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Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) developed in the 1950s by psychologist Albert Ellis. Since then, REBT has become renowned throughout mental health treatment programs as an evidence-based approach for helping people make positive changes. Through REBT, individuals learn to identify irrational beliefs and thought patterns that negatively influence their emotions and behaviors. Most people suffering from mental health disorders hold irrational beliefs about themselves or the world. REBT helps people overcome mental health symptoms by identifying and changing these beliefs.

At Harmony Hills, we proudly provide evidence-based therapies, including REBT. We specialize in treating mental health and co-occurring disorders. Our holistic approach helps clients achieve long-term recovery. Call 855.494.0357 to learn about REBT and other therapies we offer.

rational emotive behavior therapy Understanding Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

When people have irrational beliefs about themselves and the world, problems occur. From the rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) perspective, our thinking, emotions, and behavior are interconnected. People often point to outside factors – other people or events – as the cause of their feelings. However, according to REBT, our beliefs create anger, anxiety, or depression. To better understand this, REBT relies on the ABCs of any situation:

  • A: Activating events – When something happens in your environment that triggers an adverse reaction or response
  • B: Beliefs – What you believe or your irrational thoughts about the event
  • C: Consequences – Emotional responses that result from the irrational thought or belief

In other words, the way we interpret things is what truly lies at the core of our distress. For example, you text the person you have recently begun dating, and they do not respond right away. In reality, they have had a family emergency. However, the more time goes by without a reply, the more distressed you become. You progress from thinking they are ignoring you, to wondering if you did something wrong, to convincing yourself that all relationships fail and you will be alone forever.

In many cases, the rigidity of a person’s underlying beliefs leads to their psychological distress. Think about the thoughts that begin with “I must,” “I can never,” or “I should.” Common irrational beliefs include:

  • Feeling you must be perfectly competent at everything you do
  • Thinking you should avoid challenges or difficulties to be happy
  • Feeling that your happiness is dependent upon other people or things
  • Being excessively upset over other people’s behavior
  • Feeling wronged if things do not exactly go as you think they should

Possessing a rigid core belief system for ourselves and others makes it nearly impossible to respond to activating events in healthy ways.

A Look at the Techniques Used in REBT

Each therapist will develop their style of applying REBT based on their clinical experiences and the uniques needs of each client. However, there are three main techniques that each corresponds with the ABCs of rational emotive behavior therapy:

Problem-Solving Techniques

These strategies address the activating event (A) and include developing and improving assertiveness, social skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and conflict resolution skills.

Cognitive Restructuring Techniques

These strategies help to change irrational beliefs (B) and can include:

  • Reframing
  • Humor and irony
  • Guided imagery and visualization
  • Disputing irrational thoughts
  • Exposure to feared situations
  • Rationalizing techniques

Coping Techniques

These strategies help you manage the emotional consequences © of your irrational thoughts. Standard coping techniques include meditation, hypnosis, and relaxation exercises.

Your REBT therapist will likely give you homework to apply the skills you learn in sessions to your everyday life. REBT emphasizes unconditional self-acceptance, whereby you try to avoid self-judgment and accept that everyone can and will make mistakes. Further, REBT addresses secondary symptoms, such as feeling depressed about having depression.

Contact Harmony Hills to Discover the Benefits of a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Program in Florida

Rational Emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is just one of many evidence-based therapies available at Harmony Hills. Discover the benefits of REBT for yourself or a loved one as part of compassionate, comprehensive, holistic mental health and co-occurring disorder treatment. Mental health symptoms do not have to control your life. Contact our team at 855.494.0357 when you are ready to seek the treatment you deserve. We are available 24/7.