What Is the Thinking for a Change (T4C) Program?

Thinking for a Change (T4C) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) curriculum that is designed to help drug offenders develop the skills they need to prevent them from becoming reoffenders. The T4C program is geared toward individuals who were involved in the justice system and are on either probation or parole. It uses evidence-based therapies and was created by a panel of experts to get to the heart of what leads a person to commit drug-related crimes. Jack Bush, Ph.D., Barry Glick, Ph.D., and Juliana Taymans, Ph.D. authored the T4C program in agreement with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The research they used to draft the program included data on cognitive restructuring theory, social skills development, and problem-solving skills. 

How does the T4C program work?

The lessons incorporate valuable skills such as active listening, asking appropriate questions, recognizing ingrained patterns of thinking, and understanding others’ feelings. Each session will be facilitated by two instructors who are formally trained by the NIC, and the individuals will remain consistent throughout the program. This builds rapport among the participants and instructors and greatly enhances the positive effects of the program. Along with reliable information and instruction, participants will have a dedicated space for group sessions that is free from distractions with ample seating arranged in a communal style. A comfortable, well-supplied environment can contribute to participants’ feelings of capability and their determination to succeed at change.

How many individuals can be enrolled in each T4C program class?

The ideal group size for a T4C class at our Ohio addiction recovery center is 8 to 12 participants. The T4C program is composed of 25 individual lessons, and each one builds upon the skills previously learned. Because each lesson leads into the next, the program is considered a closed group. Participants need to join at the beginning (within the first 5 lessons) and cannot join midway through.

How long does the T4C program last?

Lessons can run from one to two hours and are ideally held two or three times a week. Mandatory homework can be completed during the remaining days in the week. It may take more than one session to complete each lesson, so 30 sessions is a more realistic estimate for completion. The entire program can therefore span anywhere from two to four months.

An aftercare program is also available for follow-up or ongoing needs at our addiction treatment center in Ohio, and there is a built-in capacity to extend the program indefinitely. These regular sessions are vital to progress.

How does the T4C program help individuals with substance use disorders?

T4C 4.0 is the most up-to-date and developed version of the program, both in its total content and intended use, and effectively addresses the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of participants. In controlled trials, after six months, there was a statistically significant result showing that individuals in the control group were less likely to re-enter the justice system due to some criminal action.

The T4C program theory uses principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) - a structured and goal-oriented type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) - to help participants take control of their thinking, behavior, and lives. Individuals have been able to see and sustain real change in their lives by developing good communication skills and confronting problematic thought patterns and behaviors. Self-reflection allows them to identify and then root out antisocial thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs while also helping them to gain a deeper understanding of their own value and the impact that they have on others. Step-by-step instruction provides guidance on how to handle challenges and the inevitable stressful situations that will arise.

Work With Lake Area Recovery Center

At Lake Area Recovery Center, we understand that overcoming behaviors and habits can be difficult. But we also know that recovery and growth are possible. If you have had interactions with the justice system due to drug-related charges and would like to work toward a future where you have less of a likelihood to reoffend, reach out to our team to learn more about the Thinking for a Change (T4C) program, or to get more information about our addiction treatment center and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Ohio.