Thinking for a Change is a cognitive behavioral intervention that has been researched and applied in various human services fields, including corrections and juvenile justice. These evidence-based interventions positively impact individuals by helping to create change in both their thinking and behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help restructure existing, adverse thought patterns and perceptions, which in turn changes a person’s behavior for the better.
For clients currently or previously in the criminal justice system, the program has been effective in an overall reduction in reoffending. Even high-risk offenders have had behavioral change successes after participating in this program.
Thinking for a Change program is a closed 26-week group. Individuals in the group start at the same time and develop and learn from each other, as well as from the group leader. In addition to the material reviewed in each group session, clients have assignments to complete each week.
Thinking for a Change focuses on making positive behavioral changes affecting common interactions in a client’s daily life at work, home or in the community. The goals of the Thinking for a Change group are to reduce recidivism and develop positive social skills and problem solving abilities. Topics include:
- Active Listening
- Asking Questions
- Giving Feedback
- Knowing Your Feelings
- Learning How Thinking Controls Behavior
- Being Able To Recognize Risk
- How to Utilize New Thinking Skills
- How to Understand The Feelings Of Others
- How to Make a Complaint Appropriately
- Respond to Anger From Others Appropriately
- Problem Solving Skills
The Thinking for a Change approach to addressing criminal behavior can offer successful and positive life changes for individuals with a previous criminal record. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, (Vol 1(4), Jan 2005) recidivism can be reduced by upward of 25%.