Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) was developed by Albert Ellis in the 1950s. Since its inception, REBT has proven to be an effective treatment for substance abuse and mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. Ellis proposed that it is our beliefs that shape our emotion and behavior, rather than the events that occur in our lives. The goal of REBT is to modify irrational beliefs that cause and maintain suffering. Clinicians help their patients to identify irrational core beliefs and replace them with rational beliefs, in an effort to promote healthy behaviors and positive emotional experiences. Clinicians encourage their patients to explore when and how their core beliefs developed, providing insight that can be useful in their effort to replace them.
Ellis developed the ABC model to outline the foundation of REBT. The model is explained below.
- Activating Event: the situation/event that triggers a negative emotional or behavioral response.
- Beliefs: the core beliefs attached to an emotional or behavioral response.
- Consequences: the interaction between an event and core belief will result in a consequence (e.g., depression, anxiety, low self-esteem).
Our beliefs are often created at a very early age, and they continually shape our perception of ourselves and others. For example, an individual might believe that she is unlovable. As a result of this core belief, she will likely interpret a broad array of social interactions in a negative manner. This interpretation will likely trigger a negative emotional response, which will contribute to her suffering.
REBT and other like modalities can be a useful tool in coping with substance abuse issues. At Life Recovery Academy, we are committed to using science based treatments such as REBT and CBT to assist our clients with transforming their lives.