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The Efficacy of Rational Emotive Therapy: A Quantitative Review of the Outcome Research.


The results from a meta-analysis of 70 Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) outcome studies were reported. There were 236 comparisons of RET to baseline, control groups, Cognitive Behavior Modification, Behavior Therapy, or other psychotherapies were examined.

The results indicated that subjects receiving RET demonstrated significant improvement over baseline measures and control groups. The results showed no significant differences in effect size between those studies which used psychotherapy clients or students as subjects. Effect size was significantly related to therapist experience and to duration of the therapy. The results indicated that those comparisons which were rated high in internal validity had signficantly higher effect sizes than medium validity studies. Outcome measures rated as low in reactivity had significantly higher effect sizes than more reactive measures.

Contrary to other reviews using the narrative review method, RET was found to be an effective form of therapy. However, this conclusion was tempered by methodological flaws of the studies reviewed, such as lack of follow-up data and information regarding attrition rates.