Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) in Rehab: How Does It Work?


About 1 out of every 10 Americans over the age of 12 abuse alcohol and/or drugs. Drug addiction is a serious disease of the mind.

Often, addicts suffer from other mental health problems as well. This makes it important to not only remove them from situations tying them to their substances of choice but to also treat their mind.

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

Read on to learn more about addiction and how rehabs use rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) to help their patients.

Why Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

Diseases prevent the body from performing normal functions. While some diseases attack the body, others affect the mind.

Though researchers do not know exactly why some people get addicted to drugs, they do understand that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays a significant role. Drugs trigger an excessive amount to flood the reward center of the brain.

This can cause depression and significant need when levels fall, leading to addictive tendencies. The brain and body struggle for equilibrium at this point, but find it difficult to attain.

Substance abuse may appear as a plain choice. But, it is secondary to the underlying malfunctions in brain circuitry.

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Purpose of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational emotive behavior therapy aims to help a person live a happier life. It focuses on practical applications of doing so.

REBT runs on the assumption that humans do things to both survive and experience pleasures. Sometimes irrational beliefs prevent people from reaching goals and purposes to live happily.

This type of therapy looks at the philosophy behind irrational behaviors. The therapist works with their patient to change their underlying thinking to choose better behaviors.

How can changing a person’s philosophy help them at Dana Point Rehab?

Identifying Emotions

Feelings can lead to powerful reactions when we act on them. When we act without understanding, it can result in undesirable consequences.

This type of therapy helps differentiate between helpful and hurtful negative emotions. For instance, According to REBT, anger does not come from rational thinking. This therapy gets to the core of anger and debunks the myths you carry to fuel your fire.

Thinking through whether or not the emotion seems helpful and/or rational gives you more power over your decision on how to respond to the emotion. For somebody addicted to alcohol or drugs, driven by anger or other hurtful emotions, this can truly help change their path.

Self Worth

Addicts tend to hold a lower self-view than other members of the population. This makes treatment difficult.

For instance, an addict might not feel worthy of help and therefore fights against the process. Simply pointing out their positive qualities can fail as they may not believe it or they may feel that their negative qualities overpower the good.

REBT, instead, helps the patient accept themselves exactly as they are, flaws and all. This helps them accept worthiness so that they still work towards giving themself a better life.

Can REBT Help You?

REBT changes irrational thinking at its core. This helps a person addicted to drugs or alcohol restructure their entire paradigm for living a happy life, which can help you live better.

Addiction can affect your health in a number of ways. As you work your way through rehab, focus on making healthier choices all around. Read health tips on our website!