of psychospiritual life. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) In some of His harshest teachings Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, and in doing so he picked up the theme of the heart as central to human personality. “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matthew 15:18-19; Mark 7:1-23)
The heart represents the ego or the person. Thus the heart is the one center in man to which God turns, in which the spiritual life is rooted, and which determines moral conduct. The heart is the source of motives, the seat of passions, and the spring of conscience. This concept incorporates what now is meant by cognitive, effective and volitional elements of personality. The divine distinction is made between the “head” and the “heart” even in the salvation experience: “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
The heart is the seat not only of emotion but also of the will and thought; all three spiritual activities converge in the heart. With the term “mind” (nous; disnoia in the Grk) we find the same emphasis. The total person is always in view. In Deuteronomy 6:5 God says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” There was no technical word in the Hebrew language for the mind, so we have the word “strength.” The Hebrew word for “heart” is pronounced “ne-fesh,” which means “the self” or man’s vitality, the very essence of the person. Out front, preceding cognition, even driving cognition, is the presence of conscious- ness. Belief Therapy views consciousness as the spirit of man. It is where man believes.
In repeating this commandment, Jesus says in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind [disnoia].” Loving God with all “your mind” implies the whole personality is to be committed to an intimate and personal relationship with God.
One central element of Belief Therapy is the development of a positive self-concept grounded in God’s unconditional, electing love in Jesus Christ. With a Biblical perspective of self-concept a person is released from the burden of having to generate feelings of self-worth based on performance. Since a Christian, i.e., a believer in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, need not be a slave to ego-enhancing behavior, he/she can be free to be unselfish and to manifest virtues such as faith, integrity, knowledge, patience, self-control, God-consciousness, kindness, love, sacrifice, obedience and humility. But without a healthy self-acceptance the practice of these values can easily become a neurotic striving to gain God’s approval. Belief Therapy identifies this “striving” condition as a symptom of Positional Identity Disorder (PID), i.e., trying to become who you already are. It is the position of BT that a Christian’s identity is “in Christ” and that “being” is more important than doing. “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) Christians will never gain a healthy self-concept until they are sure about who they are “in Christ.” Positional truth is essential for one to become emotionally and spiritually mature.
In consideration of a healthy, Scripture-based self-concept, BT teaches that “according as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:3) Based on this and other related passages, BT would emphasize “not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5)
A person’s spiritual, moral and emotional health depends upon his “belief that comes from the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 3:7; Hebrews 10:26; John 8:32), walking in the truth (2 John 4), and obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22).
Belief Therapy is, therefore, a Christian, faith-based approach to treatment. The process can be used as a single treatment modality or it may be used as an additive or complementary program with other approaches to treatment. Based on the DSM IV V Code (V62.89), Religious or Spiritual Problems, which states, “This category can be used when the focus of clinical attention is a religious or spiritual problem,” using BT as an additive or complement to traditional treatment would be clinically acceptable.
The heart of what you will learn in our belief therapy seminar is recorded in
2 Thes 2:13-14.
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth where unto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Belief of the truth“ is belief that comes from the truth.
The “peace of God“ is peace that comes from God.
You will learn “belief that comes from the truth.” “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Belief Therapy ®
As A Christian Therapeutic Treatment Modality
Dr. Paul Carlin, who is a Scripturologist not a psychologist, introduced Belief Therapy to the public in November 1997. The modality was developed during his 20 years of restorative justice ministries in the Texas Prison System. He used the prisons as his laboratory and prisoners as his subjects. Carlin claims his basic premise can be traced to both the Old and New Testaments, that teach, “People do what they do because they believe what they believe,” i.e., “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) This modality utilized many of the characteristics of other styles of therapy but its distinctive quality is that it is founded on the truth of the Word of God, the Christian Bible.
A large number of professionals in mental health disciplines agree with Dr. Carlin’s axiom. Their references are framed in psychological terminology, but carry the same basic meaning. For example, Dr. Maxie C. Maultsby, Jr., says in his book, Rational Behavior Therapy, “That belief makes obvious the main therapeutic strategy in RBT: Getting P-Cs to recognize and replace their sincere, but irrational, opinions with rational ones. (RBT, pg. 18) One of the most common causes of emotional distress is that people both think what they don’t mean and mean what they don’t think, all the while believing every word of it. (RBT, pg. 4)” Belief Therapy interoperates “irrational” as the lies people believe and “rational” as the truth. (2 Timothy 2:18; James 5:19-20)