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This is your cue! Learn when to step in …

girl up late upset father in doorway

At Allies in Recovery, we believe that motivation must come from within.

You can be the most supportive, nurturing, understanding person and you still won’t be able to make your Loved One feel motivated to change.

Conversely, you can be highly skilled at guilting, convincing, forcing, intimidating, and you still will not create any true or lasting motivation. In fact, you’ll likely make things worse this way.

It is critical that you – as their ally – understand that you can’t create motivation. And it is equally critical that you know there is something you can do!

Setting the Stage for Your Entrance

As you follow the AiR program based on the CRAFT principles, you will be making effort each day to (re)build a bridge between you and your Loved One. Do not worry if bridges have been burned in the past. Today is a new day and the bridge you need to create between you is built gradually, sustainably, one day at a time.

How do you set the stage to effect change?

The more committed you are to this program, the deeper and broader the change will be around you. Soon the bridge will be much sturdier. The stage will be set. You’ll be ready to listen for your cue.

The Wish or the Dip: a Fleeting Moment That You Shouldn’t Miss!

“I wish I were qualified to do an interesting job,” “I need to get my life together,” “I want my own place” … these are examples of your Loved One expressing a WISH for their life to be different, better.

“I miss my friends,” “I feel lonely,” “I can’t live like this anymore” … here are few examples of your loved one expressing a DIP, a low-down moment. Your Loved One is feeling bad and is admitting it.

Chances are, you won’t be hearing any wishes or dips until you’ve done some bridge-building. To get to that place where your Loved One feels comfortable sharing a moment of vulnerability with you, there will have been some serious trust-building effort on your part beforehand.

Your job, once that atmosphere of trust and clarity is in place (they’ll be clearer on what you accept/encourage and what you will no longer stand by and accept), is to get the props ready for your next role…

The Expression of a Wish or a Dip is Your Cue – Are You Ready?

With the expression of a wish or a dip, your Loved One is sending you a signal that they may be ready to accept some gentle help, or at least hear what you have to say.

Say little. Focus on treatment. Remember that you can offer and guide, but you cannot insist on change. Be prepared!

Have your list of possible treatment facilities, or therapists, all ready in your back pocket. For more on the research you’ll need to do to get to this point, watch our video module on Talking about Treatment, and review our page in the Supplement that gives an overview of Levels of Treatment Providers as well as the page on AiR’s Resource-Finding Methodology.

Yes, this is work! And yes, it will take time. But we are here for you each step of the way. We want you to succeed with this challenge. We want your Loved One to get professional help and for the situation to improve for everyone in your family.

Lean on us, ask us whatever questions you need. Let us hold you up with the CRAFT framework, which has worked for thousands of families and, with some effort, can bring relief and progress to your circumstances.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)