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Although RET practitioners can, if they wish, give their clients empathy, sympathy, warmth, and even love, they tend to do so with extreme caution: recognizing that the therapist's expression of these feelings can easily backfire and help clients think that they are "good people" because the therapist approves of or loves them. Clients thereby tend to acquire conditional rather than unconditional self-acceptance that RET favors. Forceful Emotive Interventions. Because it theorizes that humans are for the most part biologically predisposed to disturb themselves and to perpetuate their own dysfunctional thinking, emoting, and behaving, and that they have enormous difficulty in changing and keeping changed their self-defeating emotional reactions, RET holds that it is often important for therapists to use a great deal of force or vigor in interrupting their clients' philosophies and behaviors (Ellis, 1979b). Consequently, RET employs
Rational-Emotive Therapy 335 unusually strong rational coping statements that have a powerful emotive quality, and it uses dramatic exercises, such as its famous shame- attacking exercises, to induce many clients to flood themselves with positive or negative feelings that may be therapeutically useful (Ellis, 1974b; Ellis & Abrahms, 1978). CBT may, of course, employ the same kind of forceful emotive procedure s used in RET, but it tends to do so less often and to do so on pragmatic rather than theoretical grounds. BEHAVIORAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RET AND CBT Both CBT and RET include a wide range of behavioral procedures-- in fact, almost all the common methods that are used in general behavior therapy (BT). Because, however, of the same kind of theoretical and philosophic assumptions mentioned in the previous sections of this article, RET is once again more selective than CBT in this connection. Thus it emphasizes relatively few behavioral methods while ignoring or de- emphasizing some of the others: Reservations About Operant Conditioning. Although RET often utilizes operant conditioning (Ellis, 1969, 1973b; Ellis & Abrahms, 1978), it takes a somewhat skeptical view of the effectiveness of social reinforcement, and especially of kind and encouraging words from the therapist when clients do the "right" thing. For if I, as your therapist, keep telling you, "That's great !" or "I like that !" when you carry out your RET homework assignments, you may start to do them mainly for me and the praise I give you rather than for their intrinsic rewards. Moreover, you may falsely conclude, "Because I am doing so well at this therapy and because Dr. Ellis likes me for carrying it out satisfactorily, I am a good person!" You may thereby give yourself conditional rather than unconditional positive regard or acceptance, and feel better but remain basically as disturbed as ever.