The 4th International Congress of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

13 - 15 September 2019
Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, ROMANIA

The Fourth International Congress of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy:
The Role of “The Classics” in the Present and Future of Psychology

13-15 September 2019, Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania

Motto: REBT, as an elegant form of CBT, goes to the essence of what we call scientific psychotherapy  (Albert Ellis)

The Fourth International Congress of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is organized by the Albert Ellis Institute and supported by the International Institute for Advanced Study in Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health and the Romanian Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies (a member accredited for training by the European Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies).

Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies/Psychotherapies (CBTs) are one of the most practiced and researched modalities of psychotherapy today. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is the original/foundational cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT); hence, it is also referred to as RE&CBT or REBT/CBT.

As part of the CBTs family, REBT oriented academics and professionals typically participate regularly in major national and international CBTs conferences/congresses (including REBT national meetings/conferences/congresses). However, at key critical times in the field, REBT has also held its own major international Congresses. Thus, the first Congress was organized by Albert Ellis and the Institute in New York in 1976, bringing together the founding fathers of CBT (e.g., Aaron T. Beck,  Albert Ellis, Michael Mahoney, Donald Meichenbaum, etc.), marking an official merge of behavioral and cognitive therapies into cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as well as highlighting the role of cognitions in psychopathology and the key role of CBT as a treatment. The second REBT Congress was organized by the Albert Ellis Institute in 1994 (the 35th anniversary of REBT - Keystone, USA) and the third one in 2001 (the 45th anniversary of REBT - Keystone, USA).

Taking into account the new developments and trends in the psychological, medical, and health fields since the last REBT Congress in 2001 – e.g., personalized evidence-based treatments/technology/neurogenetics/machine learning-data mining/transdiagnostic-network analyses -, it is time for the Fourth International Congress of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy!

Our general objective is to explore how the legacy of Albert Ellis and REBT can impact and be better related to the present and the future of psychology. Today, many people take the information processing paradigm (i.e., cognitive paradigm) for granted, not being aware of the “scientific paradigmatic wars”, which had to be fought, to have what we consider today the best academic/professional practices in psychology! Indeed, in 1985 Albert Ellis’ fundamental role in the ignition and development of cognitive revolution in psychology and the role of REBT as an innovative treatment was acknowledged explicitly by the American Psychological Association by awarding him the Distinguished Contribution to Knowledge:

“… Dr. Albert Ellis’s theoretical contribution has had a profound effect on the professional practice of psychology. His theories on the primacy of cognitions in psychopathology are at the forefront of practice and research in clinical psychology…Dr Ellis expanded his clinical work in marital and sex therapy into a comprehensive theory of psychopathological treatment, Rational-Emotive Therapy. His theories have provided a starting point for many who investigate the nature of human emotional disturbance and its treatment …” (text selection from the APA Award).

Albert Ellis became one of the most cited authors between the years of 1957-1982 in major counselling/psychological journals. Moreover, a 1982 survey of approximately 800 American clinical and counselling psychologists considered Albert Ellis one of the most influential psychotherapists in the history of the field (together with Carl Rogers and Sigmund Freud). However, because REBT was initially less related to the evidence-based movement, which started to dominate the clinical/psychotherapy field in the '90s, it lost of its prominence in the academic field, although it continued to be very influential in the clinical/professional practice/training. However, in the last decade one can see an REBT re-surgence in the academic/research field, with multilevel (i.e., from neurogenetics to cross-cultural) fundamental, translational, and applied research (including various rigorous clinical trials focused on efficacy/effectiveness/mechanism of change/cost-effectiveness).

Therefore, the main aims of the present Congress are:

(1)   To bring together the REBT community to discuss the state of the art of REBT theory and practice;

(2)   To stimulate CBTs and other evidence-based psychotherapy professionals to participate in the Congress, to explore bridges and collaboration strategies with the goal of moving the field closer to a more integrative CBTs and/or evidence-based psychotherapy;

(3)   To stimulate professionals from the major fields of psychology and REBT to relate to each other (e.g., developmental/educational/school psychology to rational emotive education; work/organizational psychology to REBT/CBT coaching; pastoral/spiritual psychology to REBT pastoral counseling);

(4)   To encourage researchers from clinical cognitive neurogenetics sciences to participate in order to explore together the role of REBT in understanding human mind and behavior;

(5)   In addition, there will be meetings of the Directors of the 28 REBT Affiliated Training Centers from all over the world with the International Training Standards Committee that will focus on developing a strategic plan for the dissemination of REBT theory and practice.

A series of invited keynotes, workshops (invited), open papers/symposia (invited and self-proposed - including posters), and round tables/meet the experts section (invited), with outstanding academics and professionals, will cover the above mentioned aims. During the congress, we will also honour the lifetime scientific/professional achievements of professor, MD, PhD, Aaron T. Beck to the field of CBT and evidence-based psychotherapy, by a ceremony conferring him the Lifetime Scientific Award.  

The Congress takes place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the heart of Transylvania, an affordable and easily accessible European city, which fosters unforgettable holidays, good accommodations, and great memories. Major international travel agencies/guides/magazine (e.g., Conde Nast Traveller) recommended Transylania as a top place to visit in 2019 and/or at least once in life!

Save the dates and be part of this important state of the art Congress!

President of the Congress
Professor, PhD, Daniel David
Babeș-Bolyai University (professor) & Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (adjunct professor)
Director of Research, Albert Ellis Institute, New York, USA