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Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D.
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Nicole Kosanke, PhD, is the director of family services at the Center for Motivation and Change, where she specializes in working with family members of people abusing substances and in the assessment process for families and individuals with substance abuse issues. Dr Kosanke has been working in the research and clinical practice of substance abuse treatment for many years. She has most recently co-authored a book calledBeyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change that is a compassionate and science-based family guide for navigating the addiction treatment world, understanding motivation, and training in the use of CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) skills. These practical skills include self-care, positive reinforcement, positive communication, and staying connected in a constructive, positive way to help your loved one.

In 2007 Dr. Kosanke was featured in an O, The Oprah Magazine article about her client’s experience in treatment at CMC, which was later published in O’s Big Book of Happiness: The Best of O. Dr. Kosanke has also appeared online in a CRAFT Discussion Series for Parents, sharing practical tips for parents about how they can help their children change their substance use. You can find out more about CRAFT at and at

Entries by Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D.

Why Befriending Your Ambivalence Can Help You Change

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 10:29 AM

It can be tempting to view ambivalence as the enemy of positive change. Today you feel certain about making a change and tomorrow you're having second thoughts. It's especially frightening to hear ambivalence in others. Today your husband agrees he will start following the doctor's diet recommendations, but tomorrow makes...

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Model Good Behavior

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 12:24 PM

Research can be confounding when it comes to understanding what is considered best parenting practices these days. Do you praise a child's behavior or their character? Focus only on rewarding or also include punishment? Praise unconditionally or only in response to good behaviors? It can certainly feel like a morass...

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Understanding Habits Helps You Change Them

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 4:18 PM


People repeat actions that are either rewarding or familiar, or both. In other words, people do things that feel worth it somehow. You might think immediately about things you do regularly that don't exactly feel rewarding -- maybe work or commuting or taking vitamins. But...

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Approaches You Don't Know About for Helping Someone With Substance Abuse

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 5:19 PM

If you are a family member of someone with a substance problem, you have probably heard suggestions that include distancing yourself, using tough love or detaching until your loved one bottoms out and decides to change. You can turn on the TV and hear about interventions and celebrity rehab stays....

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The Hope in Substance Abuse

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 2:17 PM

When I tell people what I do for a living -- therapy with substance-abusing individuals and their families -- people often have two reactions: First, they get uncomfortable and self-conscious, and might say something like, "Oh boy, I better watch myself!" And you can almost see the whirling time travel...

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