Nicole Kosanke, PhD

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About Nicole Kosanke, PhD

Nicole Kosanke, PhD, is director of family services at CMC, 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 called Beyond Addiction (Scribner, February 18th) that is a compassionate and science-based family guide for navigating the addiction treatment world, understanding motivation, and training in the use of CRAFT 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.

Too Much Help!!

If you have kids, you might remember a time when s/he was young and you felt really worried about how best to take care of your vulnerable child. When you were making so many important decisions - like when you introduce solid foods, or how to handle their first fight with a friend - you

Helping Others Help You

If you are a parent or partner worried about a loved one's substance use, you are very likely stressed out! Not just by the horrors of substance use itself, but also from the questions and comments you get from others: "Boy, I saw your husband last night... Yikes!" "I've been meaning to ask you... At

Falling Into Line in an Effort to Help Your Child

In the May edition of the newsletter we started a discussion about developing alignment with your partner/caregiver to achieve more of your goals in helping your child with their substance use choices. We outlined a list of questions about how you historically have collaborated with your co-parent. What have your patterns been in working together?

Finding Balance when Helping

Let's be honest: loving someone with an alcohol/drug problem can be brutal. Fear, anxiety, hope, disappointment, painful truths, even more painful lies. And...as long as there's still love, there's a lot to keep fighting and hoping for. But what to do? How to respond? What does “keep fighting” or helping really look like? You may

Making Space for Quiet Reflection

Who wants to make a New Year's Resolution? Nobody! They can feel trite, forced, and pointless: Why now? Will it really last? With all the problems in the world, what behavior change would even make a dent? The articles we usually write are about how to take small steps toward change, be SMART about goals (Specific,

The Dangers of Secrecy . . . For a Prince

Prince was a beloved, lauded musician who will be terribly missed. He was known for his great musical gifts and tremendous stage presence. And he was also known for being substance-free: it was commonly recognized that he did not allow drinking, smoking, or drug use by anyone in his home or work. And yet recent

Building Resilience Part 1: How to Thrive Through Stress

Most any self-improvement article or book will advise you of the perils of stress: sleep disruption, increases in the stress hormone cortisol, cardiac stress, depression, irritability, obesity, relationship disruption, and a tendency to isolate. Chronic stress in particular is correlated to some degree with all of these negative effects and more. While this all sounds

Trying to Help Does not Make you an Enabler!

There are many ideas about substance use problems that are meant to help people understand things better but often have the unintended consequence of making people feel worse about themselves and more confused. The concept of “enabling” is most definitely in this camp. In the newly revised edition of the 20 Minute Guide, we added

Thinking About Sex

When you are trying to change your relationship with substances, one important piece is to think through the ways your relationship with substances is entwined with your relationship to sex. Why? Because for many people, making changes in substance use patterns (either reducing or abstaining) has a direct effect on their sex life and intimate