I checked out a book by Albert Ellis from the library on his Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Mainly to compare it with Byron Katie’s process.
The two approaches are quite similar in certain ways. They both invite us to inquire into beliefs that cause us suffering, and releasing us from them.
There is one major difference as well.
Albert Ellis writes from a small self view, emphasizing effort and force. This is after all the way awareness functions when identified exclusively with the small self. The book’s title is tellingly How to Make Yourself Happy.
Byron Katie writes from the Big Mind/Big Heart view. The process is simple, gentle and enjoyable, and then works effortlessly. As she says, I do not drop the belief – the belief releases me.
The steps are very simple.
- Identify a thought that creates suffering.
Each one that we believe in does.
- Is it true?
We recognize it as a belief only, not reality. This softens our attachment to the belief.
- What are the consequences of believing in the thought?
Suffering in various forms. Recognizing this also softens our attachment to the belief.
- What/who am I if I don’t believe in the thought?
Free from suffering, responsive.
- Turn the initial statement around, to self/other or my thinking.
Here we recognize and integrate projections. We take our own advice.