How Science and Kindness Help People Change
Roxanne A., SMART Recovery Meeting Facilitator
“Things get better with CRAFT. Families feel better, substance use often decreases, and people with substance problems usually enter treatment when a family member uses CRAFT.” ~Beyond Addiction
There is a much better option for families than using “tough love” with a Loved One (LO) who has substance problems. Contrary to commonly quoted suggestions for families to “practice tough love”, “detach with love”, and “let them hit bottom”, families can learn a more effective way to interact with their LO. It has been found in clinical studies that families using CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), are twice as likely to influence their LO to seek treatment for addictions than if they used a confrontative Johnson-style intervention.
Dr. Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D. first introduced CRAFT to the public ten years ago in his ground-breaking book Get Your Loved One Sober – Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening which is used as a resource in the SMART Recovery Family & Friends program.
In their much anticipated new book, Beyond Addiction – How Science and Kindness Help People Change, senior staff members Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., Carrie Wilkins, Ph.D. and Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D. from the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, offer a message of hope and how-tos in this clearly written guide for families wishing to learn CRAFT techniques.
“Things get better with CRAFT. Families feel better, substance use often decreases, and people with substance problems usually enter treatment when a family member uses CRAFT.”
This well organized guide for families begins by describing the nature of addiction, explaining how people change and why. Subsequent chapters are devoted to explaining how families can make changes that will improve their own sense of well being while at the same time creating an environment that truly supports recovery for their LO in a meaningful and helpful way. The topics of self-care, setting goals, positive communication, allowing natural consequences and reinforcing “good” behaviors are key concepts. An excellent chapter discussing treatment options is included to help families make choices that are most appropriate given their unique needs.
Throughout the book, CRAFT strategies are clearly explained, numerous realistic examples are provided, and exercises designed to build awareness and develop personal strategies enhance the learning process.
The authors of Beyond Addiction have written an excellent book, sharing the benefit of their many years of experience using CRAFT, and the science of change, to help families learn how to help their LOs want to change.