There are many options to choose from when it comes to getting treatment for a substance use disorder. Sometimes, medication is a part of the recovery process. Other times, different therapy strategies are necessary. No matter the treatment options, they all have the same goal: to help the person in treatment experience recovery and gain the skills needed to avoid future relapses. But one less commonly talked about therapy has been proven to be very beneficial as an addiction therapy option.
What Is Rational-Emotive Therapy?
The psychologist Albert Ellis developed rational-emotive behavior therapy, or REBT, in 1955. It was one of the first forms of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and is one type of CBT available to therapists to use with patients. The words of Epictetus inspired Ellis: “People are disturbed not by things but by their view on things.” In REBT, the belief is that psychological ailments stem from a person’s perspective on events, not the actual event itself. Therefore, REBT therapy improves mental health by replacing self-defeating thoughts with healthier ones.
REBT holds that people generally want to succeed in life, but irrational thoughts and feelings get in the way. So, the treatment helps a person identify these irrational beliefs and thought patterns that often lead to behavioral or emotional issues. Then, they can develop strategies that allow them to move toward more rational thought patterns. REBT has worked well for people with:
- Anxiety or depression
- Addictive behaviors
- Disorders eating habits
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Overwhelming feelings of anger or guilt
- Sleep issues
REBT has also assisted people in overcoming substance use and mental health conditions, such as PTSD.
How Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy Works
REBT focuses on the present, helping a person understand how unhealthy thoughts cause emotional distress and unhealthy behaviors interfere with their life and goals. After understanding these issues, the work begins to change and replace the behaviors with more productive behavior that allows them to be more successful in relationships and life. REBT works by a process called the ABCs. Some refer to it as the ABCDEs, but the D and E are a second phase of the process. A is the activating event that leads to B, which is the belief about the event (A) that leads to C. During part C, the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive consequences of those beliefs. After identifying the ABCs, D works to dispute C to achieve E, the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive effects of REBT, which lead to a healthier, more rational life.
During the process, therapists draw on many different techniques to achieve the end result, which includes:
- Problem-solving techniques such as conflict resolution, social skills, and decision-making skills
- Cognitive restructuring techniques such as reframing, humor, and exposure
- Coping techniques such as meditation or journaling
Finding a treatment center that offers REBT can significantly improve the end result of the treatment.
The Addiction Therapy Benefits of REBT
REBT is similar to CBT but has a few main differences that make it especially effective for addiction therapy. First, it places more emphasis on acceptance. Trying to avoid self-judgment and realizing that everyone makes mistakes are vital learning points. Second, this treatment uses humor, cartoons, irony, and other similar tools more often to help people look at things less seriously. Third, REBT makes a point of addressing secondary symptoms, such as becoming anxious about having substance abuse disorders or other conditions. As a result, this treatment works well for co-occurring or dual diagnoses, which are effective in addiction treatment.
Get Treatment at the Willows at Red Oak
Rational-emotive behavioral therapy is an addiction therapy treatment option offered by The Willows at Red Oak. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, rational emotive behavioral therapy is a promising option. Additionally, because we only treat women at our center, we can offer a more targeted approach. We are also clinician-run, so everyone who works here is an expert in addiction treatment. Visit our website or call us at 855.773.0614 for more information.