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5-Step Method Training - National Family Support Network & ADFR Group

The United Kingdom Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research (ADFR) Group is a collaboration between major NHS and academic institutions in England. There are currently five core members of the group; Richard Velleman, Alex Copello, Jim Orford, Lorna Templeton and Akan Ibanga (for more information please see the biographies provided on this website). However, over the years they have worked and collaborated with numerous other individuals and organisations from both across the United Kingdom and also elsewhere in the world (particularly Mexico, Australia and Italy). Most recently this partnership approach has been further expanded to include the work of the ADFR group with the National Family Support Network (NFSN). 

The early research of the ADFR group indicated that the needs of family members had been largely misunderstood and ignored, and that there was very little help available to support them. What they heard inspired them to try and fill a clear, and obvious, gap in research and practice in this area. Therefore, they set to work on a research and development programme. From their research they developed the stress-strain-coping-support model which summarizes the experiences of family members who have a relative with a drug or alcohol problem. They have also worked over the last two decades to develop and test the ‘5-Step Method’, a brief psychosocial intervention to support family members in their own right who have a close relative with an alcohol or drug problem. The evaluation of the 5-Step Method has shown a reduction in the strain experienced by family members concerned and affected by a relative in their family who has developed a serious alcohol or drug problem. These gains have sometimes had a knock-on effect on other family members including both children in the family and the drug or alcohol using relative.

The ADFR group has been working with the NFSN since 2011 to develop a strategy to roll-out training in the 5-Step method for members affiliated to the network.  In May of 2011 Megan contacted the Alcohol Drug and Family Research (ADFR) Group re ‘training for trainers’ in the 5-step method in Ireland. Sadie and Megan met informally with Professors Richard Velleman and Jim Orford to discuss the model and method and to promote the work of the NFSN with the ADFR group. In November 2011 Megan attended a small conference in York where representatives from various countries throughout the world met to discuss their experience of using the 5-step method in their respective countries.  Ed Sipler from Northern Ireland (who is rolling out the 5-step method in Northern Ireland with young people) was also there.

It was agreed that the ADFR group would deliver a ‘training for trainers’ style programme in Ireland. The following steps were to be taken in order to achieve this:

Select participants from across Ireland
Train them to become competent as practitioners in the 5-step method (difficult to train what you can’t do yourself).
Train them to train groups of other practitioners.

In January 2012 the FSN selected 12 trainees. All of whom were actively involved in family support in Ireland.  

Prior to training each trainee needed to:

Read the D:EPP supplement,
Familiarise themselves with the ADF family assessment,
Watch the 5-step DVD,
Agree to the criteria for participation

In March 2011 Professors Alex Copello and Richard Velleman delivered the first phase of the training, to all the trainees.

This training day covered:

The research from which the work emerged
The Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model
The 5-Step Method, including an examination of each of the steps in the 5-step method
Other issues about using 5-Steps in practice (eg evaluation, working in Groups, safe practice, etc) and implementation (eg using 5-Steps in ones workplace)

By end August 2012, each trainee submitted an AUDIO recording of ONE INDIVIDUAL 5-Step method intervention (ie all 5 Steps, delivered 1-to-1) and ONE GROUP intervention for formal assessment and accreditation.

In October 2012 Alex and Richard returned to Ireland for 2 days.  The content of these training days included:

Day 1: hear feedback from trainees on what they had learnt in using the method with family members; provide feedback to trainees on what went well and less well; and tweak and hone people’s understanding of the method and their skills.

Day 2: train participants to become trainers – each trainee had to deliver an aspect of 5-step method training to the group.

The next steps require that each trainee goes on to co-facilitate two training sessions in Ireland whilst being video record. Trainees can use a range of materials, including the DVD, the 2 Handbooks (professionals and self-help), the skills practice exercises in the Handbooks, and the content of the training programme delivered by the ADFR group. The ADF Group will then assess these video-taped sessions. If successful, the trainee will become accredited by the ADF group to become trainers in the 5-step method here in Ireland.

The NFSN hopes to be in touch with our members soon to offer this training.

The UK Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research Group

Richard VellemanRichard Velleman                                                  

Richard co-founded the UK Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research (ADFR) group with Jim Orford in the mid-1980s. He trained as a clinical psychologist in Exeter in the 1970s, gained his PhD from Exeter in the 1980s and has worked in Bath since 1983. He has always held joint posts with both the University and the NHS.  Richard is Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Research at the University of Bath (UoB), is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), and published widely on addiction- and mental health-related topics.  Richard founded the Mental Health Research & Development Unit in Bath (a joint Unit between AWP and the UoB) and was its Director until 2007; and he is also a founder member of ENCARE (European Network for Children Affected by Risky Environments within the Family), a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and a Senior Research Consultant with the Sangath NGO in India where he works on projects which use lay people to deliver psychological therapies in places where no professional help is available.

Alex DublinAlex Copello

Alex is currently Professor of Addiction Research, in the Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling & Addiction Research Group, School of Psychology, The University of Birmingham and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Addictions Programme, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK and Director for the Trust R&D addictions programme. Alex came to the UK from Argentina in 1977. He trained in Psychology in London, Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey and later obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham. His career has combined clinical and academic work in the addiction field. His research and clinical interests include the study of the impact of addiction upon families as well as the development and evaluation of family and social network based interventions. He has been a member of the executive council of the Society for the Study of Addiction and the chair of the New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group in the UK. Alex publishes regularly in a number of scientific journals and has co-authored / edited a number of books including: Living with Drink: Women Who Live with Problem Drinkers (1998); and Social Behavior and Network Therapy for Alcohol Problems (2009).

Jim Orford

Jim was a co-founder of the Alcohol, Drugs and the Family Research (ADFR) group in England in the 1980s. He trained as a clinical psychologist in London in the 1960s and obtained his PhD there in the mid-1970s whilst working in the Addiction Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry / Maudsley Hospital. He moved to a joint University/NHS post in Exeter in 1976 and subsequently to the University of Birmingham in 1993 where he has headed the Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling and Addiction Research Group and is now Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology. Amongst his many publications in the field of the addictions, one of the best known is Excessive Appetites: a Psychological View of Addictions (2nd ed. 2001). He was first author of Coping with Alcohol and Drug Problems in the Family: the Experiences of Family Members in Three Contrasting Cultures (2005) produced by the ADF group and their colleagues in Mexico and Australia.

Lorna Templeton

Lorna has worked with the Alcohol, Drugs and the Family (ADF) group since 1997. Until June 2010 she worked for the Mental Health Research & Development Unit in Bath (a joint Unit between the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and the University of Bath). From July 2010 Lorna has worked as an independent research consultant. Lorna is a founder member of the European Network for Children Affected by Risky Environments in the Family (ENCARE) and an ex-Chair of the New Directions in the Study of Alcohol Group. She sits on the Board of Trustees for ADFAM and is also a member of the AERC’s Grants Advisory Panel.

Akanidomo Ibanga

Akan holds an honorary research position in the Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling & Addiction Research Group at the University of Birmingham, from where he gained his PhD which investigated the use of the Internet to deliver the 5-Step Method. He has previously jointly served as a Senior Lecturer within the University of Jos (1990–2004) and a Deputy Director for the Centre of Information and Research on Substance Misuse (1994–2003) in Nigeria. He has actively engaged in research and writing on alcohol and other drugs with several publications and book chapters in this area and is managing editor of the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies. He has been actively involved in the expanding international research project – Gender, Alcohol and Culture an International Study (GENACIS) currently involving more than 35 countries. He served as the Country Director for Nigeria for this project.

Contact Us

National Family Support Network
5 Gardiner Row, Dublin 1, Ireland

Phone: +353 (01) 8980148
Fax: +353 (01) 8889628
Email: info@fsn.ie
Web: www.fsn.ie

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