We were recently asked whether the Carey Guides and Brief Intervention ToolS (BITS) can be used in non-justice settings. Not only CAN they be used in non-justice settings; they ARE being used in non-justice settings—for example, in social service settings and in secondary schools—to help clients build skills that would support them in leading successful lives.
Let’s say you’re working with clients who have education or employment challenges. If you have determined that one of the reasons why a client is having education/employment challenges is because they have antisocial ways of thinking, you can use the tools in the Antisocial Thinking Guide to help them develop more prosocial ways of thinking. If anger management is an issue, the Anger Guide can help them develop strategies to manage their anger. If they are being influenced by antisocial others, the Antisocial Associates and Engaging Prosocial Others Guides or the Who I Spend Time With BITS can be used to help clients recognize who may be a negative influence, how to change or end friendships that are not healthy for them, and how to develop more prosocial relationships. If problem solving is an issue, the Problem Solving Guide and Problem Solving BITS teach five steps that clients can use when confronted with a problem. You get the picture!
Our one caution is that some of the Guide tools (but not the BITS) do include language that is offender-specific. For example, there are references to “corrections professionals” and to “illegal behaviors.” As you review those tools with clients, you would want to modify the language—either orally or in handwriting, on the tools themselves—to suit the circumstance.