The counselor introduces the following exercises:
C: Make a list of craving triggers. Circle the triggers that you can avoid or to which you can reduce your exposure (such as having marijuana in your home).
Make up a craving plan. Pick two or three of the general strategies that were discussed and plan how to put them into practice if you experience an urge. Cravings can come when you least expect them! For example, if you think distracting activities would be helpful, which activities would you pick? Which are available? Which take preparation? If you were feeling a craving, whom would you call? If you haven’t tried urge surfing before, practice with me before trying it when facing an urge.
Assign Between-Session Exercises
The counselor encourages the client to review the material on the handouts between sessions and to practice urge-surfing techniques. The counselor also gives the client a blank Daily Record of Urges To Use Marijuana (form 5C), shows the client a completed form (exhibit VI-I) as an example, and asks him or her to fill it out during the week.
Exhibit VI-1. Daily Record of Urges To Use Marijuana (Sample)
Situation (include thoughts and feelings)
Intensity of Cravings(1–100)
Coping Behaviors Used
Was feeling stressed.
Had a disagreement with my boss.
Shut myself in office and breathed deeply to relax. Felt better after 20 minutes.
Restless at bedtime.
Trouble getting ready for bed.
Took a hot shower, listened to relaxing music. Shower was better than music.
Went dancing at club where I always used to get high.
Hung around with “clean friends.” It was a close call. Should have prepared in advance.
Payday. Bob wanted to party after work.
Suggested we go for coffee instead. Bob agreed! Boy—was I surprised!
Review and Conclude Session
The counselor reviews the content of the session, asks the client for feedback, responds empathically to his or her comments, and troubleshoots any difficulties. The counselor explains that the client will report back on his or her efforts to complete the between-session exercises at the next session.