Moral reconation therapy (MRT) is becoming one of the most popular approaches offered at WhiteSands Treatment Center. It is a multi-stage program that is highly effective for treating more resistant or less emotionally open clients, and it has ample evidence in its favor. Here you will find the key information necessary to understand how moral reconation therapy works, how it can help addicts in particular, and what happens at each step of the moral reconation therapy process.

What is moral reconation therapy?

Created in the 1980s by a team of researchers, MRT is a treatment that can be incorporated into either individual or group counselling sessions, and it involves active participation that strengthens moral reasoning skills (adapting and transforming the addict’s belief system). This process helps addicts to make better choices in the future, such as avoiding relapse in the face of stressors. The psychology behind the MRT approach is that addicts must want to be sober if they are to benefit from more traditional forms of counselling and psychotherapy. Consequently, MRT aims to reshape the addict’s conception of what counts as good and bad.

Studies performed at drug treatment centers show that addicts who take part in MRT problems tend to become more capable of making reasoned, thoughtful decisions that reflect their values and goals. Research suggests that these benefits persist for at least a decade after treatment, suggesting MRT may be one of the best approaches for ensuring long-term sobriety.

How treatment centers use MRT

One major motive for WhiteSands Treatment Center employing MRT is the concept that not all those who undergo inpatient treatment wish to be in the facility. MRT encourages those who may not have initially wanted treatment to fully understand how their addiction was damaging their lives and the lives of those around them. In some cases, MRT is a precursor to more standard counselling approaches, but this is not always the case.

The steps of MRT

MRT benefits a wide range of addicts in recovery by tackling seven main issues. Firstly, it encourages the addict to confront their issues and be honest about their beliefs and behaviors, which helps those in recovery to move back some of their defense mechanisms. Secondly, it encourages a critical look at relationships, coming to terms with how addiction influences and damages bonds with loved ones. This is a critical step, as it is through seeing the consequences of behaviors that addicts often start to think that they might want to undergo treatment after all. The third stage involves reinforcing positive, good behavior patterns and habits, whether those relate to thought processes or overt life choices. Discussion is encouraged throughout as those in the MRT program start to think about whether their choices actually align with their core values.

The fourth and fifth key elements involve cementing a stronger sense of self for the addict, who may have struggled to understand their identity in the past. However, once there is a stronger sense of self, MRT therapists will also work to help the addict view themselves in a more positive light, reinforcing that their body and mind should be treated kindly. While MRT seeks to ensure addicts understand that they have made poor choices, good self-esteem is essential for future happiness and long-term recovery. Meanwhile, addicts also focus on learning how to tolerate life’s less comfortable emotions without turning to drugs to induce immediately pleasure. For some, this stage can involve realizing where (and why) they learned to self-medicate. The final step involves developing higher moral reasoning, and this often involves group exercises and discussion as addicts test their judgement on hypothetical scenarios.

The Moral Reconation Therapy program at White Sands has changed the lives of hundreds of patients and can change yours as well. Call us today at 877-855-3470 and let us help you live again.