Moral reconation therapy is a particular implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy used in the context of drug treatment. This therapy method has been used in a range of drug treatment and criminal justice programs, and has proved especially useful for members of the treatment resistant population.
Moral reconation therapy is a unique program and not a variation of conventional 12-step systems, with different versions of this therapy existing for offenders and people in need of drug treatment. If you or anyone you know needs to access professional drug treatment, call the addiction specialists at Drug Treatment Centers Stamford at (203)-883-9243.
Moral reconation therapy was originally designed to be utilized within a prison-based therapeutic community, with the initial development of this therapy tested between 1979 and 1983, and the first report published in 1988. This therapy model has grown and evolved since this time, and was recognized as a SAMHSA-NREPP registered program in 2008. Over one million people have participated in moral reconation programs since its introduction, with 20,000 professionals trained to deliver this therapy and over 180 studies published about it. Moral reconation therapy is now being used in 49 American states and seven countries around the world.
Moral reconation therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy based on a combination of behavioral and cognitive principles. Cognitive behavioral therapy is undertaken for specific problems, with an action oriented approach used to change behavioral responses over time.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has proved useful in treating a wide range of conditions, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and substance use disorders. Cognitive behavioral programs help patients resolve divisions between their thoughts, feelings and behavior, with therapists helping patients to change the maladaptive thinking patterns that influence unhealthy behaviors.
Common examples of cognitive behavioral therapy include exposure therapy, stress inoculation training, cognitive therapy, relaxation training, cognitive processing therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Some practitioners also include emotion regulation and mindfulness strategies, with others focusing on practical coping skills and cognition mechanisms. There are six phases in mainstream cognitive behavioral therapy: psychological assessment, reconceptualization, skills acquisition, skills consolidation and application training, generalization and maintenance, and post-treatment assessment follow-up.
Moral reconation therapy functions through a number of individual stages, with each step important to the overall treatment process. Patients are provided with a number of homework assignments and exercises to work through during each phase of these recovery programs, with patients hopefully developing higher powers of moral reasoning as they progress through each stage.
The first step involves a direct confrontation of existing attitudes and belief patterns, with patients taught how to recognize their thoughts and feelings and understand the effect they have on overall behavior. The second step analyzes existing friendship and family relationships, with therapists helping patients to understand the importance of family dynamics and how they relate to behavior.
The third step involves reinforcing positive behavior, with homework assignments and specific exercises provided to help participants make healthy lifestyle choices. The fourth step of moral reconation therapy is related to the formation of positive identity, with the fifth step enhancing this concept through practical exercises.
The sixth step attempts to decrease hedonism and frustration tolerance through a recognition of moral reasoning, with the last step using all of the skills developed in previous stages to help patients develop higher states of moral reasoning.