CRAFT Training with Bob Meyers, Ph.D.

Practical Recovery presents:

CRAFT training led by Dr. Bob Meyers!

2/29/16-3/2/16 in San Diego. Click here to register!

CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) provides an evidence-based approach to helping families support loved ones who need additional assistance to overcome problematic addictive behavior. CRAFT provides an alternative approach to the 12-step based Al-Anon, and to “intervention,” often a surprise family meeting with the identified patient (IP). This surprise meeting is intended to motivate the IP to enter treatment.

The goals for CRAFT are to improve the lives of Concerned Significant Others (CSOs), reduce the problematic addictive behavior of the Identified Patient (IP), and increase the IP’s motivation to enter treatment. Treatment initiation typically occurs about half way through the 12-session course of CRAFT. Even when the IP does not enter treatment, IPs often substantially reduce their addictive behavior.

The objectives of this training include:

  1. dr robert meyers craft

    Dr. Robert Meyers

    to distinguish CRAFT from Intervention and Al-Anon

  2. to describe how CRAFT is derived from the findings of CRA
  3. to identify the primary goals of CRAFT
  4. to identify the elements of CRAFT
  5. to implement clinically suitable sequences of CRAFT elements in individual cases
  6. to implement the Functional Analysis of addictive behavior
  7. to implement the Functional Analysis of sober behavior
  8. to reduce the risk of domestic violence
  9. to implement CRAFT communication training
  10. to implement CRAFT problem solving training
  11. to incorporate the Happiness Scale and Goals into CRAFT sessions
  12. to distinguish natural and contrived consequences
  13. to distinguish opportunities for positively reinforcing behavior and withdrawing reinforcement
  14. to coach CSOs on how to invite IPs to enter treatment
  15. to maintain the motivation of CSO’s in the face of slow IP behavior change
  16. to describe the spirit of CRAFT

Is CRAFT effective?

CRAFT has attained an impressive level of empirical support. The first randomized clinical trial was published in 1998. Additional trials by independent investigators have led to the general conclusion that CRAFT is substantially more effective than intervention or Al-Anon in motivating substance users to enter treatment. Simply stated, CRAFT has the strongest evidence base for methods intended to initiate change in another person.

Learning about CRAFT

The CRAFT book for professionals is Motivating Substance Abusers to Enter Treatment: Working with Family Members, by Jane Ellen Smith, Ph.D. and Robert Meyers, Ph.D. The original self-help book for family members is Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening, by Robert Meyers, Ph.D. and Brenda Wolfe, Ph.D. An additional self-help book is Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Can Help People Change, by Jeff Foote, Ph.D., Carrie Wilkins, Ph.D., Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D., and Stephanie Higgs

Recent and important developments with CRAFT

  1. CRAFT has been adapted to working with adolescents (A-CRA, the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach). A-CRA has shown significant effectiveness, even with highly disadvantaged teens.
  2. A relatively complete version of CRAFT is now available as an online course, at This course can help with the absence of trained CRAFT therapists in most localities.
  3. SMART Recovery Family & Friends, a mutual help group for CSO’s that is based on a combination of CRAFT and SMART Recovery ideas, now offers three dozen face-to-face meetings around the US and a handful in Canada. SMART Recovery recently released a Family & Friends Handbook. 4) An introduction to the spirit of CRAFT is available at no charge at, provided as a community service by the Center for Motivation and Change.

The significance of CRAFT, Dr. Meyers’ contribution to the field, and his ability as a teacher, is described by William Miller, Ph.D., Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of New Mexico:

Bob Meyers has made exemplary contributions to knowledge about the treatment of substance abuse and dependence, overseeing two decades of programmatic research to develop, refine, adapt, test and disseminate CRAFT. Bob is an exceptional human being and colleague. He is a superb clinical teacher who garners top marks from audiences ranging from counselors in recovery to doctoral-level health professionals. Dr. Meyers brings extraordinary energy, compassion, depth and humanity to his research, treatment and training.”

For further information about this CRAFT please see Dr. Meyers’ website.

Additional thoughts

In my opinion one of the best uses of public funds for treating addiction would be to provide CRAFT at all publicly funded treatment facilities, free of charge if needed. Having many families across the US trained in CRAFT would have a significant impact on the national discussion about addiction and how to address it. Specifically, these families would see that, rather than focusing on abstract concepts like addiction as a disease, or waiting for a spiritual transformation in their loved ones, the family can take steps on a day to day basis that in a relatively short time lead to substantial and often complete transformation of substance problems in their loved one.

Ironically, “intervention” is an attempt at a short-term solution (one surprise meeting and he is saved!), just as substance problems are. Many substance users understand that in the long run substance use is leading to problems. But in the moment they are willing to use because of the short-term benefit. Just as we want substance users to think beyond the moment, we can help families think beyond the moment and create enduring change for their families and family members.

Practical Recovery is pleased to announce that Dr. Bob Meyers will be presenting a two and 1/2 day CRAFT training, 2/29 to 3/2/16, in San Diego. This 16-hour training is limited to 40 participants and costs $450. The training is the first step to becoming a certified CRAFT therapist. Approval for CE credits has been applied for (psychologists, MFT/LPCs and LCSWs). We will also hold a “conversation hour” one evening, during which we can watch Dr. Meyers interact with interested professionals and the general public.

To register for this training please contact Tom Horvath by email .