photo - gavelGuiding Principles for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Conduct Assessment Of Offender
A clinical assessment is a critical tool for determining the appropriate level and type of therapy for an offender. It provides critical information that can be used to determine the severity of the offender’s substance abuse and criminal behavior.

Match Offender With Appropriate Therapy
Using the information gathered in the clinical assessment of the offender, the offender can be matched with the appropriate therapy method.

Assess Offender’s Readiness To Enter Therapy
Often the assumption is made that an offender is interested in changing his or her behavior and that the offender knows what aspect of his or her behavior is troublesome; however, this assumption is not always correct. To prepare an offender for treatment, participation in a treatment readiness group may be required. Treatment readiness groups prepare offenders for participating in therapy by creating a desire to change.

Require Behavior Contract
The offender should be required to sign a behavior contract that (1) specifies the expectations for the offender, (2) identifies the program and schedule of therapy, (3) includes incentives for compliance and sanctions for noncompliance, and (4) includes other requirements, such as periodic alcohol and drug testing, electronic monitoring, and community service.