Every individual is capable of experiencing negative emotions at various points in their lives. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, aggression, and fear are basically part of every person’s emotional journey and maturity. However, some thoughts and feelings can inevitably affect a person’s current mental state to the point that they need help dealing with it.
Once you fall prey to these negative thoughts and emotions, it can result in unhealthy actions or even addictive behavior. This is where behavioral therapy steps in to help you dispel these emotions.
What Is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy?
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy that has been proven to be an effective treatment for various conditions. If you have any addictive behavior or unhealthy habits that you want to take control of, understanding how REBT works can be of great use to your recovery.
REBT is the pioneering form of cognitive-behavioral therapy developed in 1995 by Dr. Albert Ellis, a trained clinical psychologist. He wasn’t satisfied with how little progress or change some patients made during traditional psychoanalytic treatment. Dr. Ellis felt that, “people are not disturbed by things but rather by their view of things.”
Dr. Ellis’s groundbreaking research on a new type of psychotherapy gave birth to REBT and how it focuses on understanding unhealthy thoughts and beliefs. These factors create emotional distress that lead to unhealthy actions that can severely disrupt your life.
The ABC Model
People are quick to blame certain events that happened in their lives as the reason for their loneliness. Dr. Ellis, however, surmised that it is actually a person’s interpretation of those events that is actually the source of their psychological distress.
The core principles of this type of behavioral therapy can be explained through the ABC model:
- A refers to the activating event that then triggers a negative response.
(Ex: You didn’t get the job)
- B refers to the beliefs or irrational thoughts that have slowly formed in your mind.
(Ex: You are unqualified and lack any valuable skill to get the job)
- C refers to the consequences that result from that particular thought or belief.
(Ex: You feel discouraged, inadequate, frustrated, and even worthless)
Battling Addictive Behavior With REBT
Statistics show that about 10% of Americans suffer from a form of alcohol or drug dependency. At the center of those dependencies are your negative beliefs and emotions.
Once you’ve made the first step of identifying these negative thoughts and feelings, you must now challenge them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to transform those destructive thoughts and actions into beneficial ones.
There are three main types of techniques to address the problems you’ve identified through the ABC model:
- Problem-solving exercises aims to address the activating event (A)
- Cognitive restructuring helps you change irrational beliefs (B)
- Coping techniques help you manage the emotional consequences (C)
Challenging your beliefs is never easy, and it shouldn’t be done gently. If you’re absolutely willing to change, you need to be blunt and honest with yourself. This type of cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you react to situations realistically and not react to your own thoughts.
Through REBT, you’ll realize that there will always be things in life that are out of your control—but the way you react to a situation is something you can always control and deal with. Ultimately, you can learn how to reverse or diminish irrational thoughts that lead to addictive behavior and drug dependency.
Get Help When You Need It the Most
At its core, Dr. Ellis created a philosophy of living in the form of REBT. That philosophy is founded on the mindset that our own emotions and beliefs cause us to engage in self-destructive behavior like an addiction. The road to recovering from addictive behavior can be easier said than done, but seeking help when you need it the most means you’re already halfway there.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Havertown, PA
If you’re struggling with maintaining your sobriety, it pays to have someone you can talk to about what you’re going through. That someone can be a partner like the American Treatment Network. Our team is committed to helping you achieve lifelong sobriety through behavioral therapy and specialized substance abuse treatment.
We help people to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Schedule an appointment today and let American Treatment Network help you!