Rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT for short, is an offshoot of cognitive-behavioral therapy. As a type of behavioral therapy, it is focused on changing actions. It does so by confronting irrational beliefs and helping people better manage their emotions. REBT is founded on the idea that irrational beliefs guide much of our behavior, which can, in turn, cause issues. Dealing with these irrational beliefs is thus a means to produce positive behavior change. In the context of addiction treatment, behavior change is in service of recovery and sobriety. REBT therapy is also widely used in the treatment of mental health, as patterns of thought often govern the expression of different mental issues.
What Is REBT Therapy?
REBT therapy is a form of behavioral therapy that targets irrational beliefs. The REBT framework posits understanding past events and experiences by looking at what people believe about those experiences and the emotions they have in relation to them. REBT therapy relies on an ABC model for application.
ABC is an acronym. The “A” stands for activating event, which refers to anything that occurs in someone’s environment. The “B” stands for belief, which is what the person comes to believe about that event. And the “C” stands for consequence, which refers to the behavioral and emotional outcome that stems from the belief.
Using the ABC model helps therapists identify the irrational beliefs that hold someone back from better mental health. Oftentimes, these irrational beliefs come packaged as absolutes in statements that begin with “I can’t” or “I must.” A few examples of these self-defeating beliefs include:
- Feeling majorly upset due to the mistakes or misbehavior of others
- Believing competence and perfection are prerequisites to be valued and worthwhile
- Believing greater happiness will stem from avoiding challenges or difficulties
- Feeling as if contentment and happiness depend entirely on external factors
The insights and benefits provided by REBT therapy can help a person restructure their way of thinking by targeting irrational thoughts and beliefs.
Insights and Benefits of REBT Therapy
REBT therapy is confrontational by design. The therapist will not skirt around the irrational beliefs that a client holds. Instead, these will be challenged using a process called disputation. Beliefs will be questioned head-on, and a client will be asked to rethink that belief or view it from a new perspective. This process supports the acquisition of new insights that can lead to behavior change and mental growth.
A few key insights that REBT therapy tries to deliver are:
- Self-acceptance and a self-belief in your fundamental worthiness as a human being
- That other people are also worthy of being accepted and valued regardless of whether their behavior aligns with your hopes
- Life will not always be positive but its negativity is not a reflection of who you are
REBT therapy is widely-applicable for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, social anxiety disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some key potential benefits of REBT therapy include improved mental health, reduced negative emotions, and better interpersonal skills. Its effectiveness has been studied in the context of school performance, sports, and with significant mental health issues. In all cases, REBT was shown as a promising approach.
Access REBT Therapy at Serenity Grove
Serenity Grove offers REBT therapy as a key mental health treatment therapy. It also has a key role to play in comprehensive substance abuse treatment plans. This is particularly true in people who have a dual diagnosis, which means they have a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder at the same time.
Whether you realize it or not, irrational beliefs can hold you back from living your best life. Find out how REBT therapy can help you improve your mental health by calling 844.904.3485 or filling out our online contact form.