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.

CMC’s Holiday Wishes

Our holiday wishes... If you are one of our clients, we hope you will continue to bravely take on making changes in your life, whatever they may be. We hope you see yourself clearly...for all the inherent goodness in you and that you find compassion for the parts of you that struggle. Thank you for

Listening Through the Holidays

As the holidays approach, many people find themselves facing tricky or down right difficult interpersonal situations. Maybe you are worried about your brother and get mad at him for always getting drunk at the family Christmas party. Maybe you are worried about a friend, who you know is trying to stay sober and is facing

Listening to Resolve Conflicts

We all have difficulty at times communicating in our close relationships, with our children, parents, partners, siblings and friends. When substances are involved, communication breaks down even more, leaving conflict high and the potential to connect and plan for change low. At these times arguments, mandates, and ultimatums can be the norm, when compromise, collaboration

Finding a Treatment that “Fits”

The addiction treatment field, and specifically inpatient programs (or rehabs), have been in the press a lot lately. In the last decade programs have opened, closed, merged into large conglomerates and many have been noted for unethical practices that take advantage of people who use substances and their families. The opioid crisis in this country

Don’t I Need to Just Confront the Problem?

When someone you love is using substances or engaging in a host of other risky behaviors, it’s natural to feel afraid, angry, betrayed, ashamed, and confused. It’s also normal to find yourself expressing these emotions by yelling, lecturing, shutting down, and maybe even throwing a few things. The problem with this approach? Confronting someone in

The Important Art of Validation

In life and our relationships, one of the things we want most from the people around us is to feel heard and understood. Yet we often feel just the opposite! And miscommunications and relationship problems abound. To really hear someone, we have to listen and then validate what we have heard them say. While this

Don’t Take it Personally!

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. On one hand, given how awful you feel (e.g., constantly angry, tired, scared), these recommendations can make a lot

What to Look For in a Treatment Program

We currently live in a country where the attitude and swirl around substance use issues is very intense. Our country has long stigmatized the problem of addiction and most people develop their ideas about the struggle based on TV shows and anecdotal stories they hear in school, at work, and in the press. The recent

Behavioral Strategies for Coping with Stress

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to change a behavior? Maybe you really want to quit smoking, or drinking, or overeating and you have a long list of reasons why changing feels like an important thing to do (“I’ll be healthier”, “my wife won’t be angry at me when I come home”, “I’ll be more