EP86 CRAFT’s Family-Centered Healing Approach With Guest Gail Embt From Recovery Club America

Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
Living While Loving Your Child Through Addiction
EP86 CRAFT's Family-Centered Healing Approach With Guest Gail Embt From Recovery Club America
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Learn the unique advantages of using Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) to support your child’s recovery journey with guest Gail Embt, a Certified CRAFT Clinician. CRAFT offers powerful tools, yet many professionals and parents who need it don’t know about it. Whether you’re seeking solutions or understanding, this episode offers valuable insights to support your family.  

 Topics covered in this episode:

  • CRAFT overview
  • The benefits of CRAFT for you and your child
  • Using existing knowledge to support change
  • Navigating setbacks

Contact Gail/Recovery Club America to learn more about Parent Inner Circle

Recovery Club America Website

Resources From Heather Ross Coaching

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

 

If you want answers and support to help you and your child Sign up for a 45-minute $17 call with me using the link below

https://heatherrosscoachingcalendar.as.me/RoadtoRecovery

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Transcript

This transcript has not been formatted or edited.

0:01

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After many wasted years trying outdated approaches to my daughter’s addiction that felt wrong to me, harmed our relationship, and didn’t help my daughter, I finally found an effective evidence based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.

0:24

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.

Hey, today our guest is GAIL Empt from Recovery Club America.

0:47

GAIL, thank you for being here on the podcast today.

Heather, I am so happy to be here and thank you for giving me this opportunity to to share and to talk with you.

Yeah.

So can you start by sharing a little bit about yourself and Recovery Club America and how you ended up doing this work?

1:06

Sure.

My journey in this is I I’m a mom of two boys, and they’ve both struggled with mental health and substance use over the course of their early young lives.

And I was just a regular mom with regular hopes and dreams for my kids.

1:22

And as they started to struggle, I had to.

Tried to figure out how to help them, and so I did the usual therapist counselors, Private doctors then progressed to have to go through treatment programs and nothing really worked until I found the craft approach and the partnership to end addiction.

1:43

And once I found that, it really transformed my relationship with them.

And in working with them, I was able to transform their relationship with substances and.

That’s so powerful to me that I really felt I needed to share that with other parents that I’ve met along the journey and and and who have such a hard time.

2:03

So that’s what I do and I’ve been doing independently for a while.

I’m a parent coach and online facility for the partnership to end Addiction and I also now work for Recovery Club America and their.

Primary focus is actually helping the individual with substance use or mental health issues, providing access to therapy, access to online therapist, they do medication assisted treatment, they do post treatment support.

2:31

They’ve got a program called 1st, 90 Days for those who are just entering recovery.

And my role is actually to bring the family and the parent focus to what we do in the company and provide programs and services.

Or the families, so they can be the best advocates and support for their children.

2:47

So you mentioned that you’re trained in craft, and I haven’t had many episodes where we’ve just talked strictly about craft and the procedures, so I’m excited to share that.

Could you give an overview of Craft and explain how it’s different than other approaches to supporting somebody who’s using substances?

3:13

Well, the first thing about crafts.

So I before I found Craft, I looked at a lot of different other interventions or approaches for parents because I felt that we needed more skills to be more effective with our kids.

And the research has shown that Craft is probably the best performing intervention for family.

3:34

Meaning, it’s the best set of skills and approaches that family members can use for the purpose of getting their one to.

Their loved 1 to get into treatment and to engage with treatment.

So whereas most of the research has been done with the start getting into treatment, it’s actually highly effective at helping your loved one they remain in treatment and remain in their recovery.

3:59

So it’s actually one research report.

It was three times parents were three times more successful than parents who just did.

For example Al Anon, which is really powerful approach.

But Craft is different in that it combines not only how to think and about working with your loved one, but actual skills.

4:20

And not only skills, but actual do this, then this, then this kind of proven approaches to putting the skills together in a way that taps into the individual’s internal motivation to change.

And then helps them to actually execute on and make changes towards healthier behavior, reducing substance use, managing their mental health issues more effectively.

4:45

For example, I’m very active in a lot of online support groups for families of kids and loved ones with substance use and mental health issues.

And when I go in there, it’s a very powerful environment for being understood.

You meet a lot of people who are sharing the same challenges that you are sharing.

5:04

But where it goes a little bit different is in the online group.

You’re not sure what advice you’re getting, how well tested and proven that advice is.

Whereas with.

What I found is that it’s skills that you learn and practice once you’re comfortable in in them.

5:21

They’re very, very powerful and effective at helping your loved one change.

So it’s the skills.

It’s putting the skills together in a specific order that.

I think parents who use it find it so much more effective than other more traditional and well known and effective things like online support groups or Al Anon or some of the others that are out there.

5:45

Yeah.

And I really liked what you said about it.

Tapping into their internal, your loved ones internal motivation.

And how I think that’s the missing piece from so many other things that we’re often told, oh, there’s there’s nothing that you can do but focus on yourself and just wait.

6:05

And the hope that people get when they hear about craft and that there is something that they can do and that it can actually be done in a way that their loved one can receive it and it’s not judgmental or it helps them feel like it’s possible to even want to change.

6:27

I agree.

Something that I learned along with trying to understand how to how to help my child children and why this approach was so effective was I really ended up learning a lot about the science of behavior change.

And that’s really what craft is built on the whole concept.

6:45

That or well understood scientific concepts that our therapists and clinicians understand, but that we as parents have never been educated on or taught on that.

A couple of really important things.

First is that in order to really make changes, the motivation has to come from within.

7:03

So it’s about connecting the individual to their motivation to change, helping them to look at the cost benefit of what they’re doing, and then help them move in a direction and sustain that motivation.

It’s about understanding that not everybody is highly motivated 100% of the time.

7:21

And so how can we connect with someone who’s maybe not motivated right now or maybe was highly motivated but has now kind of slipped back a little bit?

And so all the tools that we’re given are help us to understand behavior change and then use that to create an environment that where we can advocate and support for healthier behaviors in our loved ones.

7:44

I love that, especially the part where you said everybody isn’t motivated to change 100% of the time.

And for some reason a lot of the conditioning we get about when somebody’s struggling with substances that if they’re not motivated 100% of the time that they’re not interested in changing.

8:06

And I love how that gives us this just more all around human approach to this is how it is when we try to make any changes in our life.

So what are some of the main goals of craft like, both for the family member and the person in their life that’s struggling with substance use?

8:26

So the craft is has well defined 4 objectives and all of the pro all of the skills and education and the work that that we do with families is in one of these four areas.

So first of all, it’s designed to engage your loved one, whether it be a spouse or partner or child, in treatment by motivating them.

8:47

To seek and actively participate, it uses positive reinforcement and communication strategies.

So communication is really central and critical to what we do in CRAFT to get them to consider and commit to treatment.

The second thing it does is it helps us as family members get back to interacting in a constructive and supportive manner and that includes setting boundaries, expressing concerns, managing conflict and.

9:17

Supporting A motivation to change.

The third goal of Craft is to get somebody, an individual, to reduce their substance use, even if they can’t get all the way to complete abstinence, because it really recognizes that one size does not fit all, and some individuals are going to be able to get to complete abstinence.

9:39

Some are not, but Craft is.

Right there, helping us to help our loved one get as far as they can or as close as they can to abstinence and the last and really also critical.

Part of craft.

Is it’s focused on enhancing the family and the quality of family life.

9:59

It lets the family live regardless of the choices that their loved one of their child makes.

One of the hardest things that that I had to come to terms with and I think a lot of parents come to terms with this.

We can’t.

Be all seeing and all knowing.

And we cannot force our kids to do what we think is in their best interest.

10:18

They have their internal motivation and their internal individuality.

So we have Craft teaches us how to accept that and how to learn to live for ourselves, to reconnect with our happiness and our ability to be fulfilled, even if our loved one doesn’t make.

10:39

All of the changes that we would like to see them make, and that is such a powerful part of what we forget, because it’s very easy to become complete, for the whole family to be totally focused on the individual who is struggling with mental illness or substance use.

And we lose sight of what’s important to us, what’s valuable to us, How to stay calm, how to be even keeled, How to have happiness and joy in our own life, even if our child is struggling.

11:04

Yeah, that piece is so key.

I think rebuilding that family connection and taking into account that one size doesn’t fit all and that everybody’s path recovery might look a little bit different, but focusing on our own health and Wellness and how much relief that’s got to be for our loved one that is struggling already, right?

11:29

And then if our health and Wellness is dependent on them, that’s just more pressure.

And I love that.

Part of it is that the family can go on no matter what, like it just creates more health and function whether the person chooses total abstinence or not.

11:52

I know in my own case I want my child to be happy.

I wanted to hang on to the dreams I had.

My children kind of went off, went on their own paths during high school and post high school and I had had this.

Vision and dream, they would go.

They’d be.

12:07

Both were athletes.

They’d perform well.

High school, college jobs, and that wasn’t the path they were on.

So I was totally focused on that.

I mean, and I put on probably 30-5 pounds.

I was so focused.

I was completely stressed.

12:23

I had a whole raft of additional medications that I ended up having to take because I was so consumed in trying to write my children, if you will.

And.

It’s really is part of the work I’ve done in craft that I’ve been able to separate myself from them and their outcome from my outcome and been able to find the time to try to.

12:45

I’m now in a place where I’ve lost a lot of weight.

I’m not taking as many medications as I used to.

And I look back on the journey and I really went down that path because I was so focused on my kids and and so for me to be able to get back in more balance for myself was really powerful.

13:03

Yeah, I did the same thing.

My health got so bad.

I was sick all the time.

I had gained a bunch of weight.

I just, I wasn’t paying any attention to myself and any of even my most basic needs like sleeping and drinking enough water, like all of that stuff had gone out the window because all I could think about was my daughter.

13:24

And Craft emphasizes selfcare, and I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about how it uses well-being to promote their like personal growth and resilience.

13:40

It helps me.

So I think I mentioned earlier this, this concept, that of letting go, of thinking I could control their choices, was a really powerful one for me because I was in this.

I mean, I constantly was looking for the magic bullet.

13:58

The one treatment, the one word I could say.

The one.

Boundary or consequence I could put in place that was going to make the light bulb go on in their head and then go, Oh yeah, Mom’s right.

I shouldn’t be doing this.

I’m going to stop.

Hey, mom, I’m stopped, right?

14:13

Without realizing how silly.

I mean, I say it this way because it sounds silly when I say it this way, but I didn’t realize that that’s what my goal was looking back on it.

And Kraft really helped me to understand that I’m not able to control that.

Another really important thing that I learned was to accept reality.

14:32

We all have dreams for our kids, and a lot of times we’re still trying to make that dream happen and struggling with the fact that there’s parts of us that recognize that they’re not on that path towards that dream anymore.

And it gets harder and harder to get them back towards the path, if that makes any sense.

14:50

And I really had to come to peace with accepting reality, which was I had to at some point say they’re not on that path.

There are many paths, right?

It is.

Unique to the individual, how they’re going to work their way through what they’re struggling with.

15:08

And I’m not doing anybody any favors by trying to force them into one way or force them to 1 outcome.

I’m only going to connect with their motivation if I can accept that they’re going to have their own path, and my job is to support them and help them to find that path.

15:24

I was smiling when you first started talking because when you’re talking about the one finding the one thing, you know.

And I I was exactly the same way.

Like if I can just find the one thing to say to her to make her understand, then she’ll just want to stop because it’s going to make sense to her, right?

15:41

Like this really oversimplified.

I don’t know why we do that, but just this oversimplified way of looking at it.

But maybe, you know, just we want it to be easier because it is so complicated.

And I had to go through that same journey of finding acceptance of what was really happening and accepting just who my daughter was at that time versus who I wanted her to be so that I could stop resisting it and work with it.

16:11

And that was a big part of my journey to finding like my own selfcare that was a part of it.

And you mentioned like understanding your loved one and the path that they’re on.

16:29

And there’s something in craft called the functional analysis.

So let’s talk a little bit about how that helps with that and how it helps families understand like the the behavior patterns and the triggers.

16:45

And really, actually, in my mind too, brings more compassion to the situation as well, because you really get an understanding of what’s actually happening.

Functional analysis to me is a really, it’s a scientific term, right?

17:00

And it’s a really scary term, like, Oh my gosh, it’s really about putting out there what you know and see about your child in an easy way so that you can look at it and say, okay.

This is what I know about my child now.

17:16

What?

What can I use to help connect them to their motivation?

So the behavioral and the functional analysis, says Okay.

Let’s take one example.

When our kid is struggling with it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mental illness or substance use or combination.

17:34

What do we think caused them to get into this place?

I use drinking as an example.

Maybe they always go to the bar on Saturday nights with a group of friends.

So the, you know, you would think of the OK, so this is what happens, these friends, this location, these feelings inside them.

17:53

So we create a list really of kind of the things we think lead our child into using the substance and we look at what are they like while they’re using.

Why is that really important?

Well, it’s really important to know what they’re like when they’re using and when they’re not using.

18:08

Because what Craft does is help us to take that information and reward the times they’re not using.

Because one thing that it it works on the science of behavior change again, is that behaviors that get rewarded get repeated.

18:27

Another part of the the functional analysis is looking at the world, teaching us to look at the world through our child’s eyes.

So it’s very easy for us and and I parents say this to me all the time.

Oh, well, my son likes this and that, and he doesn’t like this and this.

18:43

And I say, well, no, that’s what you think is important to your son.

But what is your son actually said to you that’s important to him right now?

What’s important?

What does he get out of using the substance in the short term?

What does he tell you?

Because you’re you want to make sure that you’re not guessing.

19:01

Because if we’re guessing, we’re going to work on our guesses, or as if we actually ask them and talk to them or observe them, we’re going to know.

What’s important to them now and what might they see, is a downside to their using behavior.

And what’s so powerful about this for me is it’s all information that the families probably already have about their child.

19:22

But we don’t realize it.

We’ve never been taught to think about it and we’ll put it down in a way that we can use that information as part of a process or as part of a communication, and that’s what Craft teaches us.

It really gives us the skills and the knowledge to take information we already have and use it as effectively as possible to help our child.

19:46

And the functional analysis is one of the tools that is core to to what Craft Teach helps us learn to do.

And I like how you started off by saying like it’s a big word that makes it sound so much harder than it is.

20:01

I think that.

The Invitation to Change does a really good job of distilling the functional analysis down in the Behaviors Makes Sense chapter.

The first time we did it, I didn’t even identify that one of the activities actually is a functional analysis because it’s just so much more relatable the way they do it.

20:22

But what the powerful part of it, like you said, is realizing how important the things that we know are.

Like we know all these things, we just don’t know what to do with it.

And that really helps us to know like if we’re identifying that they are like used to drinking, for example, at a certain time every week or after a certain event or something like that.

20:51

Like helping us to identify those things, to maybe offer like to be looking out for that or to know something else that we could offer in that place.

Or just even be able to talk about it non judgmentally like, oh, I noticed that the stressor then you end up drinking like what’s going on for you, being like more curious in the whole process.

21:14

Yeah, one of the things I mean, I I I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently.

The difference between Craft and and me beforehand?

So an easy not easy but maybe this will be.

Yeah, I I started to think of it.

21:29

It’s like, it’s like driving a car.

And before what we’re doing is we’re trying to step on the accelerator to get our kids to make changes.

But we still have our foot on the brake.

And if you got 1 foot on the brake and 1 foot on the accelerator, nothing’s going to happen.

So where’s craft allows us to take our foot off the brake and really push that accelerator forward.

21:50

An example would be my son like to play.

Golf.

Right.

As he got into substance use, he didn’t do golf as much.

And before I knew, he liked to play golf.

So I’d be like, you’re missing out on your opportunities to play golf.

You wanted to do this in college.

22:06

You’re not going to be able to do this if you’re using substances, right?

So I had my foot on the brake because I was blaming him and I was kind of tense and angry and I was telling him all the things he was blowing.

Whereas Kraft would say, well, since you know he likes golf, why don’t you say?

22:24

Why don’t you and I go and hit golf balls when you’re not using?

Now what I’m doing is I’m connecting him to the thing he loves, but I’ve got my foot on the accelerator because I’m not beating him up for all the times he hasn’t done it.

And that’s that’s just something that’s kind of popped into my head recently, but I’m taking my foot off the brakes.

22:43

So a lot of things I tried to do before Craft actually worked against the goal I was trying to achieve.

Yeah, that’s a great analogy, looking at it that way.

And it made me think also about rewards, because that could be something that’s used as a reward.

23:02

You mentioned earlier that rewards are part of behavior change.

So how do you use rewards and consequences in Craft to promote changes in somebody’s behavior?

Rewards are hard, right?

23:18

They’re hard.

For us as parents because.

Usually by this time we’ve gotten to a place where we’re angry and we’re anxious and we’re frustrated with our child’s choices.

And so we’re like, well, why should we give them anything they’re using?

How do they deserve a reward?

23:35

And yeah, that makes sense, right?

Child’s been bad, you know, You don’t tend to reward that behavior.

But the Craft, with its focus on behavior change, says yeah, they’re doing bad things.

But there are behaviors you want to see, and the behavior you want to see deserves a reward.

23:54

So I actually was working with a parent recently who’s she was struggling to get have her son.

He was at home with her struggling to get him to give up substances.

And they talked about it and she said, you know, I really would appreciate it if in the evening you wouldn’t use substance.

24:13

And she came to back to me the next week and she said well.

Four days.

Last week he did not use substances, but last night I caught him smoking and I said, well, we’ve talked in craft about rewarding positive behavior.

24:29

So what did you do in this situation?

She said, Well, the previous four nights I told him thank you, I did an activity with him or I told him thank you.

I really like the fact that you’re not using tonight.

And I said, well, what did you do last night when he was using?

24:46

She said well.

I just looked at him and I said, you’re not in a place tonight for us to do something together, so maybe tomorrow night.

And she said I left him alone.

Well, that’s what Kraft teaches us, to reward the positive behavior.

It also teaches us to remove a reward when they are under the influence.

25:07

And all of that reinforces, hey, mom was with me the last four nights.

I had a really nice time with her.

Why don’t I do that again?

And that’s how.

Craft.

Helps us in with behavior change.

And the rewards don’t have to be big.

25:23

In fact, it’s better because we probably have to use them several times.

The first time you use it, your child may not notice.

The second night when she said thank you, I had a great time.

He probably went oh oh right.

I didn’t use last night or tonight.

Mom really liked being with me and I had a good time too.

25:40

So the rewards should be simple, easy to give.

You should be able to give them multiple times.

It can be a gift card, it can be a thank you, It could be a back rub by one woman who gives her son he really likes head massages, so he’s actually using that as a replacement for some using behaviors.

26:00

Younger kid, but very powerful.

And it also increases the connection between the parent and the child, which is another part of what we’re trying to do by healing the communications in the family.

As you were talking, I was thinking about how, like my approach early on, before I found anything to do with craft, I was focused on, like, creating consequences and punishing like rather than just, like allowing the natural consequence like you were just talking about.

26:28

And I just happened to look at an older journal of hers last night.

And I could see how that focus for me on punishment, she felt like it was impossible and like she was never going to be able to do enough right things to not be grounded all the time.

26:45

And I really did initially, like I set her up to fail because there was just so much punishment.

She and I ignored the small things that she did, the small changes she made because we hadn’t made the one overall goal yet which was complete abstinence at all times.

27:03

And so I missed all these opportunities to connect with her and tell her I was proud of her and reward her for the times that she did do the things that I was asking her to do.

But I was expecting her to do those things for weeks or months before she got any of her privileges or anything back.

27:25

So I was just piling it on and just making everything so much harder for her.

And I love the way you explained it so simply that the mom and the first example you used, she was spending time with her son the times that he wasn’t smoking, but the ninth time he went, she just withdrew that.

27:44

She didn’t, like, add anything extra.

She wasn’t mean to him.

She didn’t judge him like none of that had to happen.

There wasn’t any extra attention or chaos or anything.

It was just such like a simple just removing herself from that situation.

28:02

Yeah, it’s powerful.

You know, we as parents were.

I tend to believe that we’re always trying to come from a place of love and our kids who are struggling, they just, they have so many more places where they struggle that we get into this.

What you were just talking about, you know, there’s so many things that she was doing wrong or that our kids, my kids were doing wrong.

28:22

I barely knew where to start and I was constantly trying to punish for this and constrained for that and boundary for this and the other thing.

It’s like playing whack A mole, right?

Whereas when we’re parenting kids who don’t have these challenges, 99% of what they do is great.

28:39

And then there’s only one thing they’re doing wrong.

And so we can set a boundary or we can put in place a consequence and we can work through it and then move forward.

But our kids who are struggling have so many areas that we have to take a different approach than what we’ve been taught or what we’ve done with our other child who doesn’t have these struggles.

28:58

And I think so we as parents are trying to do the right thing.

We’re trying to do what’s worked.

Or what we learned is read is worked.

Or what we see our neighbor’s friend doing with their kids.

And the reality is we’re in a very different journey and craft helps us to.

29:14

I had to learn how different that journey was.

I had to accept that it was a very different journey.

And then I had to learn how to navigate that journey that I was on with my children.

Very well said.

It just said that better myself.

29:31

That explanation for, I mean, because, yeah, I thought I was doing the right thing and I was coming from a place of love.

I thought I was doing what was best for her because I just didn’t know any other way.

Yeah, we have to to learn a new way to interact with our kids and to just view the whole situation.

29:50

And I want to talk about relapse prevention, because a lot of times it seems like when your child gets into recovery that it should provide a lot of relief.

But there’s still that fear there that like once they’re into recovery, there’s the fear of relapse.

30:10

So I want to talk about how CRAFT incorporates any kind of relapse prevention strategies.

Well, what Craft does, I think, is what we learn as we go from.

Learning about craft and applying the skills and the approaches and and this is a this is like learning a new skill.

30:33

So it takes time for us to get to a point of what I like them starting to call calm confidence when I feel comfortable and calmly able to use the skills to support my child.

And that means supporting them while they’re in recovery and and coping with when we find out that there’s a relapse.

30:53

Because that’s always a shock.

Because we do think it’s going to go on calmly, first of all the communication skills that we learn as.

Part of craft are.

There to help the individual connect with their own motivation.

And we the invitation to change also talks about the difference that elapse is a slip, and So what we want to do is help the individual pick themselves up from the slip and get back to carrying on on their path towards recovery.

31:24

Towards effectively been managing.

So we’ve created the environment, There’s no shaming, there’s no blaming.

The other concept in craft is that it is a disease model.

So we look at this not as a moral failing, but as a disease.

31:41

And if you look at, say, diabetes, which is a disease, I might have diabetes, I didn’t do anything necessarily to.

Caused myself to have diabetes.

It might have been genetics, okay, it might be that I had way too many McDonald’s when I was a kid.

31:56

Whatever, right?

But now I have it and I have to manage it and manage it to place to be healthy.

And because it teaches the family members that that’s what our loved one is struggling with, we are able to handle the fact that the relapse might be late for the diabetic.

32:16

I had three pieces of chocolate cake at lunchtime and my blood sugars went off the roof and now I’m sick.

It’s not shaming them or blaming them for that, it’s helping them to move forward.

It also because it’s based on the science of behavior.

We understand that people fall backwards in their motivations to do things and so the task is not to blame them and say you’ve got to get back.

32:40

It’s to help them find them their way back in connection on their motivation.

I think those are.

You may have some other thoughts about it, but and it’s also this concept that just because I’ve relapsed, I’m not a bad person.

I’m still trying to get to recovery or I’m a diabetic.

32:59

I’m still trying to manage my disease effectively.

Yeah, I like to.

Initially you said just if they do have a slip, just picking up and getting back on track.

Not like everything is lost, you know, like the all of the things that they learned and the skills and all of that, the time and effort, that’s all still there.

33:22

It’s not lost because of a slip up and that they can pick that right back up and continue.

Moving forward, it’s not lost, and in fact what I believe and what I teach is that you’re not actually back where you were in the beginning because your child has a body of experience now that they didn’t have before.

33:44

It shows that they can actually move forward towards recovery.

They can overcome some of the triggers and the things that might put them back.

So they’re actually in a stronger, more educated place if they have a lapse and we as parents.

34:02

The other part where craft.

Helps is because it focuses a lot on self-care for the parents and understand it.

We are often in a calmer.

A calmer space to be able to deal with because it is a shock when our child relapses.

No matter what we’ve been through, we think that they’ve just gotten out of treatment.

34:20

They’re going to be, you know, the other going in a straight line up.

And so when we find out that they’re not actually doing that, it’s a shock to us.

And it can throw us back into fear and uncertainty and anger and depression and grief, all the emotions that we deal with.

But Craft really helps us as parents.

34:38

To be able to cope with those emotions and therefore with that shock much more calmly, so that we can keep moving forward and keep helping our child, Yeah, it’s so true.

And it’s so important for us to be able to manage our own experience about what’s happening.

34:56

And with our kids, especially in those really difficult times, that that’s that’s our experience to manage.

They’re having their own experience and we can support them in it, but we also have to manage how we feel about their experience.

It’s not up to them to manage it for us, which is one of the things that I really expected early on, too.

35:16

I didn’t realize I wasn’t thinking.

She needs to manage my feelings, but that’s what my behavior was indicating or what I didn’t know how to make to feel okay in tough times or to feel okay when she was really struggling.

And that was one of the skills that I got from this work was learning how to really just be intentional and sit with all that discomfort about whether it was a lapse or or something else.

35:46

Just sitting with it and not reacting to it and waiting until I felt like I was in a good place to be supportive and the way I wanted to be.

I think what’s powerful is that if when you can learn to sit with those feelings, they pass and they’re not actually as hard on us.

36:04

As if we try to fight against them or block them or deny them.

Because I think when we try to do that, it just builds up and builds up and builds up on us.

And then we get more angry and more tense and more stressed and more frustrated.

36:20

And our ability then to interact with our child goes down and the relationship fractures.

So the you’re learning how to be mindful and be in the moment and accept the.

The feelings are there, but they will pass.

36:36

They will get less.

Is really a key to being able to be there for your child over time.

And it’s it’s another one of the life.

I mean, I really find there’s so many different parts of using craft that have been transformative for me personally, in terms of how I work with my family and the parents that I work with.

36:58

I see it in them too.

I hear them over and over think.

I’m now able to.

My child and I are now talking.

I’m helping him even though he relapsed or he’s on the street, or I’m able to.

The parents are so much calmer and more able to remain connected like you were.

37:17

It’s just life altering for us and for our relationships with our kids.

Yeah, it really is.

And it’s amazing to see those relationships healed and the chaos immediately coming down in a family just.

With learning the set of skills and we talked about so many different things today and just to kind of bring it back down to something like what are just some simple steps that somebody who’s listening to this and thinking, okay, this sounds great, but I don’t know much about it yet.

37:50

What could you do to start implementing some craft?

Like what could a listener do to implement some craft in their life after they finish this episode?

One of the first things that I did was I worked on listening to my child.

38:07

And my child was young at the time, and we were struggling over him vaping THC as well as nicotine, and we’d just been at loggerheads, you know, he wasn’t talking to me, He was avoiding me at all costs, no eye contact, nothing.

38:23

But I’ve been learning about openended questions and really actively listening to our child.

And so I took a deep breath.

And I sat on the, we were sitting on the front porch.

He was relaxed and we were kind of tossing a ball back and forth and so and I said to him, I said I’d love you to share with me what it is that you get from vaping, what do you like about it?

38:47

And I listened and he said, well, I get that quick hit.

It’s like really exciting and it makes me feel good and I don’t feel so anxious.

And I said, oh, so you, you like the quick jolt and of energy and you feel like you’re thinking more clearly and you’re not so anxious.

39:09

That’s one of the skills.

What have I just gained by doing that?

By actively listening to him, by asking him a question, listening to his answer and repeating it back.

One I learned what I didn’t know.

I was guessing as to why he was vaping.

39:25

And now I have some information that I can use.

To help motivate him to do maybe find a replacement for that instead of vaping.

The other really important thing is that he felt heard by me so and when our kids feel heard, they feel validated.

39:45

Now we’re not saying I’m not, I was not saying, oh I love the fact that you’re vaping.

He knew I was dead set against it, but he felt that he could actually share with me his thoughts and that’s really was started to open the dialogue because I learned.

Oh, he’ll actually talk to me.

40:00

I’ll learn something.

So the first thing I would say is stop guessing what and why your child is doing what they’re doing and ask a question as to what they’re doing.

The 2nd is I know we’re probably everybody has a something they’re trying to change and you’re trying to come up with a consequence.

40:20

I would say use that same ability to ask a question to ask your child what.

Would be a reasonable consequence.

Get them involved in helping to decide what’s going to happen.

40:37

If they miss a curfew or a boundary rather than we tend to come with our idea of what’s going to be most effective.

Bring them into the process because if they have a sense of ability to communicate and shape the consequence you’ll get more buy in those would be those will be the first two things that I tend to talk about.

41:00

Yeah, those are great.

And I love that you pointed out that listening doesn’t necessarily mean you’re agreeing.

Like you can listen and hear and understand and not say anything against it while also not actually agreeing even just, you know, with you reflecting back what you said.

41:20

And I think that that was something that I really struggled with initially and I know a lot of parents struggle with this feeling like.

If they’re not constantly telling them they don’t approve, that their kids are going to think that they actually do approve.

And there’s a big difference between that and them just just getting to be heard and understood by us and how far that can go for connection.

41:38

And then the collaboration with getting their input on things and how that can be expanded more in the future too about collaborating with them on their care.

We tend to.

I see arguments a lot of times and families around medication.

41:57

You need to take your medication, your doctor’s prescribed it, you have to take it and the child won’t.

And just stopping and saying what is it about taking medication that it bothers you, opens up a whole world of opportunity to work with your child, to have them take the medication or maybe change it, or maybe get something that deals with the side effect that they don’t like or the stigma that’s related to having to go and take it.

42:25

It gives you a lot more tools and things to work with and lets your child see that you’re really on your their side.

This is important.

You may not agree that it’s important, but you both agree.

That the child has to feel comfortable doing this thing or has to have some reason to want to do it, and you’re trying to figure out what that might look like and you’re you’re involving them in that.

42:46

Yeah.

That’s great.

Thank you for sharing all that.

So as we wrap things up.

I just want to share a little bit more about Recovery Club America that you offer something called the Parent Inner Circle.

So can you just tell us a little bit about that?

43:03

So the parent inner circle is I’m taking Craft and the Invitation to Change and we central to it is learning those skills.

What I hear from a lot of parents is I love taking the classes and we have a 12 week class which teaches you everything about all the craft skills that you need.

43:22

But we also do deep dives on one particular aspect, like how do you set a boundary that’s effective?

How do you create communication that actually makes changes, how do you structure rewards that are going to be effective.

But what I hear most from parents is I feel nervous using these tools.

43:40

It’s so hard to you know, in the moment I have a challenge.

So the parent inner circle is really bringing not only the teaching about these skills, but connecting people to experienced parents and coaches so they can apply the skills both in doing things like role plays.

43:57

I had A and homework.

There’s homework of science.

So you get to actually think through how the skill might be, how you might have that conversation with your child, how that boundary might be structured, and then feedback from more experienced parents and coaches so that you actually can internalize and get to that place of calm confidence in using.

44:20

So in the inner circle what you get is it’s a membership based.

Approach.

It’s ongoing.

You have access to office hours with coaches.

You have support meetings with the experienced parents and coaches.

You have deep dive sessions where you get to do role plays and actually roll up your sleeves and try using these skills to problem solve on what’s happening in your life right now.

44:47

Thank you for sharing that.

That sounds great.

I will put the link to Recovery Club America and the parent, the inner circles on in the show notes.

And I thank you for your time and coming here to share Craft with the audience today.

45:07

Thank you.

And thank you for all the work you’re doing to get this very important approach out to parents because you know and I know we’ve seen it transform lives and we’ve seen it transform relationships and the child’s ability to navigate through substance, use of mental illness.

45:25

And so thank you for the work you’re doing.

Thank you for listening to this episode.

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

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

45:42

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.