Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. Its cognitive-behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth.
MRT takes the form of group and individual counseling using structured group exercises and prescribed homework assignments. The MRT workbook is structured around 16 objectively defined steps (units) focusing 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; and development of higher stages of moral reasoning.
The program has 16 Steps with 12 of these typically completed in 30 group sessions. Clients complete homework for each group prior to coming to a session. In the group, each client presents his or her homework and the facilitator passes the client to the next step or has the client redo the homework based on objective criteria. All MRT groups are open-ended meaning that new clients can enter an ongoing group at any time. Each group session will usually have new clients as well as some finishing the program.