There are many therapeutic practices utilized at a therapeutic boarding school. One helpful practice that may not be commonly known is Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).
What Is REBT
A type of cognitive behavioral therapy developed by Abert Ellis, REBT is implemented to help people break through irrational emotionally-tied beliefs. An example of this kind of belief would be a teen saying, “Everyone hates me, even my so-called friends.”
No amount of reassurance can fix this sort of emotionally-rooted belief. Also, any reprimand from authority figures or push-back from said friends will trigger the teen to reinforce their belief that everyone really does hate them, pushing the teen deeper into depression.
REBT is utilized by a trained mental health professional to help people target these false emotional beliefs and learn to overcome them.
Ways REBT Can Help Troubled Teens
Therapists at residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools use REBT to benefit troubled teens in a number of ways.
- Help teens identify false beliefs – In therapeutic settings like residential treatment centers, teens will have one-on-one sessions with a trained mental health professional who has specialized in working with teens. With their help, teens can hone in on what their false beliefs are and what triggers them to feel that way. In the above example, the teen believed that everyone hates them. A therapist utilizing REBT can do several things to help the teen realize that this is one of their driving beliefs. Some professionals have teens keep a journal and track the repetitive pattern, while others engage in extensive talk therapy to allow the false belief to arise.
- Provides teens with tools to alter incorrect beliefs – Disrupting the emotionally-triggering belief is key to the teen’s recovery. This disruption can be done by using different tools, like carrying a note card saying “It is impossible that everyone hates me.” Even something so simple can be enough to halt the emotionally-triggering spiral that the teen’s false belief normally brings on. Other tools a therapist may provide for the teen may be daily mantras, purposeful meditation, and other thought-altering tools.
- Addresses deep-seated trauma – Beliefs such as everyone hates them don’t just spring up without reason. Usually, there is a triggering event which has embedded these kinds of false beliefs. A therapist utilizing REBT will generally address the triggering event as part of the destabilization of the emotional trigger.
If you believe that your son or daughter could benefit from an immersive, supportive environment which utilizes REBT, contact us. We help parents find the right place which suits their child’s needs and provide our services completely for free.