Invitation to Change: A New Perspective

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A detailed look at The Invitation to Change Approach®.

The Invitation to Change Approach® draws from the most effective strategies found in 3 evidence-based treatments: CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), MI (Motivational Interviewing), and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). With a skills-oriented, compassionate outlook, this model emphasizes the idea that families can take care of themselves while also staying engaged with and helping their struggling loved ones.

What is CRAFT?
The Community Reinforcement and Family Training approach (CRAFT) is a behavioral and motivational treatment for families (Smith and Meyers 2004) based on the empirically supported Community Reinforcement Approach. It has been studied extensively in randomized controlled trials with a variety of populations (socio-economic groups/ethnic groups, types of substance used, etc.) and has been found to be more effective than more traditional approaches like Al-Anon and interventions.

CRAFT has two goals: engaging the substance user in treatment through behavioral training for the family members, and enhancing family member self-care. It helps family members create a relationship environment where abstinence/change behaviors are positively and incrementally reinforced and recognizes them as powerful collaborators in effecting change instead of encouraging them to detach or use confrontation to impact their loved one.

In clinical trials, CRAFT engaged the substance user into treatment with rates of 74%-64%, and families reported significant improvements in their own happiness and sense of family cohesion as well as reduced anxiety, depression, and anger. The substance users studied also significantly reduced substance use, regardless of whether they entered treatment.

What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a brief treatment approach that concentrates on improving and strengthening individuals’ motivation to change. MI aims to increase an individual’s perspective on the importance of change and creates a respectful, empathic environment that invites change instead of demanding it.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
ACT is a treatment approach that focuses on acceptance and mindfulness strategies, alongside commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. These skills focus on living in the present moment and accepting emotions and experiences in order to change or persist in behavior in the service of chosen values.