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Moral Reconation Therapy
Morality is a fluid thing, but it has an extreme impact on how we see the world and interact with it. Moral Reconation Therapy is a method of treatment that can help a person come to terms with their current situation.
In our guide, we explore what exactly this form of therapy does and how it can be used to help with one’s mental health.
What Is Moral Reconation Therapy?
Moral Reconation Therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling that helps people struggling with issues of morality. It’s based on research into the human brain and how it functions and studies about how people behave and make decisions. The concept behind the treatment is that everyone has an internal moral compass that drives most of their actions, but some people are more susceptible to making poor choices because of certain factors in their lives.
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Who Benefits from MRT Therapy?
Generally, MRT targets cognitive distortions related to substance and alcohol abuse and seeks to adjust the decision-making process that occurs in one’s mind as is associated with their addictive or criminal behavior. The framework for Moral Reconation Therapy was developed in the 1980s by Drs. Greg Little and Ken Robinson aim to rehabilitate persons convicted of criminal behavior. The created programs showed immediately beneficial impacts in the pilot groups and were implemented and extended to general inmate populations.
Fundamentally, Moral Reconation Therapy is designed to help clients identify these factors and work through them to make better choices in the future. The treatment doesn’t focus on changing behavior but rather on helping people learn how to make better decisions in the first place. The goal is to prevent future problems before they occur by addressing them at their root source: thinking patterns and beliefs about right and wrong behavior.
What are the Principles of Moral Reconation
As with many forms of therapy, a structure is inherent to addressing trauma and healing through MRT. Therapists administering MRT often use workbooks to help set up and make their way through the process with clients. In general, there can be said to be seven principles that are core to MRT:
- Forming a Positive Identity
This is key. The client must begin with a solid foundation of reframing who they are that considers their totality as human beings. So much trauma, addiction, and harmful habits come from a place of pain, guilt, and feeling worthless. It is essential to distinguish between unhealthy behaviors and a person’s inherent worth.
- Confrontation of Negative Behaviors, Attitudes, and Beliefs
This principle is about actively identifying and directly addressing negative behaviors and habits. There is no recovery without now confronting these things.
- Assessment of Current Relationships
A critical aspect of MRT is examining the current relationships and bonds and the impact they have/had on developing the bad habits in the first place, as well as encouraging and enabling them. Without this principle, the client will likely be pulled back into the lifestyles and circumstances that led to their downfall in the first place.
- Improved Frustration Tolerance
Recovery and healing through therapy are not easy things. To some extent, the processes are inherently frustrating for the person having to put in the work. However, MRT understands that addicts and persons with criminal patterns struggle routinely with frustration. It is critical to bolster their default baseline tolerance and equip the client with tools to process and deal with it healthier.
- Developing Improved Moral Reasoning
This principle is primarily focused on restructuring the moral framework and lens by which the client views the world, the decisions they make in it, and how they make decisions or come to conclusions.
- Reinforcement of Positive Behaviors and Habits
Good habits are often hard to develop. Habits, on the whole, take quite some sustained time and effort to become habits in the first place. A critical component of MRT is establishing these habits, establishing a framework for appropriate and healthy reinforcement to build the positive association and thereby affect lasting change.
- Improvement of the Self-Concept
The final core pillar, self-concept, is primarily the internal ideas we hold about ourselves and how we interpret others’ responses to us. How we see ourselves impacts how we view and are affected by peoples’ reactions which have a lot to do with our experience throughout our everyday lives. MRT gives the best chance of lasting success by reframing and healthily rebalancing this aspect of the individual.
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Is Moral Reconation Therapy Evidence-Based?
For many years, despite its usage and seeming success and efficacy in rehabilitating persons, MRT was not technically considered “evidence-based.” In fact, it was not until 2008 that MRT began being credited and considered to be “evidence-based.” As of current writing, there have been several hundred published research studies that reflect the effectiveness of MRT.
Today, Moral Reconation Therapy is utilized extensively in all fifty US states and nine countries worldwide. Its use has also been extended to other mental and behavioral health patients like veterans and those with domestic violence convictions, where it is used to great success.
How Does Moral Reconation Therapy Get Results?
MRT is based on the idea that people have a deep-seated need to be good and do the right thing but also tend to engage in self-defeating behaviors and make bad choices. MRT works by helping patients to gain insight into the causes of their problems and how those problems may have affected them in the past.
Patients are encouraged to recognize these causes and the consequences of their actions to understand how they can change future behavior. In doing so, they can develop a more realistic understanding of themselves and their capabilities.
Who Does Moral Reconation Therapy Work For?
Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy initially developed to help rehabilitate persons convicted of crimes. To that end, it was proven to be quite effective.
However, since then, it has been discovered and essentially established that it is an effective treatment for people who may have problems with drug use, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, and other compulsive behaviors. It’s also used quite effectively to treat people with anger management issues.
Does Moral Reconation Therapy Require Religious Beliefs?
One misconception about MRT is that you must have particular religious beliefs to benefit from it. This is not true. Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a non-religious, secular approach to addressing many mental health issues. While it is rooted in the 12-step philosophy, it doesn’t require religious beliefs or even the idea that addiction is terrible.
In addition to its secular nature, MRT is also effective at treating co-occurring disorders, which means that it helps those who suffer from both mental health and substance abuse issues. The only requirement for participating in MRT is that you are willing to think about making choices based on the values and morals you have right now and that you’re eager to examine your thinking and those choices over time.
Using Moral Reasoning In Daily Life
Morality is “the quality of being accorded with standards of right or good conduct.” Moral reasoning is based on rationality and one’s ability to use moral values. Moral reasoning is necessary for healthy and generally harmonious daily living because it helps us determine what choices we should make for ourselves and others. It also allows us to feel empathy for others, which can develop trust between people. Within the context of MRT, moral reasoning is referred to as ethical thinking. Moral thinking is part of a larger concept called moral decision-making. The goal of MRT is to teach individuals how to make decisions based upon their own personal ethical standards rather than relying on morally questionable methods or just doing whatever seems most convenient at the time.
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Moral Reconation Therapy and Long-Term Recovery Outcomes
The results from studies conducted on MRT have shown extremely promising benefits for long-term recovery outcomes. In a ten-year study, published in 2000 via the 6th volume of the “Alternatives To Incarceration” journal, authors Greg Little MD, Kenneth D Robinson MD, and Katherine D Burnett MS discovered something fascinating.
When dealing with persons convicted of driving under the influence, the reincarceration rate for those treated via MRT was 44.35%, as opposed to 61.54% for the untreated control group. There was a 20% difference, which is certainly not an insignificant figure.
Moral Reconation Therapy In A Holistic Rehab
MRT is highly effective when combined with other treatments typically found in a quality holistic rehabilitation center. Because holistic medicine understands that talk therapy, of any variety, is often bolstered by the implementation of positive habits, behaviors, and routines, we find a sort of synergy almost between this ethos and the core aim of MRT.
One of the core principles in MRT is establishing good habits and behaviors, as well as positive reinforcement. High-quality holistic rehab centers often aim to marry recovery’s psychological, medical, and general life and habit aspects. The specific combination and holistic focus make experiencing MRT in such a setting key to long-lasting and effective recovery for many people.
Emerald Isle Recovery uses MRT as part of our holistic treatment in rehabilitation. If you or a loved one you know would like to experience our treatment to help them overcome some issue, our doors are always open. Contact us with any questions and to determine eligibility and coverage for your treatment. Seize the momentum to call today, the time to get healthy is now!
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