Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

girl in therapy

In addition to the other therapeutic approaches we use at our therapeutic boarding schools for girls, we at Trinity Teen Solutions use Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) to help treat trauma, mental health issues, and behavioral health issues. Here is a brief look at how REBT works and what makes it an effective treatment method for struggling teen girls.

How REBT works

REBT is founded on the idea that a person’s beliefs strongly affect how they function emotionally. Irrational beliefs, for example (and most particularly), have a tendency to make people feel depressed, anxious, or angry, leading them to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Most people are unaware of the deeply-seated irrational beliefs that affect them. The goal of REBT, then, is to identify these irrational beliefs, dislodge them, and transform them into rational ones.

There are three guiding principles of REBT, known as the ABCs: activating event, beliefs, and consequences. For the purpose of illustrating each principle, let’s use the example that someone believes “I am worthless and no one likes me.” Any time that person receives a downcast look from someone else or negative feedback from a coworker, that person reads it as confirmation of their irrational belief and therefore feels increasingly depressed. The “activating event” refers to the situation that triggers the negative emotional response—in this case, the downcast look or the negative feedback. The “belief” is the core irrational belief that drives the negative emotional response—in this case, “I am worthless and no one likes me.” The “consequence” is what results from the combination of the activating event and the core belief—in this case, the person’s feeling increasingly depressed.

REBT for treating trauma, behavioral health issues, and more

Because core irrational beliefs are what drive negative emotional responses such as depression or anxiety, identifying those irrational beliefs, dislodging them, and transforming them is essential for effective treatment. With REBT, therapists can help treat trauma, behavioral health issues, and more by honing in on those irrational beliefs. The therapist will work with the affected individual to correctly identify the irrational belief, through journaling or some other form of introspective exploration. The therapist will then guide the individual in transforming that belief, through rational disputing, reciting daily mantras, and more. At Trinity Teen Solutions, we believe that the key to transforming struggling teen girls lies in transforming the negative core beliefs that drive their emotions and actions.