REBT & Different Kinds of Demands

Demands1. Predictive2. Conditional3. Empirical4. Advisory5. EmotionalDemands As ScriptsRelated Pages6 Topic Groups9 Skills & Topics

REBT & 5 Categories of Demands

  • Garden will teach you an easy and effective system of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT & REBT).
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“To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.” —Bertrand Russell

“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.” ―Albert Ellis


Shoulds, Musts, Oughts, & Demands

  • REBT teaches that demands are a psychological problem because they cause undue stress and self-defeating behaviors.
  • The trigger words for demands (must, should, ought, have to, got to, had better) are not always demanding anything.
  • Before considering a demand a problem, find out if the demand is convenient, practical, rational, or realistic.

Page Note

  • The idea for this page came from reading an REBT manual for counselors.
  • The best guess is that it was found in the following book:
  • Walen, Susan R., Raymond DiGiuseppe, and Windy Dryden. A Practitioner’s Guide to Rational-Emotive Therapy, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, New York. 1992.

  • Read and discover the best diagrams and maps of how people play games with your mind and heart.

1. PREDICTIVE (Sherlock or Detective)

  • Predictive shoulds help us to plan and prepare.
  • Predictive shoulds do not themselves cause a psychological disturbance.

Examples

  • The train is scheduled for noon and this train line is pretty consistent, so the train should be here any minute since it is almost noon.
  • That car pulling into our driveway must be your father getting home from work because this is his usual time to arrive home.
  • I should get that job tomorrow because they are calling me back in for a third interview, and my friend there said they never do that.

  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.

2. CONDITIONAL (Coach or Parent)

  • Conditional shoulds help us to understand requirements and necessary conditions.
  • Conditional shoulds do not themselves cause psychological disturbances.

Examples

  • If you want to do better at chess, then you have to play more and play better players.
  • If you really want to learn to fly an airplane, then you should join the airforce or save money for private lessons.
  • If you want to get a sports scholarship to college, then you must practice more than you have been practicing so far.

  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.

3. EMPIRICAL (Scientist or Seeker)

  • Empirical shoulds are based on logic and experience such that the order of events is well-defined.
  • Empirical shoulds do not themselves cause psychological disturbances.

Examples

  • If you cross those wires while installing that light switch, then you should get a severe electrical shock.
  • You must not neglect to maintain the elevator equipment because that will result in a failure of the elevator.
  • If you mix those two chemicals together in just the right proportions, then you should end up with the required compound.

  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.

4. ADVISORY (Counselor or Guide)

  • Advisory shoulds are designed to encourage us to act proactively for our own good.
  • Advisory shoulds do not themselves cause psychological disturbances.

Examples

  • You should read some books on assertiveness training to help yourself learn to speak up more.
  • You should go to college and earn a degree in engineering because you have the aptitude for it.
  • You should pick a field of study and focus on it because right now, you are scattered and getting nowhere in anything.
  • This focus should help you narrow down what you want to do by understanding more about one field of study at a time.
  • Remember, you still have time to change your focus if you start to focus now.

  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.

5. EMOTIONAL (Self-Esteem or Ego)

  • Emotional shoulds exist to safeguard and reward the ego (pride, self-esteem).
  • Emotional shoulds do cause psychological disturbances.

Examples

  • I must be first in my class, else it is horrible because then I am a loser.
  • You must love me, else I can’t stand to live because I must be worthless.
  • School has to be easier, else it is just not fair because it makes me look stupid.

  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.

Demands as Scripts & Rules for Life

  • 10 Demands that do cause psycholgoical disturbance.
  • Click for more information on REBT.

10 REBT Must Scripts for LIfe

6 Topic Groups Menu


  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.


  • Read and discover the best diagrams and maps of how people play games with your mind and heart.

9 Skills & Topics Menu


  • Read and master the life skill of acceptance using the best combination of CBT, REBT, & Stoicism.


  • Read and discover the best diagrams and maps of how people play games with your mind and heart.