The A-B-C-D Model


The A-B-C-D model, developed by Albert Ellis, is regarded worldwide as powerful therapy to overcome anger management problems.

  • A (Activation Agent) − The situation that triggers your anger.

  • B (Believing) − How you interpret the activating event.

  • C (Consequences) − This is your feelings and actions in response to your belief.

  • D (Dispute) − "Disputing" is checking with beliefs if they are realistic or just a figment of your distorted imagination. This is significant in Anger Management.

Example of the A-B-C-D Model

A (Activation Agent)

You’re walking down the stairs and somebody collides with you and takes off without apologizing.

B (Believing)

You think, “Everybody is so reckless nowadays; they treat others like pests.”

C (Conclusions)

You notice that your muscles are tense, your heart rate is high, and you feel like you want to hit the steering wheel. You roll down your window and yell an expletive out at the other driver.

D (Dispute)

You could say to yourself − “Maybe he had some emergency… probably not, but you never know; this is life.”

Disputing your irrational belief with this kind of rational self-talk diffuses anger and calms you down.