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Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Services

What is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy? (REBT)

Rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT, is a type of psychological treatment that aims to reduce irrational or harmful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to a mental health disorder or addiction. REBT takes an action-focused approach to reach recovery goals rather than being solely a talk therapy.

Main Beliefs of REBT

There are three primary beliefs, or tenets, of REBT: Unconditional self-acceptance, unconditional other acceptance, and unconditional life acceptance. 

Unconditional Self-Acceptance

Your flaws and imperfections do not minimize your worth. Despite past, present, and future shortcomings, you are worthy of love and acceptance.

Unconditional Other-Acceptance

You must accept others as they are, even if they don’t meet your expectations. Not everyone will be kind or understanding, and this is something you’re not able to change about a person. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and recognition of shortcomings.

Unconditional Life-Acceptance

Recognizing you may not have control over your circumstances, surroundings, or other peoples’ thoughts and actions, but you have control over your own thoughts and actions.

The ABC Model

The ABC Model helps patients learn rational thinking and healthy responses in various situations.

A: Activating events: When something occurs/triggers you in your environment.

B: Belief: Your thoughts about the event.

C: Consequence: Your emotional response to your thoughts about the event.

Practicing the ABC Model can help with emotional regulation in future events and reduce triggers by becoming more accepting of what the patient has control over (their thoughts and response) and what they do not (the event itself).

Similarly, they can begin to recognize whether their “belief” is true or false. Sometimes, we may become triggered by something that gives us a false belief about ourselves. Taking in and evaluating the belief allows us to decide whether it is true or false.

Who May Benefit From REBT?

REBT is designed to treat mental health symptoms associated with unhealthy or irrational beliefs. Because of this, ideal patients typically have obsessive-compulsive behaviors, social anxiety, phobias, depression, and similar symptoms. Patients with addiction may also benefit from REBT due to many of these symptoms being commonplace with substance use disorders and other forms of addiction.

REBT’s Role in Addiction Recovery

Addiction changes how a person thinks and processes information. They may have developed their addiction as a form of coping with negative thoughts, emotions, or situations, which has created a downward spiral of dependency. REBT addresses unhealthy ways of thinking and behavior and works to reduce these in addiction patients. Along with this, the therapist teaches new, healthy coping mechanisms to combat relapse urges and overcome triggers to maintain sobriety.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy at Fifth Avenue Psychiatry

If you or a loved one are struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Fifth Avenue Psychiatry offers a plethora of services and resources to overcome battles with mental health disorders and addiction. Our professionally trained team can create an action plan that addresses your unique needs and helps you get to a place of sobriety. Learn more today by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) looks at a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how these interact with each other. REBT, on the other hand, focuses on unhealthy and irrational thoughts that impact emotional well-being.

A therapist may work with a patient in REBT who deals with high levels of social anxiety. To overcome their fears, the therapist can encourage them to share their irrational feelings and thoughts that come up in social settings and begin to break these down and replace them with rational thinking.

REBT therapists tend to be more confrontational because they need to help their patient see their own irrational thinking in order to start the progress of changing these thought patterns. REBT is action-based and teaches the patient actual steps to take in their daily life to recognize their triggers, false beliefs that manifest from them, and their responses.

When first beginning REBT therapy, your therapist will work with you to first identify irrational and unhealthy thoughts contributing to your mental health disorder or addiction.