Various forms of therapy techniques are often utilized to help people with mental health and substance use disorders. Our Massachusetts drug rehab incorporates a variety of therapy techniques when treating patients for their drug and alcohol addictions, one of which includes rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). If your loved one requires treatment for a substance use disorder, keep reading to learn more about how our REBT therapy and other addiction services can help.
What Is Rational Emotive Therapy?
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) was introduced by Albert Ellis in the 1950s. As one of our unique programs and therapies, it helps people identify irrational beliefs and negative thought patterns that could contribute to problems like mental illness or substance abuse.
Once these patterns are identified, a therapist assists the client in helping them develop a strategy to replace their irrational thoughts with rational ones. The essence of rational emotive behavior therapy is to help clients learn to challenge their own irrational thinking and develop a beneficial and rational habit of thinking.
The rational behavior model is built on the idea that people generally want to do well in life. For instance, maybe you want to achieve a particular goal or find happiness, but sometimes irrational thoughts and negative feelings can get in the way. These beliefs, although false, can negatively influence how you perceive yourself, your potential, your situation, and more.
Unfortunately, irrational beliefs are more common than we realize. An example of irrational thinking or beliefs is believing that someone who hasn’t responded to your text message must be upset with you.
Maybe the person has read your message and hasn’t responded for a few hours or even a day. Out of worry, you might begin to think they don’t want to see you anymore or that you did something to upset them.
From there, your train of thought may reach darker corners. You may convince yourself that relationships never work anyways and that you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.
This situation excellently exemplifies the core principles of rational emotive therapy (the ABCs), which include:
- A: The event or situation that triggers a negative response or reaction (the lack of reply to the message)
- B: The beliefs or irrational thoughts you have about the event (believing the person doesn’t want to see you anymore or that their upset with you)
- C: The consequences, usually negative emotions, that result from the irrational belief or thought (feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness)
In this example, REBT therapy techniques would focus on helping you reframe how you think about the situation and why the person didn’t respond to your message. An REBT therapist would encourage you to consider other rational thoughts, like maybe the person was busy, or they simply forgot to respond.
They might also have you sit on the idea that maybe that person doesn’t want to see you again. But if this is so, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or that you’ll spend the rest of your life alone.
REBT techniques correspond with the ABCs. Therapists may use various combinations of these techniques depending on the client’s situation and their level of expertise.
Common REBT examples or techniques include:
Problem-solving techniques to help address the activating event (A), which focus on developing:
- Problem-solving skills
- Social skills
- Conflict-resolution skills
- Decision-making skills
Cognitive restructuring techniques, which help you change rational beliefs (B). These might include:
- Logical and rationalizing techniques
- Guided imagery
- Reframing or looking at events from a different perspective
- Humor and irony
- Exposure to the feared situation
- Questioning irrational thoughts
Coping techniques to help manage emotional consequences (C):
In addition to these in-person sessions, REBT therapists at our Boston rehab might also give patients some work or exercises to practice at home. We want clients to develop independence during therapy, so they’re familiar with applying the skills they’ve learned at our facility.
Our Institute for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy in MA
REBT for addiction treatment is designed to help patients identify irrational beliefs and manage their emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. Thus, this form of therapy is effective in reducing irrational beliefs to contribute to an overall change in behavior.
For people with substance use disorders, it’s important to address necessary behavioral changes, such as drug use, to help the person get and stay sober. Overall, some benefits of REBT include:
- Reduce feelings of anger, depression, distress, and anxiety
- Improved health and overall quality of life
- Improved performance at school and work
- Improved social interactions
Rational emotive behavior therapy can be a difficult process because it requires patients to recognize and focus on stressful situations and beliefs. However, our therapists guide clients through every step of therapy, ensuring that they’re never overwhelmed.
Our Massachusetts drug and alcohol treatment and therapy programs are designed to help patients and their loved ones heal from the impact of addiction. No matter how severe your substance use disorder is, we can help.