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
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:
- I must perform well and gain approval and acceptance from other people
or I am not worthy.
- 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.
- I must have what I desire immediately. If I don’t get what I want,
I won’t be able to bear it.
When 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.
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
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.
This form of acceptance understands that no one is perfect and that everyone
is worth something, especially oneself
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
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.
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
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.