Carrie Wilkens, PhD

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About Carrie Wilkens, PhD

Carrie Wilkens, PhD, is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change in NYC and in the Berkshires. She co-authored an award-winning book, Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change with Drs. Foote and Kosanke. Together they also contributed to a user-friendly workbook for parents: The 20 Minute Guide: A Guide for Parents about How to Help their Child Change their Substance Use. In collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Dr. Wilkens and the CMC team is developing a national parent training program (the Parent Support Network) to provide parent coaches to families in need of support through a free hotline. Prior to these ventures, Dr. Wilkens was the Project Director on a large federally-funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant examining the effectiveness of motivational interventions in addressing the problems associated with binge drinking among college students. She is regularly sought out by the media to discuss issues related to substance use disorders and has been on the CBS Morning Show, Katie Couric Show, and Fox News as well as a variety of radio shows including frequent NPR segments such as the People’s Pharmacy and The Diane Rehm Show.

Change is Hard!

If you are trying to change a habit, like drinking too much, eating too much, or taking too many pain pills, you have probably realized that changing behavior patterns is a complicated and often a very difficult process. Sometimes you may find that engaging in the behavior feels “compulsive,” like you can’t quite resist the

How to Help When Someone You Love has PTSD

If your loved one is trying to change their relationship to substances while at the same time managing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) it can be difficult to understand what is happening for them and how to be helpful. Substance misuse and trauma have a very unique and interconnected relationship. Studies have found that

No Pain, No Gain

People don’t use substances because they’re crazy. People don’t use substances because they’re bad people. People use substances because they get something they like, or want, or need out of it. As human animals, the things we do are motivated by what happens next: we repeat or increase our behavior if something good happens. These

Changing Behaviors with Honey

If you loved one is using substance in a way that is causing them problems and negatively impacting your family, you probably just want them to stop! You wish they would get their act together and cut it out. Or you are completely confused and scared by the choices they are making. Or nine million

How to Help Your Loved One During the Holidays

While the holidays can be a special time full of warm, happy, reflective moments, they can also be fraught with stress, exposure to family dynamics and high social demands. If your loved one is trying to change their relationship with substances, the holiday season can be an especially difficult time as they have to navigate

3 Truths About Change

If you or someone you love struggles with substances, how you understand the problem matters a lot! If you approach it from the perspective that substance problems are the result of a weak will, a shaky moral compass or an innate set of character flaws, you are going to face unnecessary obstacles like shame and

How to Support The Process of Change

Are you worried about a loved one’s use of substances? Do you see your partner’s health declining? Do you worry about some of the decisions your sister is making? Do you wish your teenage son would hang out with different kids? Do you think your girlfriend has one too many drinks, too often? Maybe you

Shedding Light on Shame

Sometimes it’s a small nagging voice, “I shouldn’t be drinking so much” or “I know I’m gaining weight and should go on a diet”. Sometimes it’s a thundering judge, “I have completely screwed up my life” or “I’ve spent all my money on gambling, what kind of person does that?!?!” If you are trying to

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