Research and Development

Development History: “Necessity is the mother of invention”

  • SRT began its development in a multicounty detention center for the treatment of youth who were removed from their homes for sexually abusive behavior. Almost immediately it was apparent that the referral harmful behavior was not their only harmful behavior. Self-control lapse and relapse were rare with sexual behavior problems but other harmful behaviors threatened post-release removal from the home. 
  • Relapse prevention expansion was necessary to address the other forms of harmful behavior that were in need of treatment. This made SRT applicable to multiple referral populations. The absence of prosocial family values training that resulted in juvenile detention was addressed in a setting shift from juvenile corrections to outpatient mental health and foster care. Treatment in foster care required multicultural recognition in treatment program design to address the prosocial family values that needed to be taught to the referral youth by their diverse foster families. 
  • Over 10 years of program development has since occurred in outpatient, foster care and residential settings for adolescents and adults referred for unhealthy, harmful eating, substance use and sexual behavior. 

Overview and Program Evaluation

Social Responsibility Therapy combines evidence-based interventions that use different methods and pathways to increase intervention intensity and therapeutic pressure towards positive change. Outcome findings tend to indicate that SRT increases social maturity (particularly concern for others) and decreases rule violations along with harmful behavior severity compared to Treatment as Usual.

[Journal article- 16 pages]

Comprehensive Development

SRT provides a comprehensive treatment for unhealthy, harmful behavior by identifying and addressing contemporary issues in harmful behavior-specific treatment including: 1) The referral harmful behavior is not usually the only harmful behavior; 2) One unhealthy, harmful behavior can trigger another; 3) Harmful behavior migration to a co-occurring behavior and shifting back after treatment; 4) The impact of negative social influence on positive behavior change; 5) Highly resistant self-reinforcing unhealthy, harmful behaviors require multiple interventions; 6) Clients need to understand how they acquired their unhealthy, harmful behavior, what maintained it and how it spread to other problem areas and; 7) Harmful behavior is multicultural which requires multicultural recognition in treatment program design. In addition to direct intervention, SRT also develops social-emotional maturity as competing factors to unhealthy, harmful behavior.

[American Psychological Association conferences: 

1st download- 6 pages; 2nd download- 4 pages]

Inclusive Multicultural Treatment

SRT respects diversity but seeks unity by developing common, multicultural values, a position referred to as “diversity within unity”. This approach provides a more inclusive path for multicultural recognition in unhealthy, harmful behavior treatment program design by identifying cultural similarities to celebrate in addition to the traditional approach of developing awareness of cultural differences to respect.
[American Psychological Assn. conference- 7 pages] 

SRT in Forensic Foster Care

Social Responsibility Therapy in forensic foster care is a family-based treatment for youth with sexually abusive behavior and other unhealthy, harmful behaviors that can or has resulted in legal problems. Forensic Foster Care employs Social Responsibility Therapy to help youth manage their unhealthy, harmful behavior by: developing social-emotional maturity as a competing response to harmful behavior; developing an understanding of how harmful behavior was acquired, maintained, and generalized; and demonstrating the social responsibility to make emotional restitution.  [Book chapter: Part 1-  Introduction to SRT in Forensic Foster Care (24 pages); Part 2- Understanding unhealthy, harmful behavior and beginning a responsible lifestyle (20 pages)]  

SRT Lessons from Forensic Foster Care

Social Responsibility Therapy in forensic foster care provides another level in the continuum of care for youth with harmful behavior that allows a step-down treatment supervision process, from residential treatment to forensic foster care and finally into the traditional outpatient setting during family reunification or an independent living placement. Program development, treatment issues, foster parent selection and foster parent retention along with other important lessons learned from treatment are discussed.  

[Book chapter- 33 pages]