First, understand that “cognitive-behavioral therapy” (CBT) does not exist as a distinct psychotherapeutic technique. CBT is a category of therapeutic approaches with some basic similarities. Under the umbrella of CBT we have various approaches:
Rational Living Therapy is a very systematic approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which means that the Rational Living Therapist knows where he or she is at any given point in the process of therapy.
Rational Living Therapy emphasizes both therapist skills and client rational self-counseling skills. Rational Living Therapy emphasizes Dr. Aldo Pucci’s belief that any approach to counseling or psychotherapy that emphasizes instruction becomes a “sales job.” The clinician has something to sell the client (the philosophy and techniques of rational self-counseling) and is hoping that the client will “buy” it. The clinician’s desire is to help the client achieve his / her goals and is convinced that if the client understood the philosophy and techniques, he or she would greatly increase the chances of achieving them. For that reason, Rational Living Therapy utilizes powerful persuasive techniques techniques to help decrease conscious resistance to the therapist’s suggestion of success in therapy.
Rational Living Therapy is highly motivational. If you dislike giving up on clients, and wish that there were some way to encourage any client to make changes, Rational Living Therapy is ideal for you. It is designed to tap into the client’s desires by utilizing Rational Motivational Interviewing techniques.
Rational Living Therapy is very instructive. The instructive nature of RLT helps produce long-term results for the client.
Rational Living Therapy also focuses on underlying assumptions. By doing so, therapy is much “deeper” thus making the results more long-term.
Rational Living Therapists are very concerned with irrational labeling. For this reason, we disagree with the labeling that results from mental health professionals’ use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders. Many of these “diagnoses” actually are only labels for a set of behaviors. However, these labels often create a perception that the client “has” or “suffers from” a “disorder.” This perception can become very problematic for the client, leading to a great deal of hopelessness. Rational Living Therapists help clients avoid irrational labeling and hopelessness.
Rational Living Therapy takes the best of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy and integrates knowledge and research findings in the areas ofcognitive development, learning theory, general semantics, brain functioning, social psychology and perception, and linguistics. Rational Living Therapy takes advantage of special brain states to facilitate learning and progress.
Rational Living Therapy also rejects the common concepts of self-esteem and self-confidence, and also departs from the traditional CBT emphasis of “self-acceptance.” RTL’s replacement to these concepts (the “Four A’s”) is much more practical and useful.
An Additional Component of Rational Living Therapy
Some Rational Living Therapists utilize an optional component called Rational Hypnotherapy because:
— with hypnotherapy, the client does not need to believe the therapist’s suggestions, such as, “Seeing people causes you to relax” for the client to integrate those suggestions into his/her manner of thinking;
— some thoughts / reactions are acquired through hypnosis (especially in those cases of “PTSD”). When thoughts /reactions are acquired through hypnosis we have found that the client is relieved of those thoughts / reactions much more quickly through hypnotherapy than conventional “conscious” CBT;
— hypnotherapy is just another technique to help a person change the way he / she thinks. However, the deeper the state of hypnosis, the fewer repetitions are needed for the client to integrate and act on those suggestions.
— the deeper the state of hypnosis, the fewer repetitions of the message are needed for the client to integrate it into his / her manner of thinking and to act on it.
Additional training is available to professionals who wish to include this component in their therapy.
We do realize that there are many reasons why practitioners might elect not to be trained in hypnotherapy. As a result, Rational Living Therapy is designed to produce results for the client both with and without it. Therefore, there is no requirement that Rational Living Therapists receive training in Rational Hypnotherapy.
About Your Instructor
ALDO R. PUCCI, Psy.D., DCBT, CNHP, is president of the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (http://www.nacbt.org) and founder of the Rational Living Therapy Institute (http://www.rational-living-therapy.org). Dr. Pucci, who was originally trained in CBT by acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Maxie C. Maultsby, Jr., developed the very systematic, comprehensive cognitive-behavioral approach known as Rational Living Therapy. Dr. Pucci has trained thousands of mental health professionals throughout the USA in his technique. In fact, Rational Living Therapy is the main therapeutic technique for the national adolescent treatment program, VisionQuest, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention smoking cessation program.
Dr. Pucci is the author of many articles and two books, The Client’s Guide to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Feel the Way You Want to Feel…No Matter What! He has been interviewed for articles in many publications, including the Oprah Magazine and Money Magazine. Dr. Pucci served on Dr. Albert Ellis’ advisory board in the past and currently serves as an honorary member of the Editorial Board for the Albert Ellis Tribute Book Series.
Dr. Pucci obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from West Liberty State College, a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Radford University, and completed his graduate training at Virginia Tech, California Southern, and Graduate Theological Foundation, where he obtained his Doctorate of Psychology. He holds a Diplomate in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and is a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist as well as a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Dr. Pucci is also a Certified Natural Health Professional pursuing a second doctorate in Naturopathy.