Involve Supporter and Review Supporter Strategies and Supporter Agreement

If a supporter is attending this session, the counselor shifts the focus of the session to the relationship between the client and supporter. The counselor asks the supporter why he or she wants to participate, eliciting the supporter’s concerns and hopes for the client. The counselor gives the supporter Supporter Strategies (form 2A) and reviews its contents.

The counselor introduces the Supporter Agreement (form 2B), and the client and supporter read the list to determine which items they will agree to:

C: We have a list of ideas and strategies that have been helpful for some people. Let’s see whether any of these could work for you two. [To husband] As we begin to look at ways that you and your wife can work together on this change, what concerns do you have?

H: Shirley has a habit of getting excited about something and then giving up when things get tough. I want to help, but I’m not going to nag her. This is something she’s going to do, not me. I’ll help, but I won’t push her.

C: You recognize that Shirley needs to make her own decisions, and you don’t want to be a policeman, is that right?

H: Pretty much, but I don’t want to give you the idea that I won’t support her.

C: It sounds as if you have some ideas of what you would be willing to do. I’ve given the two of you a Supporter Agreement. We’ve listed some ways that Shirley might reach her goals.

As we look at these together, I’d like you to identify some things you might be willing to do. How does that sound? Even if the client has not brought a supporter to the session, the counselor reviews the Supporter Agreement. The client may choose to identify a supporter later. The counselor and client can role play ways of asking for support.

Assign Between-Session Exercises

The counselor asks the client to continue reviewing the forms handed out at this session and last week’s session.

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 should also discuss with the client the likely scenarios for future treatment sessions. For example:

C: When we meet next time, we’re going to shift gears somewhat. I’m going to talk with you about other areas of your life besides your marijuana use—areas in which you may be experiencing difficulty. These problems may be directly related to your marijuana use, but not necessarily. We’re going to work on these other areas of life because doing so may help you be successful in your goal to stop using marijuana.