Throughout your loved one’s substance use and related troubling behaviors, you may have wished time and again that you could get them to just snap out of it. You may have felt helpless, wishing that you had the power to just make them stop, or make them see reason so that they would want to stop. Or you may have felt the desire to detach completely, sick of the pain, hurt, and frustration.
But we know that in all likelihood, none of these options are working. So the Invitation to Change (ITC) Approach is what we offer you instead. You cannot force your loved one to change, but you can create an environment where change is more likely to happen. You cannot erase this painful situation from your life, but you can sustain and care for yourself as you march forward. You cannot make their behaviors less painful, but you can find ways to understand where they’re coming from. You cannot control your loved one, but you can communicate in ways that will at least make it easier for them to hear you––and for you to hear them.
We invite you to join us for 10 weeks of discussion, support, and skills learning, based in the Invitation to Change Approach.
These weekly one-hour sessions will have a “sandwich” structure: they start with group discussion on the previous week’s topic, then feature a 15-minute lecture on the current week’s topic, and then move into a second group discussion, this time focused on understanding the current week’s topic.
We hope to see you there!
“I was very fortunate to come across CMC’s Invitation to Change, and to be able to take some workshops with them. I loved that this new approach fit with my values of compassion and kindness, and it helped me understand, from a deeper perspective, the whole picture…Our kids deserve for us to show up, and now I have learned a way to do that.”
– Antoinette, Parent and Advocate
The Invitation to Change Approach is grounded in compassion, connection, and the understanding that families can have a powerful helping impact on those struggling to change. The ITC Approach draws on evidence-based practices also found in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and the Community Reinforcement and Family Training approach (CRAFT), as well as decades of clinical experience working with families and loved ones.
Built on the three pillars of Understanding, Awareness, and Action, the ITC first illuminates new perspectives on substance use and the process of change; next, it creates a foundation of self-awareness and willingness to engage with emotional pain. Finally, it emphasizes action, teaching communication and behavior skills to promote and support new behaviors in a person struggling with substance use.
The ITC can help you:
• Lessen the tension, conflict, and heated emotion in your relationship and household
• Allow yourself to be part of the change process and be taken care of on this journey
• Talk to your loved one in ways that improve collaboration and encourage change
• Respond more effectively both to the positive changes your loved one makes and to their less positive behaviors, while letting natural consequences play a role in motivating change
The ITC can help you take care of yourself while simultaneously staying engaged and practicing active strategies to invite and encourage change in your loved one, in yourself, in your family—and, if you’re inspired to share it, in your larger community.
This ITC Lunchtime Series differs from our 16-hour workshops in a few ways:
• It is more discussion-based. Our 16-hour workshops are largely lecture-based, with regular breaks for group discussion. In this lunchtime series, each one-hour session has a “sandwich” structure: it starts with a group discussion on the previous week’s topic, then features a 15-minute lecture on the current week’s topic, and then moves into a second group discussion, this time focused on understanding the current week’s topic.
• It is more focused on connection between members. While we always hope to foster community through our trainings, the 10-week, group-based format of this training is especially geared towards promoting connection and community between participants.
• It is made to fit into your schedule! While our 16-hour trainings require a few days of open time, we hope that this lunchtime series is something you can easily fit into your weekly schedule. For 1 hour a week, over the course of 10 weeks, we invite you to join our community and to change your understanding of substance use.
He is co-author of the award-winning book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change, a practical guide for families dealing with addiction and substance problems in a loved one, based on principles of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). He is also a contributor to two workbooks combining strategies from CRAFT and Motivational Interviewing: The Parent’s 20 Minute Guide and The Partner’s 20 Minute Guide, which offer specific tools and practice in evidence-based strategies for helping a loved one change.
Dr. Carpenter is a clinical psychologist and research scientist who has received federal and private foundation grant money for investigating the psychological, behavioral, and neurobiological factors associated with addictive behaviors and their treatment. He has over 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based motivational and cognitive-behavioral strategies for facilitating important lifestyle changes and has held academic and research scientist positions at NY based Universities and state agencies. Dr. Carpenter has authored or co-authored over 70 journal articles and chapters on these topics including the The 20 Minute Guide, a workbook for people who have a loved one struggling with substance use, which can be read here: The 20 Minute Guide.