Dr. Ellis believed that we have innate tendencies to needlessly upset ourselves, as well as tendencies toward thoughts and behaviors that are enjoyable. How we experience life is largely up to us. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy requires that we think about our thinking, be aware of these tendencies and lessen thoughts that cause distress while increasing those that are sources of joy. However, it is not enough for sufferers of Low Frustration Tolerance to acquire this awareness, they must also work persistently to change their thoughts.
Therapists can treat Low Frustration Tolerance both cognitively and experientially to help their patients develop an improved mindset. This is called High Frustration Tolerance. The cognitive component involves dialogue examining and disputing a patient's beliefs that what they cannot tolerate is truly intolerable. When it comes to dating, few of its disappointments actually are.
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During this disputation process, which could last for several sessions, therapists delve into the underpinnings of the beliefs and offer alternative ways to view the circumstances. Therapy helps patients understand that what they consider absolutely intolerable is really worth tolerating to accomplish their goals. The goal of the therapy is to learn to view an unsuccessful date with disappointment, but also with hope for a better outcome next time, rather than with despair. When To Take Down Your Online Dating Profile [VIDEO]
Therapists also need to help patients gain insight as to whether there are other irrational beliefs at play, including the common tendency to turn despair in on themselves. Patients often think, "dating has not been successful because I am a boring, stupid person, who is also unattractive." Dating can be an excellent time for people to become aware of any unhealthy or negative feelings that might make them depressed, angry, panicky or result in self-loathing. This is also a common time for people to reach out to a therapist. To achieve a successful relationship with a life partner, it is best to be emotionally fit, able to accept yourself and be able to cope with life's challenges.
Once people learn that they can tolerate being uncomfortable without going crazy, they gain the courage to take on other unpleasant or challenging aspects of their lives. This includes challenges that they thought they didn't have the strength to handle. Examples might include asking for a raise, moving to a new city and leaving your support system behind and going back to school.
The experiential component of treating Low Frustration Tolerance is to assign patients homework requiring them to practice doing some of the specific things they find intolerable. These exercises give patients an opportunity to internalize rational coping statements, while proving that what is challenging rarely is lethal. When applied to dating, they might sign up for online dating sites, attend singles or alumni mixers, tell friends and family that they welcome being set up and sometimes break up with current mediocre partners.
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Studies have shown that if you work hard to modify the thoughts and behaviors that prevent you from achieving your dreams, you can live a more contented and more satisfying life. What unhelpful thoughts are standing in your way? REBT can help!