The Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) will be one of the recommended methods in the latest (2015) guidelines from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concerning treatment for substance abuse and dependence. It states that treatment providers (mainly the social services) should provide CRAFT treatment to significant others (relatives). In Sweden, the Guidelines is a really important document, based on an extensive evaluation of the scientific evidence for available treatment methods, with the purpose of increasing the use of evidence based treatment methods for dependent patients.
Anders Hammarberg, Karolinska Institute
Sent to Dr. Meyers on 12/1/14
I just wanted to get in touch as I was at an event last week where some members of the CRAFT group I ran 7 years ago were speaking about their experience. They are now strong community ambassadors for CRAFT and run the post CRAFT support group. Their stories were so moving as there was a mixture of those whose loved one has made changes and those whose loved ones are still struggling or indeed have died. The message that came across form all of them was that CRAFT educated them and gave them the tools that enabled them to feel in control in stead of lost and hopeful, motivated and confident instead of despairing. They also talked about the positive impact they were able to have on the other members of their family and communities.
I was moved to tears and I felt (again) how lucky I have been to have met you and how your work has had such a a huge impact on ordinary people struggling with life around the world. You're the man.
Love and best wishes from Wales as always,
Sent to Dr. Meyers on 8/6/14
February of 2013 I sat in a "Concerned Persons Meeting" with at the local drug rehab center, the person I loved had checked himself out after 2 days, I had been to 9 of these meetings. Each week the counselor that headed the group each week started the group by writing on the white board and underlining for emphasis: "Addiction is a chronic, progressive, fatal disease." then writing "What can I do to help?" Each week the answer was: Nothing.
And each meeting, I sat there wondering if sending one weekly text message saying either "I care about you" or "I'm thinking about you" was enabling. Or if keeping $1 boxes of candy in case they stopped by was doing something for them they should be doing for themselves. Or just feeling guilty for not wanting to detach from someone I care about.
Perhaps the counselor was having a bad day, but this particular night he followed his grim opening with: "It's nice that you are here and think that you can do something, but the people you love are going to die"
At that moment, I had one thought and it was: " F*** this shit" If the people I love are going to die I need to get my ass out of this meeting and spend as much time with them as I can while they are living.
I found the information about CRAFT off of the HBO website and it made sense. I read more. I read as much as I can, books, online articles, and videos.
Because of your work and CRAFT, I feel at peace with my relationship. He has not entered treatment, but he keeps in contact with me and he knows that I support him where he is.
I don't condone the drug use, but I don't let that aspect of his life define him to me. Maybe he will go to treatment, maybe he won't. But if he dies today, he will know he was loved and there will be nothing left I wish I had said.
And I think anyone can hope for in any relationship.
For decades it was believed that there was nothing one could do to help substance abusing loved ones until they hit bottom or that heavy-handed confrontational tactics were necessary. Bob Meyers has developed a remarkably effective and gentle method for working with family members and concerned significant others to help their 'unmotivated' loved ones get into treatment. It is no longer necessary to feel helpless and hopeless.
William R. Miller, Ph.D., distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry and author of Motivational Interviewing
As the Co-ordinator of the Blancardstown Drugs Task Force I am responsible for development and implementation of drug strategy in this part of Ireland, and we have placed an emphasis on Evidence Based Approaches for the treatment of substance use disorders. The most significant action we have taken began in 2010 when we invited Dr. Robert J. Meyers to begin to train frontline addiction specialists from a range of different sectors, disciplines and agencies in CRA & CRAFT. It was such a huge success that we invited Dr. Meyers back several times and have had him train nearly 200 substance use workers from all over Ireland from a wide range of different backgrounds and addiction philosophies. The non judgemental, positive and structured nature of the CRA models has really appealed to addiction specialists here and in fact it complements other existing models as well is a huge plus.
In fact CRA & CRAFT were so well received that over 80 substance abuse workers trained by Dr. Meyers have followed through with the certification process. CRA & CRAFT are being embraced in Ireland because of the significant positive outcomes that we have already seen since their introduction in 2010. We have built an outstanding positive relationship with Dr. Meyers and his team of coders and supervisors which has made implementation successful and helped to create a new standard in addiction treatment. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Dr. Meyers and his staff for many years to come to assure sustainability and fidelity with CRA & CRAFT models of treatment.
Brid Walsh, Co-ordinator, Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force, Ireland.
TASC began using ACRA/ACC within the context of case management in 2009, and staff and clients alike loved the ease of the model. The outcomes from using the model were so successful we decided to expand and also use the CRAFT model as well. We have had a high demand for CRAFT services for our clients who are involved with the criminal justice system. We have also seen success in using CRAFT with our drug courts in that Concerned Significant Others are able to motivate clients towards change and ultimately see them through successful graduation of the program. Family member and parents love the model and have seen a tremendous impact on their loved ones. Our referral sources are incredibly impressed with both ACRA and CRAFT and are requesting their clients receive these services. Dr. Meyers make is so easy to learn and use these evidenced based treatment approaches. His workshops are not only informative but they are actually fun to attend
Denver Juvenile and Family Justice TASC Project
Well motivated by Bob Meyers' CRAFT training, the staff at the Cardiff Alcohol and Drug Team went on to complete their CRAFT certification, (which was organised very efficiently and with great positivity), with much enthusiasm and spirit. Their work has excelled through the process and the client feedback is consistently positive. Outcomes both for CSOs and IPs improved significantly; the team are consistently achieving at least 70% of CSOs entering treatment with the same number reporting a reduction in substance use and most significantly over 90% of CSOs scoring higher on emotional functioning and wellbeing. Undertaking CRAFT training and certification has improved the teams practice, morale and efficiency, it's been a mini-revolution within the team!
Charlotte Waite, Family Interventions Co-ordinator, Cardiff Council, UK
I am in the process of reading the "Get your love on Sober" book, and what I have learned so far has positively & demonstrably changed my relationship with my Loved One. So precious to me to have some answers beyond "just detach" and "let him hit bottom". I feared his bottom was death, and I am so relieved to know I can do more to encourage recovery. Recovery is still my Loved One's journey, but I am learning how to be his cheerleader thru the message of CRAFT!
Bless you Dr. Meyers for spreading the word. I hope we have face to face support groups for the friends & families are in our horizon.
After attending Dr. Meyers' CRAFT training, I was very eager to put his concepts to work and begin the process of becoming a certified CRAFT therapist. Working as a family therapist in addictions treatment, I was so grateful to have more tools to offer my clients than just setting boundaries and taking care of themselves. I now teach family members how to strategically promote sober behavior and practice positive communication skills, while their relationships improve and they start to feel more in control of their lives again. The results are amazing! My clients have told me they feel more successful using the CRAFT skills than anything they have ever tried with their loved one before. I have seen the CRAFT intervention method transform my clients from hopelessness to seeing their loved ones get sober and have the relationships they want. Jessi from the Family Program at DePaul Treatment Centers in Portland Oregon, she can be reached at 612-703-7556.
Dear Dr. Meyers our CARF surveyors were very impressed with our program's implementation of A-CRA and it was mentioned in the exit interview as one of our agency's strengths. Thomas Knight M.S., Director - Adolescent Intervention and Outpatient Counseling, Human Services Associates, Inc. Orlando, FL.
Dr. Meyers and Ms. McGinley,
Because the final Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) training and coaching contract has recently come to a close, I wanted to take a moment to say that it's been a wonderful opportunity working with the both of you for the last 2 ½ years!
You have brought A-CRA training to approximately 100 substance abuse counselors around Arizona. On behalf of Arizona Division of Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services , thank you for the contribution you have made to our State in the area of substance abuse treatment for adolescents. Many of our clinicians have taken the training to completion by becoming A-CRA certified. I have seen tremendous professional growth in all these individuals who have completed the certification process. It was a long haul, and they should also be highly praised for the dedication they have applied to this evidence-based practice. Additionally, three clinicians from Jewish Family Community Services were able to take things a step further to become certified at the supervisor level which they completed this month. A special thank you to your commitment to Arizona's children!
Karla Schaff, MPH. Arizona Division of Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services
Because of the success of the group XXXXX facilitates based on your book "How to get a Loved One Sober" we have recently begun another support group, "It's All About Us" Our hope is to continue to reinforce and keep energized the problem solving techniques/activities, & "good times roll" Ms. XXXXX helps define from your book.
As we open up with each other the magnitude of current and on going struggles & difficulties, it's been such a comfort to have others to share with as we continue to solve our own challenges. With the help of others who are willing to practice & apply the concepts of your book, we have found a new strength, eagerness & bond with each other as we try to overcome this baffling, cunning & debilitating disease. The cross-talk during the activities becomes invaluable as we work to form a plan. Then sharing back what seemed to work and what we could possibly do differently the next time because we know there will be other opportunities. The cheers and tears after our successes, then a newcomer states: "This book really does work" and through the tears we laugh. Because of the friendships being formed, hopeless problems given hope, support being given & fun (Yes, I said FUN being had.................. we wanted more. "It All About Us".
From - Lorie L. After getting her husband and son into treatment using CRAFT
Anyone who has attended scientific meetings will know that it's relatively rare to find someone who is a solid researcher, a seasoned clinician, and an excellent public speaker and trainer. Dr. Bob Meyers has precisely this unusual combination of talents. It has been my pleasure to collaborate with Bob for over twenty years in innovative clinical research. He taught me the community reinforcement approach, and extended it to develop the highly effective CRAFT method for working with family members. Bob has also worked on the front lines as a clinician and program manager, and brings a wealth of clinical and life experience to his trainings. He is a highly effective speaker with scientific audiences, and a superb trainer for students and experienced clinicians alike.
William R. Miller, Ph.D.Distinguished Professor of Psychology and PsychiatryUniversity of New Mexico
"I feel your course about CRAFT, is not just a technique for those affected by addictions but also a framework for a way of being - if everyone could incorporate the skills embedded within the course I feel we would have a much more peaceful world to live in."
Val Heslop, Newcastle, England
The 3-day CRA/FT workshop delivered by Dr. Robert J. Meyers was vastly superior to any other training I have attended in the past. The combination of being an expert in the field of addiction, an eloquent style, and communicational skills makes him a fantastic engaging trainer. He puts CRA/FT in such a broad behavioral perspective that he is capable to deliver an answer on every addiction-related question from the audience, including those questions beyond the course content. He is unique in a way that blends serious content of research with numerous vivid clinical examples, along with humor and wit. The clinicians who attended the workshop were not only focused and well trained all these days, but also tremendously entertained! I highly recommend this CRA/FT educational, practical and entertaining class to anyone who wants to be inspired about employing 'evidence based' treatments that bring the fun back in his/her daily routine.
H.G. Roozen, PhD.
Bouman Mental Health Care (GGZ), Thorbeckelaan 63, 3201 WJ Spijkenisse, The Netherlands.
Bob Meyers is the world's leading expert on the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) for treating substance abuse and on Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) for helping families get their loved one into treatment. He is also one of the most effective presenters I have encountered in over 20 years working in the substance abuse field. This is a rare combination -- world class expert and world class trainer and workshop leader. He knows his stuff. His trainings on CRA and CRAFT are extremely engaging, informative, and humorous. I know him first hand from the CRAFT and CRA training he did for us at Harvard. He was extremely well-received here and people still talk about his workshop.
Timothy J. O'Farrell, Ph.D., ABPPProfessor of PsychologyChief, Families and Addiction ProgramHarvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry
Allies In Recovery is a new not-for-profit dedicated to the families of those who are actively suffering from addiction. Dr. Bob Meyers has been instrumental in helping us develop our expertise for working with this population. We have attended CRAFT trainings in New Mexico, have had him out to Massachusetts to facilitate a CRAFT workshop for 45 clinicians, and have relied on him for clinical supervision by phone. Bob is an excellent trainer. His easy manner, his use of humor, and his ability to connect and to motivate make participation highly enjoyable. He draws his examples from decades of applied clinical work, lending credibility and clarity to his presentation, while grounding his comments in solid research and knowledge of effective substance abuse treatment.Bob's empathy and passion for improving the lives of families affected by substance abuse make his trainings heart-felt and a must for anyone working with families. It is without reservation and with many thanks that we recommend a Bob Meyers training.
Dominique Simon, PhD, MPHDirectorAllies In RecoverySunderland, MA
Bob's experience in training clinicians in the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) was invaluable in taking what we thought was a good team and creating a great team. His positive "cheerleading approach" and "leave no one behind" philosophy was instrumental in coaching an experienced and clinically diverse team into a best practise team that still enjoyed the diverse talents of it's team members. Over a full year of coaching by Bob and the other members of the Life Link training team went into truly ensuring our team was successfully and consistently employing CRA with their clients. This team became the first team in Canada to be certified in CRA and they are one awesome team, no one was left behind. What this has done for team building has been just as remarkable as to what it has done for client service and comments from both clients and staff attest to this both informally and through client outcome surveys. It has also allowed us working within a health care system to put the treatment protocols we use on par with the best practise protocols used within acute care. Bob truly is a gifted trainer and supervisor and he has done an incredible job with our team. I know they consider him as much a part of the team as anyone else on it and that speaks volumes to his personality and style, what you see is what you get. We value passion and genuineness in what we do and so does Bob, that's why he fit with us. He is one of gems in our field! I highly recommend him.
Greg Purvis, C. Psych.Director, Addiction ServicesNorthern Nova Scotia, Canada
CRAFT has the potential to expand the impact of drug abuse treatment, open new areas of intervention skills for drug abuse practitioners and most importantly improve the lives of drug abusers and the people that care for them. After attending Dr. Meyers' presentation of the empirical support for CRAFT at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in 2001, I was inspired to commit a substantial portion of my professional effort to furthering the development and adoption of this innovative treatment. It is a great motivator for clinicians to receive training from Dr. Meyers' as the innovator of CRAFT, and after years of original research no one knows the ins and outs of this approach better. Dr. Meyers' dynamic and down to earth style is very effective with drug abuse clinicians. His enthusiasm for and commitment to this intervention greatly enhances the effectiveness of his trainings. With his many years of work as a clinician, clinical supervisor and investigator, he knows just what is needed for the successful adoption of this evidenced based practice into community treatment settings.
Gregory S. Brigham, Ph.DChief Research OfficerMaryhavenColumbus, Ohio
Bob and Jane Ellen provided 2 ½ days of expert training that not only stimulated huge excitement among the staff about the use of CRAFT, but also left them in a position to immediately begin providing this service. The treatment itself is rewarding to deliver, and the enthusiasm and excitement with which Bob and Jane Ellen taught us only fueled the desire to work in this modality. Training was comprehensive, working in detail with all aspects of the CRAFT model, as well as providing materials needed to conduct the work. Bob and Jane Ellen were relaxed, funny, and eminently approachable, as well as being extremely engaging. The staff was very involved and left the experience enthused and energized. We would recommend this training team and experience to any facility that wants to start offering cutting edge treatments.
Jeffrey Foote, Ph.DExecutive Director, Center for Motivation and Change276 Fifth Avenue at 30th StreetNew York, New York
We were very fortunate to have Dr. Meyers provide CRAFT training to our staff.He is the preeminent expert on the CRAFT approach, having developed it and conducted much of the research evaluating it. In addition to being a knowledgeable trainer, he is an excellent clinician and presents the material in a style that is very accessible to therapists. I especially appreciated the time he took to have our staff practice the skills he was teaching and to provide them with immediate feedback to improve their performance. He had our staff's undivided attention for two full days of training, and they raved about the experience! More importantly, they were able to begin implementing the CRAFT intervention with confidence and a firm understanding of the approach and its methods.I highly recommend him as a CRAFT trainer. He is simply the best available.
Kimberly C. Kirby, Ph.DPrincipal InvestigatorTreatment Research InstitutePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. Bob Meyers is an extremely dynamic and engaging trainer and consultant.His energy and enthusiasm in presentations is contagious to participants.Bob provides consultation and support to organizations to assure the ongoing supervision structures and quality assurance fidelity monitoring is in place to assure the approaches he teaches are utilized in the organization.I believe his Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) integrates several of the most effective evidence based practices for alcoholism and addiction treatment including motivational enhancement, skill training and problem solving, and contingency management techniques that utilize rewards in the natural environment. Family members often make the initial contact with treatment provider asking for help for their loved. The Community Reinforcement Approach Family Therapy (CRAFT) provides a proven approach to assist family members to achieve their goal of having their spouse or children to engage in treatment.Implementation of CRAFT may also provide an opportunity for providers to offer and market a new service. I would strongly recommend Bob Meyers as a consultant and trainer to providers seeking to implement evidence based addiction treatment services and improve their outcomes.
Michael G. BoylePresident/CEO Fayette Companies600 Fayette StreetPeoria, Illinois
Since ACRA was adapted from the CRA model that Bob had spent so many years developing, refining, and documenting, it was very important for us to work with him and Jane Ellen Smith on the manual and in its implementation during the Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) study. Bob brings to the training situation a wealth of experience and knowledge as a therapist, supervisor, researcher, and trainer. We highly recommend Bob as an ACRA trainer and regularly refer others to him for this training. ACRA, CRA and CRAFT are interventions that are well supported in the literature and Bob Meyers is the top trainer in these models.
Susan Harrington Godley, Rh.D.Senior Research ScientistChestnut Health SystemsWest ChestnutBloomington, Illinois 61701
The substance of the ACRA training has added value to the clinical structure of my agency as a whole, by providing a way to define and organize clinical interventions and facilitating clinical communication.
There is an added benefit to the ACRA model in its time-limited curriculum-oriented format which I think can do much to lower the barrier of treatment acceptance by non-Western populations. This is a problem that has troubled the addiction treatment field for a long time.
Brandon Nguyen, LCSW
Asian American Recovery Services Inc.
San Jose California
I am a true believer in this approach and not only live the ACRA lifestyle, but "preach" it all the time, even when I'm not at work. It has so many practical applications in everyday life. I'm using the problem solving skills and communication skills, the daily reminder to be nice…functional analysis in all my sessions, including those that are not ACRA related. This is the best training I have received in my years in mental health and its not a methodology that you put on a shelf and pull out when you need it. I even use problem solving skills with my family and my son's sports teams; the brainstorming ideas are fun, especially when you're in the 10, 11, 12 age group.
Master's Level Therapist
Bob Meyers is an inspiration, both because he has written an effective therapeutic approach, which is backed by acres of clinical research evidence, but also because he has a 'joie de vive' that pervades all that he does. He is personable and engaging and when teaching he brings the detail of CRAFT to life with anecdotes from practice and a warm humour that was appealing to our audience of Substance Misuse workers in Wales, UK. From the 2 ½ days CRAFT training staff were able to take an understanding of the ethos, the theory, the practical elements, the materials and start practicing with families immediately. I would have no reservation in recommending this training to anyone who works with family members who are supporting a loved one with a substance misuse problem.
Strengthening Families Programme, Cardiff, Wales.