tba  draft 5/14/11                                                                          

1. Identify your beliefs.  (Write them down.  Journalize.)
2. Pick one that is damaging.
3. Apply rational analysis process.
4. Establish new, true, effective belief.
5. Install it. (The Beliefs Processes - Acquiring Them, Correcting Them, Instlling Them.)


Learn your "abc"s in life
Use the format that helps to implement this
How often?
Until when?
Examples to look at to see how it is done


Thoughts/beliefs are the cause of emotions, period.
Thoughts/beliefs are the cause of emotions, period.
Thoughts/beliefs are the cause of emotions, period.

Emotions are simply chemicals and electrical impulses which cause "sensations".

Bad feeling emotions are almost all based on bad (false) beliefs. (Know that!!!)

See A Thought Is Just A Thought, An Emotion Is Just An Emotion and Feelings - Manage Them Or Be Run By Them - A Sign Or A Command? 

THE CORRECTING PROCESS:  From inception to a complete solution.  The Super-Form writeup has complete details, but one may wish to use the shorter form.

First ABC: "The Emotions Process" (Notice, write down)

               A                     →               B               →                  C
       "Activating"                             Belief                            Consequence
    Neutral Occurrence               Interpret "meaning"         Emotion --> Behavior
                                                                 of A
                                               "Associated" item
                                              from Primitive Brain

"Association" is not rationally selected, but automatically "matched" with a neuronal pattern.  Can be a high error rate.

Second DEF: "Processing The Belief"  (Often using the rational analysis form.)

→          D                 →                 E                        →             F             → 
    Dispute, debate            Effective, rational thinking           The desired
   Erroneous Belief            creates new, correct belief             feeling
                                               Add supporting
                                            resources, assistance 
To the extent there is "missing knowing" ("not yet knowing"), some learning may have to be inserted, as recommended possibly by a supporting person.  A new belief will "not fly" if it is not thoroughly understood and actually believed!                                         

Third: I, "Installing the corrected belief"

                                               Repeat, review

You're stopping short if you don't install it completely and permanently, to replace and to not allow the old belief to come out by "thoughtless association" from the primitive brain.


One of the key logic errors and misunderstandings is that of believing that the event, circumstance, or other people are the cause of our feelings (or reactive behaviors).  This is not at all true and totally the opposite of science! 

All things operate based on the Law Of Cause And Effect, where we note that there is no effect without a cause - and if there is an effect it is traceable back to the cause.

In this model, largely related to Albert Ellis's works, the following symbols are used:

A = Activating event

B = Beliefs about the event (A)

C = Consequences (emotion/behavior)

It is not true that:   A causes C.

A happening/event/circumstance (A) cannot cause an emotion (C)!!!!!!!

A is neutral before we add meaning to it.  The world and everything in it is strictly neutral.  And if A occurs and C is different for different people, then A certainly cannot cause C - there logically has to be something else!  That something else is your beliefs/thought/meaning about A.

What is true is:     A happens --> B is thought --> C happens

                          A --> B --> C, not A--> C!

                          Event --> Thought --> Emotion/behavior

The very quality of our life experiences is determined by our beliefs.  Therefore, we should master those beliefs in order to have a great life. 

And you cannot do that, unless you engage in "D" - which stands for "dispute" and/or rational "debate".  There is no shortcut nor way around this; you must go "through" it in order to upgrade it and create the emotion you want (F, the new more appropriate feeling resulting from having changed the belief).  (All explained in Using the Rational Analysis form.)

Essentially, a belief that causes an undesired result is irrational, so the process of correcting it is using the rational.  (Duh!)


It is highly useful if one wants to make progress in life to use the basic idea of ABCDEF, or what I call "rational analysis".  See the Rational Analysis Form - and use it!!!!  If you want to operate without mastery and just be reactive, then you would go on about life without correcting the very thing that determines your experience of life!  See the comments and guidance for how to use each part of the form:  Using the Rational Analysis form.

See the Beliefs Directory/Links to choose pieces to read to fully master beliefs.

Additional useful information to further understand this is at The Albert Ellis Site.
There is an interesting video demonstration with his client Gloria. 


In this case, I would use the principle of partnering but with as good an expert as possible.  This means you do all of the work and then present it to the partner, who will then attempt to help you drive the process even further, refining it so that you are even better at it.


In the book Helping Yourself To Happiness, Maxie Maultsby, Jr., M.D., recommends, from his experience in practicing psychiatry, that you use this form and the Rational Emotive Imagery process at least 4 times a day until you are actually thinking rationally as a habit - you'll know when that is because you will have eliminated a massive amount of needless suffering!

A vital part of this learning process is apply Rational Emotive Imagery, where you actually "practice in your mind" to retrain your brain and your thinking.  Click on that link.


Until you get the desired result, it makes no sense to stop, if the result is an important one.  Of course!

Keep on going at it intensely until you really get the practice to be a habit - and then for any situation creating undesirable emotions, use the form and drive through to a better belief that will work - do that for the rest of your life, as it makes no sense to leave rotten beliefs around stinking up your life!

(I personally would recommend that you spend no less than 100 hours at this process - if you truly want to live a great life.  Ironically, you will actually end up saving time over a relatively short period, more than enough time to be a payback in just hours.
But the benefits are priceless.)


There are lots of examples around, so you should be able to look at them and garner a complete understanding of what works and how it works.

I especially like the examples and explanations in the book Helping Yourself To Happiness, Maxie Maultsby, Jr., M.D.  

Ellis's book and his site The Albert Ellis Site can be helpful.

David Burns, M.D., has some super bestselling books with examples.  I admire his works, but I noticed that Maultsby seemed to be more impactful.  See what you think.



They will walk you through it, with no prior experience needed.  Just give it a try with one of your beliefs and you'll soon get the hand of it.  If you can review it with someone, that will be helpful.

The two key ABCDEF rational analysis forms:

Shorter Form - One page form,with built in basic instructions.  Also has a filled in example.

Super-Form, Complete Version - For a more complicated problem and/or for more detailed analysis.  It is several pages long - and it links to detailed explanation pages also. 

The Forms Directory

Beliefs Forms Directory/Links

How to use the forms

Using the Rational Analysis
Super-Form.- Also useful for understanding the process, even if the shorter form is used.

A useful skill

Critical  (Effective) Thinking - This is an essential skill to come up with good, solid conclusions!

About psychology and emotion management

Emotion Management - What is an emotion? How can I manage them?

ABCDEF - Ellis Model    
Summary - Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy - Very good overview of the idea of this very successful therap, plus some good reminders!
Master beilefs directory
Beliefs Section Contents/Links