ABC Model

The ABC theory is a model for human behavior. This theory was created by Albert Ellis. It is based on the finding that certain perceived stimuli (unconsciously) are evaluated. These evaluations are the cause of the derived behavioral consequences.

The typical irrational thoughts can be divided in the following four types of behaviour…

Demands/ thinking in extremes

o I have to be perfect.

o You have to treat me fairly.

o The weather must always be beautiful.


o It's terrible that I have disgraced myself.

o It's horrible how he treats me.

o This noise is awful.

Global rating.

o I'm a failure.

o All women are bitches.

o All the buses are always late.

Low frustration tolerance.

o I can’t bear being separated from him.

o I can’t take any more of his jealousy.

o This heat is so unbearable!

How can you start to think rationally?

Disputing your own thoughts

o Is it realistic what I say? Is it really true?

o Is it logical to think like that?

o Is there a universal law which states that it must be like that?

o Where exactly is it written down that it has to be like that?

o Is it useful to think like that? Is it helpful in any way?

o What do I get from this way of thinking?

o Are my thoughts in line with reality?

o Do I have a magic wand that could make my demands come true?

o If I stamp my foot 10 times like a child, will my demands come true then?

o Just because I want this so much, is it logical to believe that therefore it has to happen? 

o Is it really terrible, a disaster, a catastrophe or just uncomfortable?

o I can’t endure it any longer- do I really faint or die on the spot? 

o I want to change the past- no problem, just sit in your time machine! 

o On a scale of disaster, how would you rate this situation?

The new rational thoughtBearbeiten

Ø  I

  • It would be desirable, but it doesn´t have to be like this and if it doesn´t come true, I can accept this.</li>
  • I don´t like his behavior at all, but I can bear it, as I can´t change it anyway.</li>
  • She behaves really badly, but she is not a bad person in general, it is just her behaviour. </li>
  • It's not terrible that I made a mistake, just uncomfortable for me, but a real disaster looks quite different.</li>
  • I can stand this kind of discomfort, because obviously I'm still alive!</li>
  • I'm a human being with strengths and weaknesses, therefore it is normal that I make mistakes every now and then.</li>
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