Moral Reconation Therapy, also referred to as MRT, is a widely used approach to helping individuals overcome “hedonistic” actions which may prove harmful to themselves and to those within their environments. Although MRT was originally developed to help inmates with substance abuse problems, this program has become implemented in facilities across the world to help people overcome a wide variety of personal struggles.
The MRT process is one that is often highly personal, but follows structure that can help clients systematically determine a behavioral path in which they can appropriately judge between what is “right” and what is “wrong.” Here are the steps of MRT and how they can help individuals in addiction recovery:
- Accepting that addiction problems are determined by behaviors that come from one’s own personal choices, namely to escape other obstacles found in life. Noting that it is impossible for one to enter recovery without accepting and confronting his or her addiction, this MRT step provides clients with a way to take responsibility for their actions.
- After one is able to determine that their circumstances come from their own personal choices, they will gain the ability to trust in their decisions. By developing self-trust, clients will prove able to form healthier relationships founded on the concept of openness and honesty.
- Developing plans to overcome obstacles in the future; in the past these problems may have prompted drug or alcohol abuse. This is an important step of MRT as it helps people determine actions to resolve problems without relying on substances.
- Assessing the conditions found in one’s life to determine which factors are influencing or encouraging the addictive behavior. In addition, it is important to note how one’s own actions have affected other circumstances in life.
- Exploring personal relationships and which ones are important to repair during recovery.
- Establishing an appreciation for selfless actions and becoming willing to help others without desiring anything in return.
- Creating a comprehensive and concise goal plan, which includes the ways the individual hopes to achieve them.
- Accepting the fact that an individual only has a limited amount over control over external circumstances, such as those that are found in their work or home environment. However, the client must also establish a sense of how to make the right decisions in face of these uncontrollable situations.
- Building a strong moral foundation that will allow a person to grow and learn from mistakes. Doing this will help individuals stick to their recovery plan.
- Eliminating any unethical behaviors that do not align with the client’s new understanding of what actions are “right” and which are “wrong.”
- Maintaining trust in one’s new moral code and belief systems in order to sustain conviction to meet goals and stay on the path towards addiction recovery.