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The Role of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Our Diversion Education Courses

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a renowned tool in treating various mental health conditions, also plays a crucial role in offender education. Distorted thinking patterns often lead offenders towards criminal behavior, and CBT is instrumental in helping them identify, challenge, and alter these detrimental thought processes. This method is grounded on the premise that our cognition, the way we perceive and interpret our environment, influences our immediate responses, reactions, and behaviors. When applied to offender education, CBT enlightens offenders about the intricate relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and actions. By gaining insights into their cognitive distortions, offenders can learn to respond to stressful or challenging situations constructively and lawfully rather than resorting to criminal activities.


The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT has been shown to be an effective way to treat a variety of conditions, such as anti-social behavior and negative responses. It can provide individuals with the skills to:

  • Identify the negative behaviors: CBT works to make individuals aware of the current thought process’ and reactions’ that are negatively impacting their life and lead to their current charges.

  • Change harmful thinking: After identifying negative patterns, CBT helps individuals develop a healthier thought process. This can lead to positive changes in their feelings and behaviors.

  • Improve emotional regulation: By understanding how thoughts can dictate feelings, individuals can better manage their emotions and reactions.

  • Develop coping strategies: CBT helps individuals develop skills to avoid or cope with stressful situations, likely reducing the likelihood of future incidents.

  • Improve self-confidence: By overcoming harmful thought patterns, individuals can gain confidence in their abilities and achieve a better quality of life.


Why you should use CBT based resources in your programs

The integration of CBT into offender education can lead to numerous positive outcomes. A significant benefit is the potential reduction in recidivism rates. Evidence suggests that CBT, by equipping offenders with necessary skills to navigate societal norms and lead a crime-free life, can indeed lower reoffending rates. Moreover, it equips offenders with effective coping strategies to manage anger, frustration, or other emotional triggers that could potentially lead to reoffending. Through improved emotional regulation, offenders can reduce the likelihood of impulsive or aggressive behaviors, often precursors to criminal acts. And it fosters a sense of self-confidence and self-worth in offenders, critical factors for their successful reintegration into society. By overcoming cognitive distortions and developing healthier behavioral responses, offenders can gain confidence in their ability to handle life's challenges without resorting to crime. Lowing recidivism rates and contributing to overall community safety.


The use of CBT in Advent eLearning courses

A list of our courses that currently utilize CBT


1.         Alcohol Substance Abuse 

2.         Alcohol Substance Abuse II

3.         Anger Management 

4.         Anger Management II

5.         Corrective Thinking

6.         Financial Crimes

7.         Impaired Driving 

8.         Impaired Driving II

9.         Life Skills

10.      Marijuana & THC 

11.      Marijuana & THC II

12.      Shoplifting

13.      Theft

14.      Theft II

15.      Underage Alcohol Substance Abuse 

16.      Underage Alcohol Substance Abuse II

The role of Doctor Amy Smith

Dr. Amy Smith is a seasoned professor in the Psychology Department at San Francisco State University, where she has made significant contributions to the field. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School, as well as a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Underscoring her understanding of the law and legal system, and the importance of utilizing the latest evidence-based methods to address anti-social behavior. Dr. Smith's research primarily focuses on legal psychology, capital punishment, the effects of incarceration, legal decision-making, and the complex interaction of psychology and law.


Outside the classroom, Dr. Smith has a strong commitment to various communities. She worked closely with the San Francisco Juvenile Court and the California State Public Defender's Office, applying her knowledge and expertise in practical, real-world scenarios. As well as practicing privately in various states, including California, Georgia, and Michigan. Giving her perspective and first-hand knowledge from multiple viewpoints of the legal landscape across different jurisdictions.


Beyond her academic and professional engagements, Dr. Smith has also made a significant impact in the field of criminal reentry programs. She has served on the boards of several such initiatives, including the Alliance for CHANGE and Project Rebound. Through her work with these programs, she has contributed to the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals, as well as the betterment of communities.


Contact Advent eLearning

If you’re interested in how Advent eLearning can benefit your agency and your clients, click here to visit our website. You can review Advent eLearning programs with no costs or obligations for your organization. Contact us today for a trial account or a guided demonstration.


Advent eLearning courses address a variety of topics including:

Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Anger Management

Animal Care

Boating & Outdoors


Juvenile Conflict Resolution

Corrective Thinking

Defensive Driving

Financial Crimes

Firearm Responsibility


Hunting Responsibility

Impaired Driving

Juvenile Sexting

Life Skills

Marijuana & THC



Revenge Porn



Traffic Safety

Underage Substance

Victim Impact Panel



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