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Addiction Rehabilitation Treatment Modalities: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment approaches and individual programs continue to evolve and diversify, and many programs today do not fit neatly into traditional drug addiction treatment classifications.” This is one reason that researching possible rehab treatment facilities is so difficult. Where do you begin? A good place to start is with treatment approaches, or modalities.

If you would like help exploring the modalities of rehabilitation programs, contact at 800-256-3490 and speak with someone today.


Luckily, there are a few constants you can count on. Most rehab begins with detoxification, where the body is cleared of drugs through abstinence from them. This process can be very hard on the body and rehab programs will manage the severe and potentially dangerous consequences of ceasing drug use. Medically managed withdrawal—where medications are administered by a physician to counter-act the physiological dangers of detox—is one option.

When detoxification is complete, the hard work of rehabilitation begins. But, what work will you be doing? It is important to learn about different modalities because you need to find a rehab program matches your needs. The more specialized the program is, the more likely you are to succeed. One approach that may work is rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT).

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Basics

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

In REBT, patients learn to take responsibility over their thoughts and feelings.

Based on the idea that stress-related behaviors are caused by self-defeating views that can be changed, Albert Ellis developed rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) in the mid-1950s. By viewing events and situations consciously, people are able to achieve a clearer view, which allows them to understand things in a more productive way.

In REBT, the focus is on replacing victimizing, negative thoughts with accurate and powerful ones. By doing so, people are able to enjoy a calmer, more positive life. By taking responsibility for their thoughts and feelings, individuals develop the power to change and overcome unhealthy behaviors, like substance abuse, that obstruct enjoying life.


According to the book Stress-Management for Life: A Research-Based Experiential Approach, REBT is based on the following principles:

  • You are responsible for your own emotions and actions,
  • Your harmful emotions and dysfunctional behaviors are the product of your irrational thinking,
  • You can learn more realistic views and, with practice, make them a part of you,
  • You’ll experience a deeper acceptance of yourself and greater satisfactions in life by developing a reality-based perspective.

REBT divides difficulties into two categories: practical problems and emotional problems. Practical problems are those that end in feeling treated unfairly or being in a situation that is undesirable. Generally, these feelings are the result of a situation over which you have little or no control. Naturally, humans tend to get emotionally troubled by these practical problems, and this creates the second set of problems: emotional suffering. REBT argues that you have complete control over these disturbances. By engaging in REBT, you learn to take that control and reduce your emotional suffering.


Stress Management for Life identifies the following guidelines for REBT:

  1. Take responsibility for your emotional upsets and distress. Only you can upset yourself about events.
  2. Identify your “musts.” Determine what you demand of yourself, of other people, and of your life.
  3. Determine the reality of your “musts.” Make your view “must” free and your emotions will heal.
  4. Upgrade your “musts” to preferences.

REBT enables conscious, controlled thinking. This type of restructuring allows its practitioners to challenge negative thoughts as soon as they happen.

If your addiction has left you feeling powerless, you might really respond to the no-nonsense, self-contained REBT modality. By taking back control of your responses to stimuli, you may feel more empowered taking control of your life back from the addiction that has held it for so long. For help finding a rehab program that uses REBT, contact at 800-256-3490 and speak to someone today.

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