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Home > Service providers accredited in Community Reinforcement Approach.

Keane, Martin (2012) Service providers accredited in Community Reinforcement Approach. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 40, Winter 2011, p. 16.

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On Friday 7 October 2011, 83 front-line service providers working in the substance use field received accreditation as trained practitioners in the delivery of a number of evidence-based positive reinforcement approaches that address substance use: 52 received accreditation in the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), 19 in the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) and 12 in Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT).  

The graduation event, held in the Grand Hotel Malahide, was the culmination of a two-year implementation plan by Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force to introduce the use of the CRA model. The plan involved training nearly 200 frontline workers from a range of sectors, disciplines and agencies across the task force area and some regional areas and was funded by the HSE Social Inclusion Unit.   The graduates all completed an intensive process which involved training, supervision groups and assessment, by external coders in the US, of recorded CRA sessions with clients.
Chairman of the task force, Mr Tony Geoghegan, opened the event and spoke of the task force’s commitment to ‘supporting agencies in the areas under the task force to use evidence-based approaches to respond to the needs of clients [and] to empower workers in agencies by providing them with accredited training’. Brid Walsh, co-ordinator of the task force, thanked her team for their hard work in implementing the plan to bring CRA to the task force areas and for organising the graduation event, giving a special mention to Ciara Jubani and Louise McCulloch. Ms Walsh said that the people who had been trained and accredited ‘had bought into the positive reinforcement approach, as it was about providing a quality service to clients’.
Dr Robert Meyers from the US, who was instrumental in building on earlier versions of the approaches and who trained all the accredited participants, remarked on the enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism displayed by all participants during their training and assessment and congratulated them on their achievements. He observed that they were the largest group to have been trained and accredited in the CRA approach anywhere in the world.
An article by Dr Meyers and colleagues1 describes CRA as ‘a cognitive-behavioral intervention that was founded on the belief that environmental contingencies play a critical role in encouraging or discouraging substance abuse. …[the approach uses] community (i.e., familial, social, recreational and occupational) reinforcers to support change in an individual’s drinking or drug using behaviors.’
1. Meyers RJ, Villanueva M and Smith JE (2005) The Community Reinforcement Approach: history and new directions. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 19(3): 247–260.

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