A Proven ConceptMRT is a cognitive-behavioral counseling program that combines education, group and individual counseling, and structured exercises designed to foster moral development in treatment-resistant clients. As long as clients’ judgments about right and wrong are made from low levels of moral reasoning, counseling them, training them in job skills, and even punishing them will have little long-lasting impact on their behavior. They must be confronted with the consequences of their behavior and the effect that it has had on their family, friends and community. Poor moral reasoning is common within at-risk populations.
MRT addresses beliefs and reasoning. It is a systematic, step-by-step group counseling treatment approach for treatment-resistant clients. The program is designed to alter how clients think and make judgments about what is right and wrong. The MRT system approaches the problem of treating resistant populations as a problem of low levels of moral reasoning. In this case, “moral” does not refer to a religious concept, but rather the theoretical conceptualization of psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. Moral reasoning represents how a person makes decisions about what he or she should or should not do in a given situation.
How we get ResultsBriefly, MRT seeks to move clients from hedonistic (pleasure vs. pain) reasoning levels to levels where concern for social rules and others becomes important. MRT research has shown that as clients complete steps moral reasoning increases in adult and juvenile offenders.
MRT systematically focuses on seven basic treatment issues:
- confrontation of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors
- assessment of current relationships
- reinforcement of positive behavior and habits
- positive identity formation
- enhancement of self-concept
- decrease in hedonism and development of frustration tolerance
- development of higher stages of moral reasoning
LaPorte County Jail Group - Criteria
- Ladies are willing participants of the class by filling out a request form to do so.
- Ladies should have at least 2 months of incarceration left to serve at time of request.
- The MRT® group at LaPorte County Jail is a 20-30 week class.
- Groups are facilitated, with a workbook for each participant, where changing behavior, beliefs, and habits related to substance abuse and being re-arrested, are the primary goals. Higher Moral reasoning is achieved leading to better life choices.
- Ladies are screened by the jail’s classification system for appropriateness in a low level class setting and any conflict of issues.
- Ladies arrested for substance abuse related issues are encouraged to participate.
- This class is facilitated by D.E. “Sonshine” Troche, owner of Behavioral Concepts Inc. and founder of Worthy Women Recovery Home Inc.
Mrs. Tyra Robinson-Walker is the Director of Treatment at the LaPorte County Jail.