EP77 Q&A with Jeff Foote, PhD author of Beyond Addiction How Science & Kindness Help People Change

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP77 Q&A with Jeff Foote, PhD author of Beyond Addiction How Science & Kindness Help People Change

Jeff Foote, PhD co-founder of the Center For Motivation and Change and author of Beyond Addiction How Science and Kindness Help People Change answers questions submitted by members of Heather’s Invitation to Change groups and Facebook group.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Talking to your child about substance use when there are no green light moments
  • How parents can use Motivational Interviewing in conversations with their child
  • Processing fears about relapse and helping with relapse prevention
  • How to introduce mental health professionals to the concepts in Beyond Addiction
  • Why your child that’s using substances can’t show gratitude for the help you offer them

You can download the first chapter and purchase the Beyond Addiction Workbook here:

Learn more about CMC Foundation For Change

Relapse prevention book mentioned in the episode


Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

GUIDE ABOUT ENABLING – If you’ve ever worried about enabling, this guide is for you! https://heatherrosscoaching.com/perspective-about-enabling/

GROUP COACHING PROGRAM –  Peace of Mind Group for moms

If you want coaching about your child’s addiction or anything else Sign up for a 45 minute $17 call with me using the link below



There’s a new parent support group in Town. Use the link below to find out about the Invitation to Change support group Heather is hosting.

⁠⁠⁠Learn More & Sign Up For The Invitation To Change Group⁠⁠⁠


Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/heatherrosscoaching

Follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heatherrosscoaching/

⁠⁠⁠Join the free Facebook group for parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction⁠⁠

Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/heather-ross9/message


This transcript has not been formatted or edited.


I’m Heather after many wasted years, trying outdated, approaches to my daughter’s addiction, that felt wrong to me harmed.

Our relationship and didn’t help my daughter.

I finally found an effective evidence-based approach.


That repair my relationship with her helped me.

Create my own peace of mind and made me an ally in my daughter’s recovery.

I teach you a loving and compassionate approach to help you encourage change.

And create connection addiction impacts the entire family system.


Family recovery is the answer.

This is an episode, you will want to listen to more than once and take notes.

Today’s guest Jeff, Foote from CMC foundation for change, is one of the authors of the book beyond addiction, which was my introduction to craft an invitation to change.


As I was listening to the episode that we had already recorded, thinking about what I wanted to say in this introduction.

I’m recording right now.

I felt so much emotion thinking about the impact that book has had on my life and I say all the time that I’m forever grateful for that book and the tools that it gave me but I was really feeling it as I was listening to that episode.


And as I’m saying this today because that booked help me change my Experience is the mother of somebody struggling with substance use and it changed, Helen has experience of having me as her mother.


Because it gave me permission to just love her through her addiction, and it taught me helpful ways to help her.

When I say that, it just really hits me in the heart to thinking about how it changed her experience, and she felt loved and supported by me.


I have been trying to do for so long and could not figure out on my own and after I lost to Lana to an overdose, I was even more grateful for the impact that it had on my grief experience because I had done the hard work and I had been there for my daughter and that book help me do that.


So I’m just really feeling that in my heart right now, but when I found out that I was going to get to interview, Jeff, F, I asked the members of my Facebook group and my invitation to change group to submit questions.


So this episode is a wonderful Q&A.

You’re really in for a treat, Jeffrey foot, PhD is co-founder of the center for motivation and change CMC outpatient programs in New York City.


New York, Long Island, New York and Washington DC.

And residential program CMC Berkshire, Berkshires.

I’m not even going to re-record over that one in Western Massachusetts.

He’s also co-founder and executive director of the CMC foundation for change.


A nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the know.

Here’s another word, I can’t pronounce the dissemination of evidence-based ideas and strategies to the Families.

A person struggling with substance use.


Additionally, he is the co-author of the award-winning book beyond addiction practical guide for families, dealing with addiction and substance problems in a loved one based on principles of community reinforcement and family training.


Our craft foot is also a contributor to two workbooks, combining strategies from Craft, the parents 20-minute guide and the partners A minute guide which offers specific tools and practice and evidence-based strategies for helping loved ones change.


Hi Jeff.

Thank you for coming on the podcast today, my total pleasure.

So let’s start with the Beyond addiction workbook.

What’s the difference between the Beyond addiction workbook in the invitation to change, short guide?

Well, that’s it for the guys, slightly different question.


Because normally people are asking what’s the difference being Beyond addiction and the be an The workbook, which is all so confusing.


I mean to say that one first, if you don’t mind because Beyond addiction was the book, he wrote, it’s like you know like a book books, like a 350-page book, we wrote it about nine years ago, back in 2014 and that was a book specifically written for families around topics of what is addiction.


What is motivation?

How to help what are evidence-based strategies for helping?

What our treatment approaches?

Might help your loved one.

How do you navigate the treatment system?

That kind of stuff?

There’s a lot of stuff in there.

Sort of like a more comprehensive guide for entering into the really difficult world that people are entering into.


When they first start to bang up against my loved one is really struggling with substances and then as you know, we have spent a number of years now working specifically with families and developing a hold training for families and being all over the country.


Doing these trainings and and sort of Finding the training and so forth, really based on feedback that we would get from families.

About what’s helpful, what’s not helpful?

What they don’t understand, what makes sense.

So that was a many, many, many year, process of trying to refine that to something that actually felt really useful to people.


And the whole goal that was really like, is this understandable, is this digestible is just makes common sense to people not like an academic paper or something like that.

And we started that project with training people in mostly in.

Craft the community reinforcement family training work of Bob Myers and Jane Smith.


And as we went through that process of working with families, we kept having the experience of like, oh we you know what?

We should really talk about the pain involved in all this process and how difficult that is to tolerate and how do you navigate that?

And we should really include some more communication skills training in this and so forth.


So he started to bring in other elements.

We started to bring in elements of motivational interviewing we started to bring in elements.

Hence of acceptance and commitment therapy started to bring in self-compassion work.

And these are all evidence-based ways of working, but they were all in different approaches and different protocols and stuff.


And they all felt like they contributed really, really helpful parts of this Ultimate model that we use now, and that we call the invitation to change.

So after a, we working at it and refining and so forth, while we stopped calling it craft plus Mir craft plus act.


Because it just It started to be its own thing, and that’s why we moved towards calling it something new, which is the invitation to change approach.

So the sort of a much, more comprehensive write-up of what the invitation to change is in the Beyond addiction workbook.


That’s what the Beyond addiction workbook is, so that really should be called the invitation to change workbook, that’s what it should be called, but it’s not because mostly because of Publishers and opinions about titles that will sell and stuff like that.

So, it’s called to be on addiction work project for just not good reasons, but it actually is the invitation to change workbook.


And so, that’s the most comprehensive right up.

We have, we have of that approach simultaneously before we finish that before it got published, we were doing all these trainings and we were finishing up the invitation to change model.

And we really wanted to have a easy-to-use workbook for people who are getting trained and the bigger workbook wasn’t published.


We also wanted to have one that you could use.

As part of a group.

So if you’re a group leader, you’ve been trained an invitation to change.

You don’t really want to have a 200-page workbook that you’re using.

Just want to have a workbook with an idea, a a, you know, an activity or two for each idea in the invitation to change wheel.


So that’s the short guide.

So the short guide and the Beyond addiction workbook are pretty much the same except for the about addiction workbook is just double the length and has many more exercises and some more explanation of things in it.

Other than that, they’re the same thing, okay?


Yeah, I was comparing the two of them and noticing that there was a lot more information in the Beyond addiction workbook, but I do like the name because everybody knows the Beyond addiction book.


It’s kind of like that, it was my entry into learning about craft like it’s shared so much and Facebook groups that might not have a lot of other good information in them and that was where I found it.

So just the recognition of that name, I get that’s important.


And I really like the way you were mentioning like that, it was digestible, which it is.

And I love the breakdowns of like, why this is hard.

That acknowledgment was really helpful to me when I first found the book and was trying to implement what I was reading.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that’s a voice we have tried to have because that’s a voice, that’s so much.

Part of all this, all this struggle and all this work that everyone does, it’s painful and it’s terrifying at times, and heartbreaking, and disappointing.

And Confusing and all those things.


So, to have that, be just part of the discussion at all time and not as a discouraging thing, but really, as I just an acknowledgement of reality, you know.

Yeah, yeah, that’s nice to have.

So I asked people in my invitation to change groups and in my Facebook group what they wanted to ask you, I thought that would be fun instead of like me making up questions, wondering what people might want to know.


So I’m just going to read them and we’ll get.

As many as we can before the hours up.

So the first one was how do we approach our son about his substance use when he never wants to talk about it unless he’s in a bad place or situation?

What is what if there are no green light moments, right?


This question has come up, many times used to come up with my head off and I remember talking about this with Bob Myers in craft training as well and Bob’s answer always was, there’s always a time you can always find some time.

The little Sliver of a moment when they they can catch him being good as he would say.


So that’s somewhat true.

You can miss a lot of those moments because if there are few and far between then kind of by definition, you’re kind of exhausted, usually yourself.

So it’s it’s hard to be on the lookout for those moments when you might want to, when you might be seeing a green light but it kind of a related idea to the green light idea.


I mean that idea of like relight idea being, would they be receptive to discussion?

Can we talk about things that we might?

Normally he might he or she might feel defensive about or that kind of thing and we can have a more open discussion part of what with the whole approach includes is that idea of creating conditions creating conditions for change.


So it’s not that every moment is critical to keep an eye on and it’s not that we need to have a perfect discussion each time if we get a chance it’s that we’re trying to incrementally slowly change the way things.

Feel change.

The tenor of the conversation has changed the level of trust.


Oh and that’s not a.

We finally had the conversation.

We need to have kind of a thing.

It’s a what we had a pretty good conversation yesterday instead of yelling at each other or I think he heard what I was saying and he usually doesn’t hear anything I’m saying at all.

So can we or we had a nice conversation or I was able to give him a pat on the back about something is nothing to do with the struggles around substances or anything like that.


At all, he cleaned his dishes off the table and he hasn’t done that in two weeks.

So I was able to Hey, really appreciate that.

No big deal, it is nothing new with substance use.

It is actually part of creating conditions for change because the conditions for change include.


Are there more green lights?

Is there more openness?

Is there more trust, is there more discussion and that’s not going to usually come by saying now we’re we’re going to have that really tough conversation, finally.

Like that’s usually not going to be the first thing that’s going to happen.

It’s small.


Can we start the change bits and pieces here and there?

And then we can then we Answer of increasingly get closer to things that are also more substantive, or more weighty or more difficult to talk about if we can put that stuff in place.

So, and I think there are other parts besides just the sort of the catch and being good or finding small positive things because the other things that create the conditions for change.


Are the, the the idea is about understanding where they’re coming from.

So whether I see green lights are not, if I’m coming to this interaction from a place where I’m actually, More sympathetic empathetic towards what’s going on with you.


I’m not just viewing you as somebody who’s torturing me with all this bad behavior, I can kind of have a Kinder eye towards you today because I’m understanding you in a new way.

I’m able to actually hold myself with some more compassion or how difficult that this is and I don’t feel like I have to keep it all bottled up and not.


Tell anybody I can talk to my relatives and say this is sometimes.

This is just why we just want to give up is so difficult and I could do that without feeling like a A bad parent and I can pay start to pay attention to myself and my values.

And how do I want to show up every day in my life?

Whether it’s with my loved one or myself.


All of those pieces again, are not about Israel.

Green light or not, there are, but they are about creating conditions for change.

They are about changing the internal landscape for me and changing what happens in our relationship together and all of that actually does start to add up to more green lights and more opportunities.


Yeah, I think two things.

In there that I heard you say that really helped me well 3, one of them was talking about something other than substance use.

So like having way more conversations about other things, which can be really difficult because, like, with my daughter, her life had gotten so small, I had to work really hard and be really creative about conversations.



But to not house with connection to that step on the difficult topics.

You mean, yeah, well in there just weren’t Weren’t many topics.

She wasn’t working.

She didn’t have many friends like everything in her life is revolving around drugs so well, are ya?



So I would literally make a list of things in my phone to talk to her about.

Now I’d like to look at it before I went to see her so that I kind of had some ideas of things to talk about.

That were also were not like red light zones and just focusing on connecting with her which I had to spend be really patient with and spend a lot of Connecting before I got any green light moments to talk about any that are before our relationship would tolerate that kind of conversation.


So that’s what really helped me to that but that patients part of it, it’s really important, right?

In that patients, part is also predicated on self-awareness and knowing how hard this is for you and having compassion for yourself and that’s that will lead to patients.


If you’re not being acknowledged by yourself at all, your patient is going to be much.

It’s thinner, you know?

Yeah, yeah.

Specially taking care of yourself.


So the next question is I want to know more about motivational interviewing and how a parent can incorporate these techniques with their loved ones, it would be great to have some examples of how a conversation between parent and child would sound using those ideas threat.


That’s like a lot in that question.

Well, it’s interesting thing I realized I’ve realized I’ve heard this phrase now from bunch of people recently where they Well, what I would do is I would use motivational interviewing and I realize, I don’t know what you’re talking about, like what is that me?


What does it mean to you?

Actually and I have started to increasingly.

Think it means different things to different people.

So the motivational interviewing and probably more importantly, a way to put it is the motivational elements of this work and the types of conversations that would be promoting that and get, that’s a great question.


I kind of thought about that and I thought about what are some of those elements and There’s just a couple of, you know, sort of technical elements.

The one of the things we always start with in the training with the invitation to change in terms of communication skills and communication strategies.

Many of which are motivational interviewing born is that simply listening idea and that’s not necessarily a formal motivational interviewing skill motivational interviewing is really geared towards eliciting information, a listening engagement, lowering resistance on the part of the person you’re talking.


With allowing them to feel safer and more able to elaborate, and that’s the sort of the place.

You’re you’re hoping to go.

And so there’s this those technical skills like open versus closed.

Questions will lead to more elaboration and affirmations of the person of what the person is as the person is talking with you affirmations of what they’re saying is a conversational tool that will help that person encourage that person to elaborate more doing a in a review of what they said and started reviewing back to them.


What they said is a way to have the other person feel heard and make sure that we’re on the same page and I’m actually hearing what you’re saying.

So those would be kind of like the oars skills the acronym, oars for motivational interviewing, but I also would start with the initial idea of of, in perhaps, the most powerful mitigation strategy we have is to actually pay attention to the other person, and that’s a literal skill.


Also, as we You’ll notice, when do that kind of practice in trainings, it’s can be quite difficult to just, listen to somebody can be quite difficult to just be listened to, and that’s sort of a tribute to the novelty of that whole experience for many of us to have someone just quietly sit and listen to us.


So, that is a also, a motivational tool as a communication strategy.

And then the last thing I would say about motivational interviewing her say, is that there’s an idea talked about in motivational interviewing about the spirit of Mia as opposed to the literal technical skills and that has much more to do with the idea of true collaboration and respect, mutual, respect and support for autonomy, and that’s kind of the basis of motivational interviewing and the basis of motivational enhancement in general.


Is, can I approach you in a way that is seeing you as another person who is deserving of whatever it is that you’re is going on with you?

And We talked about that in different forms, but one of them weighs, it shows up sometimes is that idea of like, well, I have an agenda, so I’m trying to get across or my actually listening to you people when we do the simply listening exercises, sometimes, people notice all I wanted to say, I wanted to say something.


I felt so bad for her because she was saying this thing and I wanted to tell her an idea, right, okay, which is fine and that’s might be a great idea and it’s an agenda, it’s your idea.

Not what they’re saying.

And can we approach these interactions from a true perspective of of like I’d actually really like to hear what you’re going through.


I’d like to understand.

You doesn’t mean I agree with what you’re going, what your thoughts are, or agree with the position you’re taking about something but I actually would like to understand it and that’s just flat-out.

Respect for another person’s humanists and thoughts and feelings turned out.


That is and ultimately an incredibly motivating thing for another person, and motivating way to interact with someone.

Because if we go to the sort of the first In that ITC wheel, the idea that behaviors make sense inherent in that idea is I’m just respecting what’s going on for you?


I’m not I don’t need to to question it or challenge it or tell you that doesn’t make sense.

I’m actually trying to understand how it does make sense to you which is ultimately a very respectful thing to be doing in collaborative thing to be doing another person.

So, in that way, it’s that’s directly tied to some of the motivational interviewing Spirit as well.


So that’s what I would say about the motivational part of all this Yeah, I really like thinking of the spirit of it because if you can get that first then it makes it easier to work on those individual skills one at a time.


Then they more they make more sense that actually looks goals than yeah.




That would also be good.

Would that would help with the question?

That was that we started with about trying to get more green light moments?



So the next question is, I would like to gain or improve skills and relapse prevention.


My son is eight months sober and doing well, however, I can’t quite fully enjoy it because I am terrified of relapse.

I wonder if I acquire further relapse knowledge, perhaps that will allow me to actually feel empowered enough to more fully, enjoy the moments.


I currently have with my son.

How can I help prevent relapse, right?

This is such a great question in such a great framing of different ideas in here.

One of which Which is the completely natural.

It’s funny.

I’ll go to the video that everyone who’s been trained in this scene.


It’s not our video, but that nail on the head video and we use that to illustrate that idea of the righting reflex, which is that idea of, I’d like to try to fix this.

I’d like to try to make this, right?

I have ideas how to do that and I would like to tell them to you, so you can make it right.


They only had is, you know, you just have a nail in your head kind of a thing.

So, I think part of what I In the question, is the fear, obviously that everyone walks around with which is just something really bad might happen and I have a hard time resting with that fear still in me and that totally makes sense.


And I mean, I think that fear takes a long, long time to go away if ever I think it diminishes over time, but I don’t know how you would not have that fear, with the level of risk and with previous experiences of things not going well and watching The Suffering going on and experiencing the suffering yourself.


It’s just a learned at times PTSD, level experience that people have gone through.

Sometimes just processing your own emotions and your own level of fear.

Around that, you know, more open way, with other people being able to get to get support around the fact that you’re a terrified at times, I think can help bring the temperature down.


The, I think the poll is, what can I do to control the world more?

So that I won’t be afraid is really strong and a really natural.

Well, if I become a master in myth, French and skills, then they can’t be.


That’s right.

And that desire to have that level of control again understandable, and not actually true.

So that’s the first part.

I think I would sort of look to what’s my internal experience.

And how can I help with my internal experience not by operating with more control in the world necessarily and that’s the willingness part when we talk about the invitation to change, that’s the I realized this thing.


Connected to this person who I love dearly and not being able to control them but to love them.

Still is going to put me in a state of vulnerability, a lot.

And do I want to choose to do that and I probably do and but that’s part and parcel of what this process is if I were just responding just to the part about relapse prevention skills and what could I learn?


I’ll say a couple things about that in probably the most important thing I can say about relapse, prevention is the idea that what we know Is the best protection against relapse is the development of a fuller life.

A more meaningful life for the person who’s changing their relationship to substances and not using any more using less or whatever they’re doing that having a life, that means something to them outside of their substance.


Use the more that they have the more protected they are.

And if I were then looking at the invitation to change wheel and thinking what are the skills within there that would help in that in that endeavor?

Like the idea of understanding what motivates them, why does their behavior make sense?


What is the function of this for them as a one size?

Doesn’t fit all?

Who are they, who is this person who I love?

What is important to them?

What is the, what has been the function of the substances?

And what else?

Could they find that or where else could they find?

Fulfillment and satisfaction in their life?

And that’s really different things for different people spirituality outdoor life.


Meaningful work.

Good relationships.

Learning how to have relationships is all these Arenas of Our Lives.

That can be worked out.

That are difficult for lots of us in lots of different ways and how do I could?

I help support them in.

Stepping into developing those things more partly through my understanding of who they are.


Can I in terms of any lapsing or relapsing can?

I understand the really understand it?

Kind of tried to take to heart.

The idea that ambivalence is normal.

That this is a jagged path.

Can I open myself to hearing about that?

They have cravings at times and that this is a tough road.


Can we kind of provide in a Fireman wear, that’s the same thing to talk about because that’s going to actually allow less relapse to be able to have that opening for them to be able to talk about that in a real way.

Can I demonstrate self compassion towards myself?

Which would be something that they then might be picking up on?


Well, my mom really should really does set limits about stuff or she really does make sure that she has time away for herself because turns out her internal life matters to her, maybe I could do that.

And then in a very specific level, the idea of Positive reinforcement for positive change.


Is that that analogy we use in the training around, the can Carpenters analogy about the garden and water in the garden and taking out the weeds and not watering everything in discriminately that idea of helping, develop some of those positive behaviors and that richer Life by noticing the Richer life.


They’re developing by rewarding it so to speak by noticing it.

So that’s those are efforts that can help develop that richer life and support them in that.

And again, overarching that richer life is a We protective place for people.

Not a fail safe place.

It’s not a, you not locking someone in a jail cell to make sure they never use them again.


You’re actually letting them out of that jail cell into a bigger world and hoping the world increasingly means more to them than this.

I love that.


And that peace comes from inside of us like we cannot any relief that we get from our kids, and their situation is only temporary because of that fear.


Being so great.

And we’ve gone, So much.

So I think that that’s really important, that, that we’re only going to get that piece from inside of us.

And then, to be able to create that.

So, you can tolerate a conversation where you can hear that, they are having cravings and they’re struggling, because otherwise, you don’t have the skills to be able to even work through how it feels to hear that.


Yeah, it’s interesting.

I’ve quoted this before.

There was a very famous meta-analysis by one of the people who I cherish the most in the field, who passed away about 10 years ago.

I think a little bit more named, Ellen Marlatt, from the University of Washington.

He was there for many, many years, and he was a Buddhist and he was an addiction expert.


And he started, he was the sort of the one of the Cornerstone people who started.

All the mindfulness based approaches that came out of the University of Washington actually towards addiction issues.

And I think that he probably was coming from a more Buddhist tradition, but in any case he would do, he was a heavy-duty researcher and Brilliant guy, and he wrote the book called relapse prevention.


She’s like 1985 and I’ve often said that I come up with these ideas that I think are so great and so smart.

And then I look back through a copy of your best friend since the goddamn he wrote about that in 1985.

He already had that idea but he did a meta analytic study.


Looking at a hundreds of studies about what predicts relapse and there were two major factors amongst a lot of other things that didn’t really show up over and over again.

Lots of things didn’t predict relapse things, you might think would, when the did, It was sociopathy, which is sort of a psychiatric condition which we don’t need to talk about.


And the other is a rigid, belief in lifetime abstinence predicted relapse, which is fascinating.

And I think in terms of this type of discussion, the, can I control them or control this versus breathe life, into their life idea?


Is related because a rigid belief in lifetime.

Abstinence means I’m just going to batten down the hatches and hope none of the weeds grow through.

And I think that if I relapse, it’s the worst thing ever and it is very rigid construction of reality that is related to locking.


Lock them up, kind of an idea as opposed to that’s that’s actually the thing that turns out that’s going to predict relapse kind of belief system that kind of rigidity and inflexibility is makes you more likely to relapse.

I was just having a Sinking Feeling hearing you say that because so much of the system and so much of what people Our Todd and liked what I heard for the first five years, what is that?


That you know, abstinence was the only way.

And then when somebody a lot of treatment centers not all of them.

But like when my daughter went through and then she was in trouble step programs.

It was this abstinence and no medication assisted treatment or anything like that was allowed.


So yeah, like that just really makes sense to me.

Yeah, you can still have a goal of abstinence, you don’t have to but you Could certainly have a goal of abstinence and feel like this is an important goal for me because I can’t actually manage moderate.

You certainly that just doesn’t work for me.

Totally, that’s true for lots of people.


It’s then how we regard that goal though, with what rigidity and with what belief systems around it that total absence is the only way and sort of a, it’s sort of them becomes more of a moral imperative of good versus bad type of an idea.


And I think that’s the thing that pulls people under for much longer than they need to be.

Yeah, yeah, that sounds like Great book to read.

So the next question is I told my doctor that my son was having a tough time with his addiction and that he’s vacillating between recovery and relapse.


I mentioned that my son and I regularly discuss harm reduction and that if he uses substances, he has set limits for himself to keep him from going into cannabis and do psychosis again.

He told me that I should just tell my son not to use drugs at all that.

No amount is safe.


The doctor said that my son probably thinks I approve of his use and it’s giving him confusing messages.

When we discuss safer ways to use due to drugs.

How do we get our mental health professionals on board with the concepts and Beyond addiction?

I feel like they’re living on a different planet and many of the things they offer are not only unhelpful, but make things worse.



Well, my main response to that was sorry for another negative encounter with the provider environment and provider world, it’s a place.

I’ve certainly lived for many years and watched those interactions happen, right?

In front of my eyes and watch people.

It crushed by it, and it’s incredibly discouraging, a in our trainings.


I used to cite lots of different examples of this.

We now do site, kind of like the way that will negative interactions with the medical and psychological and treatment world, how those interactions affect families.

Not just the person struggling, who they also negatively affect, but their families, who they negatively affect in that providing discouragement.


For that group is so unfortunate because it’s such an important source of support and That kind of discouragement also loses resilience from families, that are more exhausted by getting beaten down in those ways.

So when this part of the messaging this person was hearing, right, is like know your while.


You can’t have those kind of conversations, you’re going to harm your child.

Well what person wants to hear that untruth and it’s terrible thing to hear as a parent.

Have a providing provider accusing you essentially of being a bad parent and putting your child in danger me.

No sir that’s heavy duty.


The zoomed out version.

This that I used to get a little breath is to realize that providers are people too until they become a I switch maybe it’ll happen next month who knows?

And they live in the same culture everyone else does and shockingly enough, lots of people’s Professional Knowledge of substance related issues and addiction issues is based on the cultural understandings.


They have not based on any training they got and there’s not a lot of training that professionals get another thing we walk through with professionals when we’re training them.

Is here’s your training guys, which is Not much.

And it’s it’s, it’s terrible.

So if you’re not trained in it, then you’re really just left with these very compelling, cultural black and white cultural messages about what this is, and how do you work with this?


And you got to stand up to people who are struggling this way.

And you can’t let yourself be dragged around by it.

And the other part of it for providers is I’m not going to put myself at risk.

I’m not going to take responsibility for somebody who’s being irresponsible so that kind of stuff also gets into the mix and it just and they’ll leads leads providers being in.


Kind of like authoritative position.

That is very easy to step into will write.

I am an authority, right?

I’ve got a doctorate and I’ve got an MD behind my name and I’m a social worker.

And I, I know a lot of stuff and so I know and this family doesn’t know what to do and I need to be authoritative.

So there’s that poll.


Also need to give them an answer.

I need to help them need to reassure them.

And unfortunately, all that adds up to non compassionate, non collaborative stances with the people who are struggling and, you know, Everything we’ve been talking about so far today is about what’s the most powerful motivating forces are collaboration.


Respect understanding men as we often say you know it’s result in being nicer but it’s not about being nice.

It’s about being unjust, actually understanding another person and if I’m taking an authoritative role and I’m or I’m saying to some apparent, you need to be an authority here, you can’t have these open discussions with your child.


You’re just opening Pandora’s Box there.

That’s just that pole to No, close the Box, shut it down, be an authority, and you can control this, and it’s just a false idea.

It’s the same false idea, but put into medical.

He’s, it’s the same idea with with interventions we, no, no, no.


We can force this and it feels imperative that we get you to do something.

And so we’re going to be an authority, and we’re going to take away your rights.

And we’re going to force this to happen because I think that particular video, the word cloud video of changing the conversation is is One way to help somebody go.


Oh, right.

This is the words.

This is the language I’m using and what is the impact of that on this family number?

I’m talking to but essentially I think that question boils down to control versus, I don’t actually have control.

What else do I have?

If it’s not control and there’s a lot I have if it’s not control but that’s not a well-known understanding.



That video is a great idea.

It’s so short and impactful like somebody might actually watch it since it’s so short.


And You said about when they say you can control this like that messaging, that was the messaging that I got for so long that then made me, do all of these things that didn’t feel right to me to try to control it and it because it felt like something was wrong with me that I couldn’t control it.


Like why would people keep telling me I should be able to or can control this when I can’t?

And so I kept, I was doing, I knew I couldn’t, but I still kept trying because that was the message I was given.


And we want to I mean if we could that would be a great plan because that would fit in with the desire to actually help this change.


Now as rapidly as possible, if I could actually control it somehow in a direct way.

Just get that person to change.

That’d be great, it’s just not true.

Yeah, yeah.

Thank you.

That was a great answer.

And then I think that Cordelia has said on the helping families help website, there’s something that you can show to Providers to have to put Think about that in the show notes.


The next question is, do you have plans for a follow-up book?

And this might be one of the last ones because we’re starting to run out of time.

Do you have plans for a follow-up book or follow up around new learnings opioid and Fentanyl versus meth or weed or other drugs?


Parents seem to know very little about the drugs themselves.

Yeah, so that’s kind of territory that we.

So it’s possible that have plans for a follow-up book.

It wouldn’t be a book like that part.

Because at least in my experience, there is a lot of material out there about that kind of stuff.


Those kind of distinctions, it might not be well, distilled or located in one place, but certainly people make lists of stuff and effects of things.

And how do you, what is this pill look like?

And how strong is this?

And that kind of thing, I think that kind of stuff is out there.


You know, the invitation to change is much more about a process for helping and there are many, many topics that are important for people to understand as well.

That aren’t just about the process like, naloxone.

We don’t talk about naloxone either, but good Lord it.


But I like people to know about that and have some in their purse.

And yeah, it would be great to know the difference between certain kind of drugs.

And it’d be great to know what you need to detox from, and what you don’t and don’t tell your kid.

That’s just stop taking benzos one day to the next if they’ve taking a billion of them, you know, that’s kind of things.


Those are all really important information.

If we start to add in all the technical, informations in the world, we lose the narrative.

And this narrative, I think is hard enough for people to get, actually, it’s such a change in the narrative that they’ve already heard that.

I think our experience is, it takes awhile emotionally, to shift, into understanding this in a different way.


And then to work with these kind of what we try to have as big as straightforward as possible tools but they’re not that straightforward.

I mean, they’re just take, they take a lot of practice in a lot of work, so I don’t think we would want to like, expand a bunch of stuff into the model to help people.

Here’s more and more resources.


Again, I would totally That to there’s lots of resources and you can acquaint yourself with those resources for sure.

I think that the two possible places we would go whether they’re in books or Not that we’re that we are working on currently.

Actually I have done a lot of work in both of these areas, are some version of the invitation, to change for the person who’s struggling themselves, which is how do we take that model, which is pretty straightforward, actually and use it with the person who’s sitting in front of me, who’s actually using substances, if I’m a provider, if I’m a parent, you know, how do I work with you?


Using these ideas to help you so that you can understand that your behaviors make sense and you can understand an ambivalence and you can understand about better communication strategies and you can understand willingness to change for yourself.

You the person who’s struggling with the substances.

So I think that’s the thing.

A translation we’re working through right now and we’ll probably I don’t know if that will be a book or not, but books are not that much fun to write turns out.


There’s slightly crushing actually, the other work that we’ve talked about and I always talked about with you a little bit is grief.

I also don’t think that’ll be a book because I think people have written important stuff on that but there is some there are some good work out there.


Some work from people in Norway been working on drug-related deaths and the grief that comes from that and I think we are certainly developing a protocol.

For how do we help talk about this?

How do we help people process?

This really complex process and as we have talked about also that grief is not just about the loss of someone.


That grief is something lots of people.

France, without the loss of someone.

Yeah, it’s the loss of of the relationship.

It’s the loss of the way we used to be.

It’s the loss of trust, it’s the constant fear, that’s a grief.

So those are different aspects of grief and very different impacts but they’re all important.


So I think we’re trying to work towards that really coming up with a way to talk about that in group settings and whether it’s specifically devoted to a grief group so to speak or just something that people can understand better throughout the The work that they’re doing.

Yeah, I’m excited to see both of those.


I think that.


They just there’s so much unacknowledged grief or I think a lot of times people don’t realize that it’s grief.

Yeah, that for somebody who is still living and that that the gap between what they expected their life to be like and the reality of it or what their kids life that Gap and not realizing that that’s something that needs to be grieved.





And just even at the level of simple acknowledgement, as you said, they’d be willing to talk about it or think about it.

Don’t think of it as grief.

Yeah, that’s great.

So I don’t want to risk trying to go into another question, but thank you so much for such thorough answers.


I think this would be so helpful in, these are way better questions than I ever would have come up with on my own.

So okay, we do the I’m curious with my child can’t show gratitude yeah.

So the question is I’m curious.

Why my child who uses substances can’t show gratitude for someone trying to help in such a complex situation.


So I think one of the things that we obviously spent a lot of time within the investment change is self-awareness.

So one thing I would do in if I was having that experience would be to go back into myself first and try to notice what it is about that thing that I’m describing as a lack of gratitude, what is it that?


It’s just touching in me because on the surface, it could feel like That’s so annoying or a, some obnoxious.

And I just want to bite your head off a little bit for, you know, all I’ve done for them, kind of a thing, my guess is that kind of reaction probably is covering is on sitting on top of some other stuff that’s emotional and difficult and like some acknowledgement of myself that I walk around scare all the time and I work so hard and no one even notices.


And the person I worked so hard for, he’s not even grateful.

They never Say, thank you.

And remember, we were doing a meditation.

I was just sort of spontaneously doing this meditation of the beginning of a parent’s group once and I sort of got Rift was riffing on this idea of looking at yourself.


Coming around the front of yourself with your eyes closed and looking at yourself and thanking yourself for everything you have done.

And for showing up in this group, and for being being willing, to be available to these other people sitting around you.

And we came back out of that.

And somebody’s like, I don’t think I’ve been thanked in 10 years.


No one.

Years has thanked me for everything I’ve done and how hard I’ve worked and it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and is known of it.

So think they were very Deep Emotions that are getting triggered and kicked up by the experiences that our people are going through and trying to help their loved one.


And I think it can come out as God even a little gratitude would be nice but you wouldn’t be it would be nice but I think a one place to help soothe some of that is to go inside.

And go.

Let me be aware of myself here a little bit and realize how hard this is and I do deserve some gratitude and probably not going to get it from my kid, not this week.


But can I even start by acknowledging that I deserve some gratitude here and where else could I get that?

Even if it’s just starting with myself, the other part of that I think would be related to helping with understanding would be and if I were to take their shoes so here I am feeling like damn it just a thank you would be nice if I were to stroll over.


The street and put myself into their shoes and see what it’s like living in their skin day to day.

What would that be like for me?

And then I looked across and saw me on the other side of the street, would I would the first second or third thoughts that came to my mind.

Be thank you so much.

Mom, what would it be?


I’m suffering, I can barely function.

I can barely get out of bed.

Probably ungrateful somewhere in there that this person is still bugging me, but often, it feels like they’re bugging me and And I get brought up against things that feel bad and I feel bad about myself a lot most of the time.


So really not in a place where I’m feeling thankful.

I’m going to place.

It feels pretty self Heating and pretty miserable and thank you is not the top of my list which has nothing to do with whether you deserve to be thanked or appreciated or have gratitude for you.


Do it just may not be that it’s in their capacity right now to even notice that very much.


It’s beautiful just to think about.

I mean, somebody in survival mode.

Gratitude is not at the top of their mind.



And the really felt that I work so hard and nobody notices, especially the things that a loved one.

Does all the doctors appointments and the research, and all of those hours and hours of even, just trying to understand and learn.


And that, that you can’t really see the results of yeah.


So that’s an orange.


Usually, so can I again, can I acknowledge it myself and really appreciate what I’m doing and that can be a struggle for people to notice themselves and say thank you to me and then maybe ask for that from someone who’s actually capable of giving it to me.


Yeah, that’s great.

I love that answer.

Thank you.

So the Beyond addiction workbook is available like anywhere you can get books and then on Beyond addiction work book.com and you can download The first chapter for free to check it out.


I love that you guys always do that and then I’ll put that in the show notes and the CMC website and also the book about relapse that you mentioned, I’ll put that in the show notes to.

So thank you so much for your time and near really thoughtful answers to these questions.


Thank you so much for doing this in for doing everything, you do.

Thank you for listening to this episode.

If you want to learn more about my work, go to Heather.

Ross coaching.com if you want to help other parents who are struggling with a child’s addiction, you can do it two different ways.


First, you can share the podcast with them directly or you can share it on your social media second.

You can leave a review, talk to you next week.