Thinking for Change

Thinking for Change is a part of Evidence-based Practices and Juvenile Justice.

Thinking for a Change (T4C) is a cognitive–behavioral curriculum developed by the National Institute of Corrections that concentrates on changing the criminogenic thinking of offenders. T4C is a cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) program that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and the development of problem-solving skills.

T4C combines cognitive restructuring theory and cognitive skills theory to help individuals take control of their lives by taking control of their thinking (Bush, et al. 2011). The foundation of T4C is the utilization of CBT principles throughout the group sessions. There is an extensive body of research that shows cognitive–behavioral programming significantly reduces recidivism of offenders (Landenberger and Lipsey 2005).

T4C stresses interpersonal communication skills development and confronts thought patterns that can lead to problematic behaviors. The program has three components: cognitive self-change, social skills, and problem-solving skills. Lessons on cognitive self-change provide participants with a thorough process for self-reflection concentrated on uncovering antisocial thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs. Social skills lessons prepare participants to engage in prosocial interactions based on self-understanding and awareness of the impact that their actions may have on others. Finally, problem-solving skills integrate the two other components and provide participants with a step-by-step process to address challenges and stressful situations they may encounter.

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