Family Training Session: CRAFT and the Invitation to Change Approach: Combining Science and Kindness for Families
The family members and friends of people struggling with substance use (or other behaviors) are incredibly motivated to help their loved one, yet often face huge barriers to getting guidance that works. They experience the fear and exhaustion of dealing with struggles they never imagined having to face, shame, isolation, and a constant sense of how high the stakes are (“something terrible could happen to my child”). They face a culture where addiction is stigmatized and the advice given is antiquated, ideological and punitive (“tough love” or detachment) and get blaming messages that by helping they are “codependent” and “enabling”. These messages come from well-meaning friends and relatives, the media and treatment professionals and increase the shame and fear these families already feel.
There is research supported and clinically tested knowledge for families (parents, spouses, grown children) about how to help in ways that are positive and supportive of the whole family. Families can learn these skills and help their loved one. The Invitation to Change Approach draws from the most effective strategies found in 3 evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders: CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), MI (Motivational Interviewing), and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and is designed to help families and communities understand the problem they face and approach it compassionately and effectively.
Carrie Wilkens, PhD, is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change in NYC and in the Berkshires. She co-authored an award-winning book, Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change with Drs. Foote and Kosanke. Together they also contributed to a user-friendly workbook for parents: The 20 Minute Guide: A Guide for Parents about How to Help their Child Change their Substance Use. In collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Dr. Wilkens and the CMC team is developing a national parent training program (the Parent Support Network) to provide parent coaches to families in need of support through a free hotline. Prior to these ventures, Dr. Wilkens was the Project Director on a large federally-funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant examining the effectiveness of motivational interventions in addressing the problems associated with binge drinking among college students. She is regularly sought out by the media to discuss issues related to substance use disorders and has been on the CBS Morning Show, Katie Couric Show, and Fox News as well as a variety of radio shows including frequent NPR segments such as the People’s Pharmacy and The Diane Rehm Show. Dr. Wilkens sits on the Advisory Council for the Peter G. Dodge Foundation, a forward-thinking non-profit organization that works with world-class partners to achieve lasting change in the field of alcohol use disorders.
A team member will be in touch with you as soon as possible.