If you are interested in learning more about how the skills of CRAFT can be helpful to you, here are some ways to get started…
1. Find a CRAFT or CBT therapist.
It can be helpful to do 1-to-1 counseling with a therapist who is experienced with CRAFT to give you additional support and help (e.g., learning skills to cope with your loved one’s drinking). Although CRAFT is a well-researched therapy, it can be difficult to find a CRAFT therapist. If you cannot locate a CRAFT therapist, then I recommend looking for a therapist who has experience working with addictions and who is competent in a class of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
CRAFT is one therapy among many within the class of CBT. Many of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapies have substantial research evidence demonstrating their effectiveness in treating various mental health conditions and life problems. Many of the skills that you learn in CRAFT are also taught in CBT so finding a therapist who has experience with addiction and CBT means you will likely learn similar skills and the therapist will help tailor those skills to your unique circumstance.
Psychology Today has one of the largest databases of therapists that you can search to find therapists in your area. You can search for providers in your area who specialize in addiction and offer CBT. We also have a tip sheet that provides you with some questions you may want to ask a potential therapist.
The creator of CRAFT, Dr. Robert Meyers, co-wrote a self-help book that teaches family members the CRAFT skills. The book is called Get Your Loved One Sober. The book has several exercises that you can do to help learn the skills. For example, in the chapter on communication skills includes exercises where you practice changing how you talk to your partner. Because the book is written in a down-to-earth, positive, and easy to understand manner, and it helps family members learn CRAFT skills, I recommend it to all my clients.
We also provide self-help resources on this site. You can sign up for the 10-week newsletter (it’s free!) that includes helpful tips and CRAFT skills, and we are in the process of adding even more content and resources on the site to help family members free themselves from the cycle of their loved ones’ addictions.
3. Try a support group.
SMART Recovery has a family and friends group that meets online and in some parts of the U.S. they have started to run in-person groups. SMART Recovery is based on CBT and recommends Get Your Loved One Sober to family members, so you could use this group to help you learn CRAFT skills. Additionally, you’ll probably get social support from a group of people who truly understand what it is like to have a loved one with an addiction. Having some more support (both emotionally and as you learn the skills) can be very helpful as you continue to help your addicted loved one.