Albert Ellis Institute: Accept v’s Expect v’s Resign

Albert Ellis Institute: Accept v’s Expect v’s Resign

– goal of REBT (like CBT) is to achieve an emotional shift
– Accept does not mean Expect.
– accept means that this is your “present” reality, not that a particular situation will always occur
– how can we work on change if we cannot accept the reality that is & which needs to change?
– Chinese finger trap game is a great metaphor for this – the more we pull & resist , the more trapped our finger becomes; when we accept our finger is in the trap & relax, the trap loosens & our finger can escape the trap
– accepting our plight means we are more likely to free ourselves of our plight
– Accept does not mean Resign.
– some people believe accept means not resigning yourselves to being stuck & not transforming to a new reality
– Acceptance means being present so you can give your best effort to solve a problem & change
– look at acceptance as being a first step towards being effective & making change
– acceptance need not be passive.

Example about anxiety, public speaking & acceptance & approaching the situation in two different ways:
– demand they not get anxious while giving the talk & likely develop anxiety about anxiety
– spend their time thinking how awful it is
– experience anxiety
– rate themselves negatively because if this experience

– accept the reality & personal tendency towards experiencing anxiety
– challenge their irrational beliefs about public speaking
[this is more focused upon the issue & developing practical solutions for managing themselves while achieving what it is they wish to achieve – to speak in public

Source: Albert Ellis Institute @


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