Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

MRT is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. A cognitive-behavioral type of treatment approach, MRT combines elements from a variety of psychological models to address clients’ ego, moral, social, and positive behavioral growth, and research has shown that this type of therapy can increase moral reasoning in adult drug and alcohol as well as juvenile offenders. In addiction recovery treatment, MRT takes the form of individual and group counseling, and uses prescribed homework assignments and structured group exercises to address seven basic treatment issues:

  • Confrontation of beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes
  • Reinforcement of positive behavior and habits
  • Assessment of current relationships
  • Positive identity formation
  • Enhancement of self-concept
  • Development of higher stages of moral reasoning
  • Decrease in hedonism and development of frustration tolerance

Moral Reconation Therapy is based on the theory that thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes are the primary factors that influence an individual’s behavior, and the treatment has been granted evidence-based practice status by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

How Does MRT Work?

Participants meet in groups once or twice weekly and can complete all steps of the MRT within 3 to 6 months. MRT attempts to change how drug abusers and alcoholics make decisions and judgments by raising moral reasoning.

MRT is one of the most widely implemented cognitive behavior programs, implemented in 40 states and several countries. The primary goal of MRT in addiction recovery is to change how substance abusers make decisions and judgments by increasing moral reasoning, enhancing self-image, and promoting the growth of a positive identity. It helps participants progress from hedonistic thinking, which involves making decisions based on pleasure versus pain, to reasoning that takes into account social rules and concern for others. Research on MRT has shown that as clients pass steps, moral reasoning increases in adult drug and alcohol as well as juvenile offenders. Controlled evaluations of MRT indicate that program participants have lower recidivism rates than controls.

Contact CARE Consultants for more information about Moral Reconation Therapy.

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    MRT is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning.

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