Helping Starts with Science & Kindness
We envision a world where everyone who loves someone struggling with substances has access to information and tools based in science, grounded in compassion, and tailored to the needs of families and their community.
CMC: Foundation for Change puts the power of evidence-based strategies directly into the hands of individuals and communities through workshops, support groups, and written resources.
Our Invitation to Change Approach® takes the best science has to offer (including compassion!) and makes it accessible and easy to understand.
Helping with Understanding
The Invitation to Change Approach® starts with helping you understand your loved one’s behavior from a new perspective. Understanding the specific “whys” behind your loved one’s substance use allows a transformation to occur – increasing your empathy helping create an environment that is supportive of positive behavior change. We describe this as part of creating the conditions for change.
Helping with Awareness
You are part of the change! When you learn to be more aware of your own emotions, reactions, values, and limits, you can shift from reactive to proactive, taking better care of yourself and your loved one on this long and difficult journey — and ultimately becoming a more effective helper.
Helping with Action
While Understanding and Awareness are part of what you can change “on the inside”, Helping with Action is about what you can do “on the outside”. The Invitation to Change Approach® offers a set of tools that includes positive communication and rewarding positive behavior designed to promote respect and collaboration, instead of shutting it down or escalating conflict.
Trainings for Loved Ones
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Trainings for Professionals
As clinicians and researchers, we have been fighting to increase understanding and expand evidence-based treatment options for substance users and their families for over 30 years. Our trainings and materials combine this experience with thousands of hours spent working with communities across the country.
As a therapist who specializes in treating substance use problems and trauma, I try to practice what I preach: exercising, connecting with my emotions, getting enough sleep, and relying on my family and friends. But I’m not always successful!
Shifting the way you think about your loved one’s substance use can actually shift the way you interact with every other part of the change process. Creating long-term, sustainable change begins with this vitally important part of helping.
Distress tolerance skills help you keep yourself from ruminating, getting worked up, and making an already difficult situation even harder. By keeping yourself on more even ground, you improve your odds of being able to maintain your larger behavioral change goals.
A common question when your loved one is struggling with substances is: ‘if I don’t confront them, how will they ever decide to change?’ But it turns out that confrontation isn’t always the most effective path to change.