TCU Personal Piower Series: Motivating Probationers to Engage in Substance Abuse Treatment

Sandra M. Dees, Texas Christian University
Donald F. Dansereau, Texas Christian University

This presentation will describe a set of group activities designed to motivate "clients" who have been mandated to substance abuse treatment in the criminal justice system. This overview will also include the conceptual basis of the program, previous research data for components, and any available research findings for both the complete program and selected components. This series of activities have been completed by over 200 probationers during the fourth and, for some, the tenth week of a 16-week judge-mandated, residential treatment program; an equal number of probationers have completed the standard treatment program with no spedial motivation component. All or part of the 6-hour (3 2-hr sessions) program can be easily incorporated into group-oriented counseling, although some modifications would be needed for use in individual counseling. The series is designed for use with large groups (18-35) and incorporates content not heavily emphasized in traditional treatment programs, such as preparing clients for their roles in treatment and teaching personal management strategies that can enhance treatment effects. Previous research findings indicate the value of these activities in increasing client motivation, confidence, and involvement in treatment, especially for individuals with limited education.

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Updated 05/20/2006