Have you heard of the Foundation for Change?
Are you looking for more resources in your community?
The Foundation for Change is a new non-profit organization aiming to bring evidence-based resources to communities.
I’m happy to welcome Dr. Ken Carpenter! In this interview, Dr. Carpenter explains the Invitation to Change approach. He also shares the mission of the Foundation for Change.
1. Ken, please share your background with those that don’t know you.
I’m a clinical psychologist by training. I have been in the field of psychology and research-academia for over twenty years, and all focused on trying to help people change their use of substances and build the life they want. Recently, I became the Director of Training at CMC’s Foundation for Change.
2. That is very exciting that CMC has started a Foundation for Change. For those that don’t know about CMC, what do you do, and how do you help individuals and families?
The Foundation for Change is a not-for-profit that went online at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. Our mission is to try and help get useful and accessible evidence-based tools and strategies into the hands of families who are struggling with substance abuse issues.
We have spent several years developing a program for family members called the Invitation to Change Approach (ICA). The ICA includes several evidence-based helping strategies to help family members with self-care, communication, and behavior change.
We’re excited about opening up an avenue of bridging the gap between what is sometimes just housed in clinical operations and doesn’t make it to the world on a bigger scale. We’re trying to help bridge that gap by using our collective expertise and experience in the areas of treatment, training, and research. We want to deliver these helpful ideas to families in a much more accessible way.
3. What are some of the problems that you see that motivated CMC to start the Foundation? What can people do to help in their communities?
As clinicians, we often see people coming to treatment facilities seeking help. When you step back and look at the percentage of individuals struggling with substance abuse who actually seek help, it’s eye-opening to know that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Maybe 15% of people seek help, so the idea is that there is so much more need out there. The more common scenario is that people who are struggling don’t contact the treatment system.
If we also look at family members. They are the ones that see the issues around substance abuse first. They are on the front line of trying to help their loved ones. Even though numerous evidence-based strategies could help families, the treatment system itself doesn’t offer as much guidance as it could to support both the family and the individual seeking help.
The need is just so great.
The treatment world has not done such a great job of disseminating these helping tools and strategies for families.
We looked at the Foundation as being an opportunity to fill that gap. In our beginning days, our collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to develop and support a parent-to-parent coaching program was also very inspiring and helpful. We met wonderful people who very much wanted to give back and help families because they had journeyed down the same road. Also, we continue to collaborate with the Partnership to increase the reach of the parent coaching program.
There is a need and it would be helpful to bring this kind of support strategy to families through that avenue. Parents want to help other parents. It motivated us to continue to build a platform to do that.
The Foundation for Change is dedicated to that particular mission – helping to take what’s out there and be a resource for families. They will learn about ways to be helpful to their loved ones and bring them into their lives.
We are glad we have been able to put ourselves in a position to collaborate with people individually. On the community level, community organizations are looking to bring support groups and helping programs to their cities or towns. To be able to partner with them, helping to give them the resources and materials, as well as the training, is another avenue we’re looking to build upon.
4. Please tell us about the Foundation. What are the goals? What is the mission of the Foundation?
Yes, to continue our relationship with the Partnership for Drug-free Kids, and as you noted, it’s a national-level program. Partnering with them helps keep our creative juices flowing. It allows us to think about different ways and platforms to get helping material to families.
In our role as trainers and collaborators with the Partnership, we would like to continue to collaborate on the national level with them.
Also, we are dedicated to working with communities that reach out to us directly and other groups of parents that would like to bring a program to their particular city or situation.
We are putting ourselves in a position to help these families navigate the world of recovery, guide them, and provide materials that can be developed for their particular needs. On a local level, we want to grow this idea of a support network throughout the country.
5. If people decide to donate to the Foundation, where will the money go? How will it be used
The money goes to our initiatives that build on our progress and meet program development needs. It would help us develop materials we would hand over to communities for them to use.
We would love to lower that economic barrier which so many people run into when trying to access help. We want to increase access to our materials. Donations would offset the cost of going to communities and doing workshops and training. It would offset the cost of our continued support with community members or community representatives.
It would allow us to discuss how they can bring help to their situation or their particular town. At the same time, it would help us continue to develop resources and materials on top of what we’ve already done. They would be readily available to families in need.
It all goes towards the mission of disseminating support through our different avenues to the families that are out there. More than likely, they will not get this from any treatment setting or facility because we know what the numbers are.
The numbers are overwhelming. Most people don’t contact professionals who offer these services, so the money goes directly to filling that void.
6. Finally, do you have any words of advice for parents who are learning about or continuing to cope with their child’s substance use? Any last words of hope going forward?
You hit on the one crucial word, which is hope. The headlines don’t always have that message, particularly today and with what’s on the news and the concerns.
Being on the research end and working with others, people do change their lives. In the right context and with the proper support, change does happen.
While it is not always an overnight change, it does occur. That message needs to be front and center. That’s also what drives our Foundation, which is not always the message that is out there.
The advice is given, and what people are told to do may not be the right message for them, may not be the right path for them, or could be very limited — one size does not fit all. With that said, the first message should be that change does happen, and hope is front and center. Families should not have to face this in isolation.
Context and situations can help create that hope. It can be a long journey. Yet, we want a parent to take that first courageous step of breaking isolation and reaching out for support. There is a lot of information out there, and the right mix of support and strategy can make a world of difference.
There isn’t one answer that has to work for your particular family.
We want parents to step in and hear about what is available. There are different approaches and evidence-based strategies out there.
Families can feel empowered to tailor the ones that seem to resonate with their particular situation. It’s getting support for themselves that’s important as well.
To learn more about the Foundation’s mission and work, you can visit the website to learn more, join an Invitation to Change group, and find hope.
Dr. Kenneth Carpenter, Director of Training CMC: Foundation for Change, is a clinical research scientist and clinician who has received a federal and private foundation grant money for investigating the psychological, behavioral, and neurobiological factors associated with addictive behaviors and their treatment. Dr. Carpenter has over 20 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based motivational and cognitive-behavioral strategies for facilitating important lifestyle changes. He also holds an academic appointment in Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry and is a Research Scientist in the Division on SubstanceUse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: What Is The Foundation For Change?
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/what-is-the-foundation-for-change/
Published Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2023 12:58:40 +0000
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