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 11 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
Week 1 : Wednesday, October 11th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 2 : Wednesday, October 18th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 3 : Wednesday, October 25th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 4 : Wednesday, November 1st, 12-1 PM ET
Week 5 : Wednesday, November 8th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 6 : Wednesday, November 15th, 12-1 PM ET
(Skip Thanksgiving week)
Week 7 : Wednesday, November 29th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 8 : Wednesday, December 6th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 9 : Wednesday, December 13th, 12-1 PM ET
Week 10 : Wednesday, December 20th, 12-1 PM ET
(Skip Christmas and New Years weeks)
Final check-in (week 11) : Wednesday, January 10th, 2024, 12-1 PM ET
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.
This ITC workshop will give you useful evidence-based ways to understand your loved one’s behavior, so that you can use motivational and behavioral strategies to improve communication and promote change. You will learn skills to:
• 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 11-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 11 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.
Kenneth Carpenter, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist with over 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based motivational and cognitive-behavioral strategies for helping individuals make important lifestyle changes. Dr. Carpenter earned his degree from Hofstra University and completed a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship in the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Training Program at The Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He has received federal and private foundation grant money for investigating the psychological, behavioral, and neurobiological factors associated with substance misuse and its treatment.
Dr. Carpenter is the Director of Training for CMC:Foundation for Change, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of improving the dissemination of evidence-based ideas and strategies to professionals and loved ones of persons struggling with substance use through the Invitation to Change approach. CMC:Foundation for Change and Dr. Carpenter have developed a unique approach for families, blending components of CRAFT, MI and ACT together into the Invitation to Change Approach, an accessible set of understandings and practices that empower families to remain engaged and effective in helping their struggling loved one. The approach has been widely used across the country, and is utilized in trainings with laypeople and professionals. Dr. Carpenter also holds an academic appointment in Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry and is a Research Scientist in the Division on Substance Use Disorders at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (M.I.N.T).
He is also co-author of The Beyond Addiction Workbook for Family and Friends: Evidence-Based Skills to Help a Loved-One Make Positive Change.
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.