In 1985, Moral Reconation Therapy was developed by Dr. Greg Little and Dr. Ken Robinson. The original testing was done between 1979 and 1983 at the Federal Correctional Institute in Memphis. Dr. Greg Little was a drug consultant at the correctional facility at that time. Trials were conducted on inmates, as well as staff members. MRT resulted from the experiences of Dr. Little and Dr. Robinson from 1975 until 1980 while at the institution. MRT is registered for correctional treatment, substance and alcohol abuse treatment, and adult and juvenile treatment. Today MRT is used in 49 states and seven countries. It is not a variation of AA 12-step programs.
Moral Reasoning and Moral Behavior
Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a type of treatment designed for clients who have been deemed “treatment resistant.” Moral Reconation Therapy tries to bond together a connection between moral reasoning and moral behavior. The cognitive behavioral approach combines a variety of subjects such as ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth. This is a long-term approach that focuses on changing the thought process of clients. Many addicts have manipulated people, lied, stolen, and cheated people for so long that they actually have to learn to be trustworthy and respectable again. Simply treating the physical and emotional addiction is just not enough.
In order for Moral Reconation Therapy to be effective, the addict must make many changes in his or her life. One of the first orders of business is to recognize your negative, unethical attitudes and behaviors. Once you have recognized these, work to eliminate them. You must start working to repair relationships in your life and make amends for the pain you have inflicted on loved ones. You must learn that there are certain rules in life that must be adhered to. The world does not revolve around you and your wants and needs.
Individual and Group Counseling
Moral Reconation Therapy consists of individual and group counseling with different exercises and assignments. The MRT model of treatment is designed to focus on the thought processes of addicts to replace negative, unhealthy thoughts with positive thoughts and behaviors. The different sessions include group therapy. In group therapy, the client can be more objective when listening to another person’s experiences and problems with addiction. They get a different view of the problems that are attached to addiction. This is a good time for the client to start helping other people and help themselves in turn by realizing that people not only help others who can do something for them, but help those that can give nothing in return. Moral Reconation Therapy teaches people to do the right thing in life simply because it is the right thing to do, and for no selfish reasons.
Moral Reconation Therapy focuses on increasing moral reasoning to help change old habits and thought processes. There will be changes in behaviors associated with addiction and drug use. This is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
There are seven basic treatment issues that Moral Reconation Therapy focuses on. These are:
- Attitudes and behaviors
- Reinforcement of habits and positive behaviors
- Positive identity formation
- Confrontation of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors
- Assessment of current relationships
- Enhancement of self-concept
- Decrease in self indulgence, development of frustration tolerance, and development of higher states of moral reasoning.
Never give up and concede failure. Admit your mistakes and learn from them. No person is perfect. When we mess up, we just have to pick ourselves up and try to do better from there. Nobody ever said you would not make mistakes. The point is to learn something from your mistakes and do better as a result of them. Do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Learning to Trust Yourself
Above all, learn to trust yourself, your feelings, and how this program can help you. Have goals and try to reach them by becoming the best person that you can be. Have faith that you can overcome your problems by participating in Moral Reconation Therapy. Become a well-adjusted, healthy person who is an asset to society, a person to be looked up to and not a liability to those who love you.
Each client works at his or her own pace. Our goal is to change conscious decision making to higher levels of moral reasoning. You do not have to have a high reading level to participate in Moral Reconation Therapy. Many completely illiterate people have completed this program.