Saturday, 1 August 2015

On Being 'Undesturbable' - Albert Ellis, schools and education

On the 24th July eight years ago Albert Ellis died but his work lives on. He would have been encouraged to know that schools have taken up the challenge he set many years ago; teach children how to make themselves less ‘disturbable’.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Education is doing this is many South Australian schools with positive outcomes.

Teachers have been trained in the understanding and application of Ellis’ ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance and they are helping their students to understand that their habits of thinking are linked to how they act and how they feel.

Gone but not forgotten

This insight empowers the child to monitor and assess how she is feeling and how she is estimating (thinking about/interpreting) the situation at hand. How am I feeling? Is this situation as bad as I think it is? I can reassess this situation so that I remain in control and make OK choices.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Educators (REBE’rs) remind students daily that their worst enemy is often between their ears. They self-sabotage; they undermine their prospects of succeeding by reengaging the negative habits of thinking they have constructed and which have been practiced all their lives. This self-talk is on a continuous ‘loop’ reminding them that they are useless/dumb/unlikeable and that this is their lot in life.

These habits of believing can be challenged, deconstructed and replaced with healthier more rational ones. Ellis said we (genetic predisposition aside) construct our depression so we can deconstruct it; we can make ourselves less self disturbable!

How say you? This is the subject of most of the items published on this humble blog but in a nutshell the key is in the daily teaching reminders i.e.
  •  Our worth is not given to us by anyone so it can’t be taken away
  •  We are not what we do or what others think of us
  •  It is impossible to rate ourselves ‘good’ or ‘bad’ so don’t waste time doing so

The more our students are exposed to this logic the less self disturbable they will become and that’s what Albert Ellis would want. Well done all the REBE’rs out there!

Wise rabbit

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