What is CRAFT?
CRAFT Therapy: An Alternative to Intervention
Intervention remains the most stigmatized tool in the recovery toolkit. The intervention process can be heart wrenching and confrontational. Like so many other aspects of the treatment industry, this painful experience remains the norm for Concerned Significant Others (CSOs).
CRAFT therapy, however, offers us a viable alternative to the classic model of intervention. As a matter of fact, CRAFT therapy is three times as successful as the intervention process.
CRAFT therapy is non-confrontational. This process focuses on positive transformation rather than the negative enforcement that comes with an intervention. Working with a therapist, CSOs develop strategies to reinforce their loved one’s sobriety and good decision making. Additionally, CSOs work to discourage activities that offer the potential for continued substance abuse. CRAFT can significantly reduce the suffering of CSOs, for it is a way to incorporate the family as a healing agent in the process.
Pioneered by Dr. Robert J Meyers, CRAFT therapy was borne from Meyers’ own experience with addiction. With a difficult childhood followed by a stint in Vietnam, Meyers drug abuse landed him on the streets. Once Meyers discontinued his own drug use and became involved with the recovery community, he came to see how much influence the CSOs of drug and alcohol abusers could affect problematic behavior. Previously, due to his tough family situation, the idea of family as positive reinforcement had never occurred to him. Furthermore, Dr. Meyers wanted to craft methods different from AAs, which was not effective for all those in recovery.
CRAFT is a therapy built on positivity and family. It models the kind of life and relationships a substance abuser will engage in following a successful treatment. It recognizes that we are an extension of our communities and that our communities can hold us accountable, with love.