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Preventing Future Crime With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 265 Dated: April 2010 Pages: 22-24
Date Published
April 2010
3 pages
Publication Series
Based on research that has shown cognitive behavioral therapy to be more effective in reducing further criminal behavior than any other intervention, this article discusses the influence of beliefs, attitudes, and values on behavior and how these can be influenced to develop positive behaviors through cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help restructure distorted thinking and perception, which in turn changes a person's behavior for the better. Landenberger and Lipsey found that even high-risk behavior did not reduce cognitive behavioral therapy's effectiveness; for example, some of the greatest effects were among more serious offenders. It may be that the therapy's enabling, self-help approach is more effective in engaging typically resistant clients than other therapies, as it increases their participation in change. The therapy is more effective in reducing further criminal behavior, however, when clients simultaneously receive other support, such as supervision, employment, education and training, and other mental health counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy has recently been presented in many prepackaged brand name programs, such as "Reasoning and Rehabilitation," "Aggression Replacement Therapy," and "Thinking for Change," along with other publications. The National Institute of Corrections recently published a comprehensive review of cognitive behavioral therapy, which presents descriptions of various related programs. Among the various approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy, no single program has been found to be superior in reducing recidivism. More research is needed to determine whether it would be effective for offenders to receive cognitive behavioral therapy earlier in their criminal careers or as part of early intervention or parenting training programs. 4 notes

Date Published: April 1, 2010