Saturday, 22 March 2014

Keeping Coolio at Schoolio! Anger Management in the Early Childhood Setting

You can use REBT principles to teach young people in early childhood how to manage their feelings. 'Must' thinking (Brain Bully) makes unhealthy anger and low frustration tolerance. 'Preference' thinking (Brain Friend) makes healthy annoyance and promotes frustration tolerance.  Read this to your students. I'd be interested to know how they respond to 'Julio Keeps Coolio at Schoolio!'

Julio Keeps Coolio at Schoolio!

Julio would ‘chuck a wobbly’ every time he didn’t get his own way. When his teacher said ‘time to pack up!’  he would ‘crack a fruity’ because he wanted to play with his lego instead. ‘Whinge, whinge, whinge!' He whinged.

If his mum at home asked Julio to help with the dishes he would ‘spit the chewy’ because he was playing with his model car. He stomped his feet! He clenched his fists! He said ‘wha wha wha I want to play with my car!

At school he was doing some maths and he ‘spat the dummy’ because it was hard and he only wanted easy stuff to do. His eyes bulged, he turned purple and his nose wrinkled and he bashed the desk with his fist. ‘Whine whine whine.' He whined.

"Whinge whinge
I want my way!
Wha wha
I won’t do what you say!
Whine whine
All the time!"

His mum was sad. ‘Why do you always chuck wobblies Julio? Why do you always have to get your way?’

His teacher said, ‘Why do you always crack a fruity when you don’t get what you want?’

His friends said ‘we don’t like it when you spit the dummy’.  It is not cool to do that at school.’

Julio’s mum took him to see Doctor Calmfella who helped people who couldn’t control their anger.

'What can I do for you?' Dr Calmfella asked.

Julio said ‘I spit the chewy when I don’t get my way!’
Mum said, ‘he chucks a wobbly when everything isn’t just right!’ and his teacher says that he  ‘cracks a fruity’ when he has tough stuff to do! And his friends say its not cool to spit the dummy at school!'

"Mmm", said the doctor.
"I see" he said.
He thought a while and he scratched his head.

"You spit the chewy,
You chuck a wobbly or two
You have the odd dummy spit.
That’s what you do!
Not only that
You crack the odd fruity.
Control your anger
That is your duty!"

This is not helpful for your mum, your teachers or your friends. I think you have a severe case of MUSTITIS!

‘What’s that?’ Julio and his mum said at the same time. That sounds bad!'

"It’s a Brain Bully rule
Inside your head
You can’t keep cool
You chuck wobblies instead!

Brain Bully says
I MUST get my way
I MUST do what I want
Every single day!

Is what you’re thinking
That kind of rule
Is stinking thinking!"

The doctor wrote some notes on a piece of paper and turned to Julio and said:

"It’s time to say
To that Brain Bully rule
I can keep cool
When I’m at school

You can keep coolio
He said to Julio
You can keep coolio
At home and at schoolio!"

Julio did lots of thinking. He wondered if it was so very bad to help mum at home. He thought about school and how he wanted things to be easy all the time. 'Hang on',  he said himself. 'It’s not so bad when I don’t get my way.  My head wont explode if I try tough stuff! The world won’t end if I have chores to do at home. I don’t always have to get my way!' Julio got rid of his MUST Brain Bully rule and learned how to do important things even when he wanted to do something else instead.

Now when you visit Julio at home or see him at school you will notice something. He doesn’t chuck so many wobblies. He has fewer dummy spits and rarely cracks a fruity! You know what? No one can remember the last time he spat the chewy!

Good on you Julio
You are no fool
You can keep cool
When you’re at school!

Julio can keep Coolio at Schoolio!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Personal Reflections on Albert Ellis & REBT by Aaron T. Beck

Aaron Beck talks about Ellis' life and work on the occasion of Ellis' passing in 2007. Rational Emotive Behaviour Educators in Whyalla, South Australia continue his work to promote student mental health.

On the Contributions of Dr. Albert Ellis

Aaron T. Beck
A eulogy is a highly subjective matter. It often reflects as much of the personal narrative of the speaker as it does of the subject. As Ellis pointed out numerous times, we see the world through our own filters or lenses.

That said, I will try to tell what Albert Ellis meant to me personally as well as to the world. We all know Ellis as an explorer, revolutionary, therapist, theorist, and teacher. But how did these various roles play out in his actual interactions with his colleagues and friends?
To describe my personal narrative of Al Ellis, I have to go back many decades to my beginnings in the field of therapy and research.
Like Ellis, I was trained as a psychoanalyst. Although I always had some misgivings regarding the Psychoanalytic Establishment, which was like a religious order in many ways with its authoritarianism, rites of passage, and demands for obedience to its rituals, I believed that the theory and therapy had a solid basis. Having caught the research bug early in life, I was determined to demonstrate through my research that the theory was correct and skeptics were wrong. In actuality, my research indicated that I was wrong and the skeptics were right. In short, I came up with a new theory and therapy which I later called Cognitive Therapy. Unfortunately, there was nobody I could discuss this with, except my wife, Phyllis, and daughter, Judith. At this point, Al came into my life.
He happened to see a couple of my articles published in 1963 and 1964 and made contact with me.
This was particularly significant because at last I had found someone I could talk to. I soon discovered, of course, that he had broken ranks with traditional psychotherapy many years previously and had laid out a new cognitive theory and therapy that he called Rational Therapy and then Rational Emotive Therapy. I also found that our approaches were simpatico, and Al graciously reprinted my 2 articles in his house organ, The Journal of Rational Living.
I also was thrilled to learn that he had directly challenged the psychotherapy establishment, had established a clinic and a school, and was a prolific author. I was particularly impressed not only by his no-nonsense therapy but by his bare knuckled, no-nonsense lectures.
Subsequent to this, Al organized a symposium bringing together the very few like-minded therapists. These were primarily behavior therapists who were disillusioned with classical learning theory and sought to blend cognitive techniques into the established behavior therapies. Around the same time, Al provided the funding for Don Meichenbaum to launch his Cognitive Behavior Therapy Newsletter, which was the precursor of the journal, Cognitive Therapy and Research.
Al and I continued our interchange over the years. One telling example of his therapeutic personality occurred when I invited him to do a Grand Rounds at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychiatry. He interviewed a young lady before a large audience of residents, medical students, and staff (largely psychoanalysts). He conducted the interview in his usual directive, brash manner but underneath this was tenderness and understanding. Afterwards, several of my colleagues reproached me for having invited him. Their attitude was that by ignoring the patient's unconscious, he was harming her. Later, I had occasion to talk to the patient and asked her about the interview. She remarked, "He is the first person who ever understood me."
Al's uncanny ability to tease out patients' thoughts and feelings was also obvious in the Friday night sessions at the Institute, which I attended whenever I had the opportunity.
In recent years, Frank Farley brought us together for dialogues at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Needless to say, there was an overflow audience at these sessions. These interchanges were highly informative and entertaining. On one occasion, Frank asked me to start off the conversation with a summary of my recent work. When I was finished, Al was asked to respond to my comments. He replied, "To tell you the truth, I didn't hear a damn thing he said," — his hearing aid was turned off— but he responded anyhow!
There is much more I could tell about Al but I would like to close with a personal appreciation of what Al meant not only to me but to the world. When I was a young boy, I read about the Cedars of Lebanon, grand trees that lived for over 100 years and were objects of awe and reverence. It was believed that if these trees were cut down, it would be the end of civilization because they were irreplaceable.
Al was one of the cedars and he will not be replaced in this generation. However, he leaves a grand legacy behind him with his wonderful wife, Debbie, all his students, and the scores of grateful patients who are living better lives because of him.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Centre 4 Rational Emotive Behaviour Education - workshop for earlychildhood educators and counsellors

This is one workshop of several scheduled for the year. All workshops will demonstrate how Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) based principles can be applied across all year levels through Rational Emotive Behaviour Education.This approach to positive psychology has wide appeal to educators in Whyalla and across the Eyre and Western Region in South Australia. The Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Education is in its third year of operation. It is sponsored by Event Strategies, Eire. More information? Visit

Centre4Rational Emotive Education Workshop 26/3/14    

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Minimising stress using REBT- webinar by Dr Debbie Joffe Ellis

The Vigorous and Empowering Approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
Debbie Joffe Ellis, MDAM
A webinar on Saturday, March 8, 1–3pm EST
Life contains inevitable suffering and loss, as well as pleasure. When we think in realistic and healthy ways about our circumstances—no matter how challenging they may be -- we can minimize pain and maximize joy. This enlightening and uplifting webinar will remind us that we have the power to choose and create our emotional destiny, and teach us the how-tos of healthy thinking. We will cover the main principles of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the pioneering cognitive approach created by Debbie’s husband, the renowned and brilliant Dr. Albert Ellis, who entrusted her to continue his groundbreaking work.

To register, call the New York Open Center at (212) 219-2527, Ext. 2, or visit: