(This example is based on Byron Katie’s Four Questions, which I have found useful as an application of REBT/CBT. As far as I know, there have been no scientific studies of The Work, nor is Katie a licensed anything, nor am I, though, so take this with a grain of salt…).
My son should clean up his room.
- Is it true? Yes! Absolutely! It’s a total mess!
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? No, I cannot absolutely know that it’s true.
- How do you react when you think that thought? I feel guilty because my son’s room is a total mess. I feel like I am a bad Mom – I don’t have control over my child.
- Who would you be without the thought? I would accept myself and my choices. I would have the confidence to make my own choices even if others don’t approve. I can choose to spend time on other things rather than cleaning up his room.
- My son shouldn’t clean up his room. (Example of turnaround suggested by Katie)
- I would prefer if my son cleaned up the room but it’s not a big deal if he doesn’t. (Example of turnaround that incorporates rational living).