Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) may not be a method that sounds familiar, but it is a therapy that has existed since the mid-1950s to treat various disorders. It is seen as a psychological orientation, and a man known by Albert Ellis created it. The therapy focuses strictly on thoughts and beliefs, and Ellis came up with it as a response to other therapeutic types of his time.
Psychological theories and therapy were dominated by behaviorism and psychoanalysis in the 1950s. Ellis began as a trained psychoanalyst, but that started to change as he viewed the method as someone that can only address the surface of what someone needed. He felt their symptoms could get worse as a result.
Psychoanalytical thoughts come from the idea that we are driven by an unconscious motivation for sex and power. Behaviorism is the idea that people are a product of their environment, and will continue engaging in behaviors that are both rewarding, as well as reinforced.
Ellis was under the belief that these theories were not complete since they do not tend to the thoughts of an individual. He believed that a pattern of thinking leads to the development of psychological issues like anxiety or depression. The idea became the focal point of his theoretical orientation, which is seen today as REBT.
Ellis believed it was necessary to give more attention to the thought processes of individuals. With that, he took things a step further and also focused on their beliefs. In his mind, a belief followed two specific components, which include:
Ellis felt that we have several beliefs that dictate our lives. He started to separate those beliefs into two categories, which are:
Someone with negative beliefs is going to feel worse, while someone with positive feelings is going to feel better and have a greater sense of well-being. It sounds simple, but Ellis wanted to find a way to develop more of these emotive and rational beliefs.
The name, REBT, stems from this model.
The focal point of REBT is someone’s beliefs. REBT runs on the idea that situations or events in our lives will not lead to unwanted symptoms or feelings. What will lead to this, however, is someone’s beliefs about the event, which will lead to the consequence. REBT runs on the idea that you must acknowledge what you did wrong.
To reiterate this point, REBT follows an ABC model, which is sometimes viewed as the ABC Theory of Personality.
The theory points out:
The ABC model believes that for an improvement in symptoms or functioning, a person must challenge an irrational belief. To do so, it will reduce their negative influence the thought pattern has on their life. As a result, it will spawn rational thoughts.
Ellis knew that at one time or another, everyone is going to have irrational beliefs. It’s almost impossible to remove all irrational thoughts from your mind. The goal wasn’t to remove them entirely, but rather reduce the ideas that contributed to unwanted thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The reduction in these symptoms will help people make more room for positive thoughts.
The process of disputing irrational beliefs breaks down in three steps, which include:
When you are facing the long road toward recovery from addiction, REBT will dive deeply into your beliefs and what brought you to using drugs or alcohol in the first place. REBT will show you the significance of acceptance in three ways, which includes:
REBT is also a strong tool because it works well with other therapies or interventions, which includes:
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