Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)

Moral reconation therapy, also called MRT or moral therapy, is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. It aims to help the people undergoing it draws connections between their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to make healthier, more moral decisions. 

As with any treatment strategy, MRT is complex and takes time. You probably have questions about the method and its efficacy. Read on to discover what it is, its goal, and what MRT entails.

What is Moral Reconation Therapy?

If you encountered the acronym before, you might have wondered to yourself, “What does MRT stand for?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question — moral reconation therapy — doesn’t reveal as much as you might like. Further research will likely be necessary, including a brief search for “reconation definition.” It’s not a word you encounter often. 

Reconation describes the process of making conscious decisions. You can then infer that moral reconation involves consciously weighing the morality of one’s options before making a decision. 

MRT was first fully implemented in Tennessee in 1985. In 1990, Oklahoma became the first state to implement it throughout its entire correctional system. Since then, it has spread through all 50 states and in nine countries. 

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Aim of MRT

The primary goal of MRT therapy is to reduce the likelihood someone who committed a crime will re-offend, but it’s expanded since its inception. Health care professionals, therapists, and counselors now use it to address issues such as trauma, domestic violence, and substance abuse, among others.

The therapeutic process targets moral reasoning, intending to improve it through the following seven activities:

  • Reinforcing pre-existing positive behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes.
  • Confronting behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that aren’t productive.
  • Working to develop the higher stages of moral reasoning. 
  • Assessing current relationships.
  • Forming a positive identity.
  • Enhancing self-concept.
  • Decreasing self-destructive behaviors and increasing tolerance for frustration. 

A 2012 meta-analysis of research about MRT found that moral reconation therapy significantly reduced recidivism. One of the studies analyzed showed that 93.6% of the untreated control group had at least one rearrest after 20 years compared to 81.2% of people who underwent moral reconation therapy.

What Does MRT Entail?

Between the stigma and the uncertainty, many people find that the idea of undergoing any type of therapy fills them with dread. However, knowing what to expect can ease some of this anxiety, and MRT isn’t as scary or intimidating as it might sound.

During MRT, you work as an individual and in a group setting. You participate in counseling, group exercises, and other assignments. You might receive a workbook or one or more worksheets at a time. While homework is rarely anyone’s favorite activity, everything you do during MRT should help you move toward recovery. 

The length of time you spend participating in MRT depends on your circumstances. It’s important to remember that healing and change are both processes, and neither of them tends to be linear. Some parts of the process might seem easy, while others feel impossible. 

They’re not. Many states and treatment facilities use MRT because studies spanning decades have shown it to be effective. It includes the best aspects of several psychological models and schools of thought. Since its inception, as many as 3 million people have participated in some form of MRT. It’s possible you or one of your loved ones will be the next person MRT helps. 

Celadon Recovery Campus offers a range of different therapies and takes a holistic approach toward the wellness of those who attend for treatment. MRT is just one of the tools the treatment team uses to help our patients heal. You can learn more or get in touch today.

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