Chapter

Reinforcement Training with the Partners of Those Who Abuse Substances

Jacqueline Corcoran

in Clinical Applications of Evidence-Based Family Interventions

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195149524
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865154 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149524.003.0008
 Reinforcement Training with the Partners of Those Who Abuse Substances

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This chapter covers a type of treatment for substance use that targets partners of the problem drinker. Variations of this type of treatment are categorized together as “reinforcement training,” which revolve around operant behavioral theory and the central importance of reinforcement for increasing desirable behavior (sobriety in the case of substance use). Also central is the concept of antecedent conditions that cue certain behaviors to occur. Applied to substance abuse, partners are trained to pay more positive attention to their partners when they are not drinking and to create opportunities for sobriety. Skills training in communication and conflict resolution are also offered as part of a behavioral approach. Before presenting the application of the model, its empirical evidence will be briefly described, followed by a discussion of when it is appropriate to use reinforcement training as an option for treatment.

Keywords: substance use disorders; substance abuse; pressures to change model; unilateral therapy; spouses

Chapter.  7120 words.  Illustrated.

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