Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Addiction Treatment

To help overcome addiction, individuals should use rational emotive behavior therapy to question their negative thoughts. This questioning could then lead to self-acceptance.

There are many different forms of therapy that are useful during addiction treatment. Many of these forms of addiction therapy work to change the negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that people that suffer from substance use disorders experience. One particular form of addiction therapy that aims to accomplish this is rational emotive behavior therapy.

What Is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy?

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is a form of psychotherapy that teaches individuals how to question and analyze their negative thoughts. In doing so, people can discover if their thoughts are irrational or not. If the negative thoughts that a person is thinking are found to be irrational, then that person must dispute them with uplifting beliefs.

These uplifting beliefs should help that person accept his or her reality. They should also help change those negative thoughts into more positive ones. This, in turn, causes people to exhibit more positive behaviors, which is the ultimate goal of rational emotive behavior therapy. 

ABCDE Model of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational emotive behavior therapy is the idea that a person’s irrationally negative beliefs can cause a person to experience negative emotional and behavioral responses. In fact, rational emotive behavior therapy uses an ABCDE model to show how irrational beliefs create emotional/behavioral responses. 

The letters within the acronym for rational emotive behavior therapy’s ABCDE model stand for the following:

  • A – The Activating Event – The activating event refers to a particular incident that led to the development of negative thoughts, feelings, and ultimately behaviors.
  • B- Beliefs About the Situation – This refers to the thoughts and feelings that an event triggered.
  • C- Consequences of These Beliefs (Emotional/Behavioral) – This refers to the consequences that occur due to a person’s negative beliefs. These consequences often come out in the form of behaviors. For example, a person can lash out at someone. A person can also overeat, undereat, start using drugs and alcohol, and more due to his or her negative beliefs.
  • D – Disputing These Beliefs – This step of rational emotive behavior therapy works to combat negative and irrational thoughts and beliefs. Individuals in this step of REBT like to particularly use evidence to help combat underlying beliefs. 
  • E- Effective New Thinking/Behaviors – Once evidence disputes negative beliefs, individuals in this step of rational emotive behavior therapy start thinking in a new manner. The right evidence in this step of REBT can change a person’s mood for the better. It can also change a person’s relationships, behaviors, and life outcomes for the better. 

Three Basic Musts That Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Changes

There are three irrational thoughts that people often think that cause them to think negatively and misuse substances to cope. These three common irrational thoughts are called the “three basic musts.” 

The three basic musts include:

  1. I must perform well and gain approval and acceptance from other people or I am not worthy. 
  2. I must deserve to be treated fairly and kindly at all times. Therefore, if other people don’t always treat me this way, they aren’t worthy and deserve to be penalized.
  3. I must have what I desire immediately. If I don’t get what I want, I won’t be able to bear it.

Three Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy MethodsWhen people start to think these three basic irrational thoughts, it causes people to develop negative feelings. Some of these negative feelings include anger, depression, guilt, and self-pity. These lingering negative thoughts and feelings could cause that person to misuse substances to cope. 

Lingering negative thoughts and feelings about oneself and others can also cause individuals to develop mental health disorders. This is where rational emotive behavior therapy steps in. 

Three Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Methods

Through REBT, individuals can learn how to analyze and see whether or not they’re expressing irrational thoughts or not. REBT can also teach people how to dispute their negative and irrational thoughts with positive beliefs. 

Disputing Negative Thoughts and Visualizations

By disputing negative thoughts with positive beliefs, people that struggle with substance misuse will start to question if their negative thoughts and feelings are valid. Rational emotive behavior therapy also teaches individuals to question why they think in absolutes. Individuals in REBT learn whether or not the urge to use substances is necessary to uphold.  

Valuing One’s Own Insight

Valuing one’s insights means upholding positive beliefs that REBT teaches individuals that are in recovery from substance addiction. Part of such positive beliefs is realizing that negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors develop as a result of giving in to them. Therefore, negative thoughts and feelings can be changed into positive thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, can develop positive behaviors.  

Practicing Acceptance

Once individuals learn to dispute negative thoughts and visualizations and value their own insight, they can use REBT to help them accept reality. This includes accepting themselves for who they are and accepting others for who they are. By accepting oneself, a person in addiction recovery can discover that they are worthy of good things, including a life without substance misuse.  

Forms of Acceptance Within Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

A major component of rational emotive behavior therapy is the ability to accept oneself and others. In doing so, individuals that struggle with substance addiction can learn to love themselves and treat themselves better.

There are a few different forms of acceptance during rational emotive behavior therapy. These include unconditional self-acceptance, unconditional other-acceptance, and unconditional life-acceptance. 

Unconditional Self-Acceptance

This form of acceptance understands that no one is perfect and that everyone is worth something, especially oneself

Unconditional Other-Acceptance

Unconditional other-acceptance refers to the acceptance of other people that one finds rude. This form of acceptance also refers to the fact that even other people that a person finds rude are worthy of acceptance and good things. Three Basic Musts That Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Changes

Unconditional Life-Acceptance 

This is the acceptance that life isn’t always fair. People who’ve developed this form of acceptance also recognize that life isn’t inherently good or bad. They realize that instead, life is what people make it. 

Ways to Make the Most Out of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

To make the most out of rational emotive behavior therapy as a person in addiction recovery, individuals should actively change their thoughts, visualizations, and behavior. Below are ways to do that.

Changing One’s Absolute Thoughts Through Cognition

Many individuals that struggle with substance misuse start to think in absolute ways. For example, some people think that they won’t be able to continue on and function in life without the use of substances. By questioning the absolute thoughts that they think, people that struggle with substance misuse can start the process of thinking in more rational and non-absolute ways. 

Changing the Way One Visualizes Him or Herself

People that struggle with substance misuse often also struggle with low self-esteem. As a result, people that misuse substances often have a warped perception of themselves. Through rational emotive behavior therapy though, such individuals can learn how to dispute the negative images that they have of themselves. Changing One’s Absolute Thoughts Through Cognition

Continuously disputing negative thoughts about oneself can, in turn, cause individuals that struggle with substance misuse to gain a more flexible, positive, and realistic view of themselves. Changing the absolute ways that people often visualize themselves can also help such people see the good things inside of them. If nothing else, changing the way a person views him or herself can cause that person to gain hope and purpose. 

Changing One’s Behavior

Using substances is a negative behavior. This negative behavior is triggered by pre-existing negative thoughts and feelings. People that misuse substances have these negative thoughts and feelings about themselves, others, and the world around them. Once individuals use REBT to change their negative thoughts and feelings, they’ll also exhibit a behavior change. 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Substance Addiction Treatment

Rational emotive behavior therapy ultimately changes negative behaviors. Since misusing substances is a negative behavior, people can incorporate rational emotive behavior therapy into their addiction treatment programs. REBT can also help people avoid relapsing by revolutionizing the way they think, feel, and thus, behave through life. 

If a person isn’t committed enough to addiction treatment to be committed to REBT, there is a good chance that addiction treatment won’t work. This is because for addiction treatment to work, individuals must genuinely want to change and be willing to use any evidence-based form of addiction therapy to do so. 

Family support and extended addiction therapy and resources will further the chances that addiction treatment will work. Individuals can use rational emotive behavior therapy to help treat inpatient and outpatient forms of rehab. 

Receive Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy At Grace Land Recovery

Grace Land Recovery recognizes the value of incorporating different forms of addiction therapy within addiction treatment programs. That’s why we offer numerous treatment modalities. These include everything from cognitive-behavioral therapy to dialectical behavior therapy, to experiential therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy. All of these forms of therapy can come in the form of individual or group therapy. 

Between all the different forms of evidence-based addiction therapies that we offer, our numerous unique clinical schedule groups, and our primary business services, we are your one-stop destination for all things addiction treatment. 

To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and the various addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us today! Our phones are available 24/7 and our treatment facility’s office hours are between 9 am – 5 am. 

References:

https://www.rehabcenter.net/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-addiction-treatment/

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