Testimonials from Clinicians and Supervisors 

From a clinician in Massachusetts: I am truly appreciative of this opportunity and for the feedback each rater gave me, as well as the amazing support from many of you, throughout this process. Substance use treatment is a difficult and emotional field to enter and I will be forever grateful to have had this opportunity to further my skills in such a rigorous and collaborative way. Each individual I have the pleasure to work with will be better served because of it.

From a clinician in Connecticut: It was a pleasure working with the entire team, from training to monthly support calls. The team was always prepared and able to navigate through any difficulties that were presented. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Courtney – She is AWESOME! She supported myself and team during this process and was always available when needed. This was and continues to be an awesome experience and I am happy to have worked with everyone. 

From a clinician in Washington, DC: I find the coaching calls to be extremely beneficial, especially with caregiver and family sessions. 

From a clinician in Washington: Overall, this is a great curriculum that seems to be very effective with my clients and I look forward to training others in it at some point. 

From a clinical supervisor in Idaho: I've already seen positive results from the clients and they seem to buy in easily to the curriculum.

From a clinical supervisor in Tennessee: The staff at Chestnut have been awesome and so very patient, supportive and have a great sense of humor! They do a difficult job and make it look easy…They are knowledgeable about their subject and can seemingly teach without judgment towards each of us. My experience is that you couldn't have a better staff and blend of styles to work with!

Jonathan Dunlap, LPC-S, Clinical Program Consultant, Youth Villages, Ridgeland, MS: I thoroughly enjoyed the training and the consultation calls throughout the past year. The coaches during the calls were always welcoming and I liked that none of the questions appeared to be 'stupid questions' even if I have heard them answer the same question (or a version of that question) multiple times. I also appreciated the flexibility of the calls because my schedule was so hectic. The extra months were perfect and I was able to achieve full certification. The sample clinical sessions were great; I used those multiple times. The certification website is easy to navigate as well - a huge plus!

From Mike Beauchesne, Executive Vice President of Clinical Services at the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre and A-CRA Certified Local Supervisor: In 2008, we at the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, an intensive outpatient treatment provider for youth and families in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, was selected to oversee the planning, development and operation of residential treatment services in our community. After intensive research and consideration, we chose to implement the empirically-supported clinical models, Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) and Assertive Continuing Care (ACC). With the professional and thorough training services offered through our friends at Chestnut Health Systems, we have worked to enhance our clinical competencies in A-CRA/ACC. As a result of the knowledge, expertise, and passion of the tremendous team at Chestnut, our clinical staff have attained extensive clinical and supervisory certification in A-CRA, and this central element of our treatment offering has been successfully implemented with demonstrable benefits. It is both our sincere belief and expectation that the continued and consistent application of A-CRA will help facilitate the positive treatment outcomes our clients deserve.

From a clinician in New York: I had a great experience throughout the certification process. The initial training provided me with a terrific foundation of the A-CRA model. Naturally, I had my reservations about integrating the procedures and tape recording sessions at first. I was concerned that the structure of the model would have a negative impact on therapeutic alliance. However, I was pleasantly surprised when this wasn’t the case. After I became more comfortable and gained confidence in myself with the procedures, everything began running smoothly and I feel my clinical skills have notably improved. I was very impressed and comforted by the guidance and support I received from my coordinator at Chestnut. She was always available to assist me with any questions or concerns; she was patient and genuinely eager to help. In addition, the coaching calls were helpful to learn about the obstacles and solutions experienced by other A-CRA clinicians. I was very pleased with my experience throughout the process, I feel honored to be a certified A-CRA clinician.

From a clinical supervisor in Virginia: I think this is an excellent process that thoroughly prepares clinicians to learn and to implement A-CRA. I have been trained and implemented four to five evidence-based models in the past ten years, and the A-CRA/ACC training and certification process is far and away the strongest of any model that I have been involved in. Specifically, the EBTx system of recording/uploading/reviewing client sessions makes this model stand out.

From a clinician in California: The A-CRA/ACC Certification Team was very helpful to me. The training, materials, coaching calls, and individual members of the team were and continue to be an outstanding source of information and support. I am very grateful for all of the knowledge and wisdom that I received during this project.

From a clinical supervisor in Arizona: Thank you all so much for your training, support, and help through the certification process. I am excited to be certified as a clinical supervisor in both the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach and Assertive Continuing Care! The continual assistance and support has been great, and I look forward to continuing to help our staff here through the certification process and participating in the coaching and supervisor calls.

From a clinical supervisor in California: I want to take this chance to thank all of you for putting together and running this program. As I shared with some of you at the training, I think this type of training is overdue and sadly missing in the substance abuse and even in mental health treatment fields. I am glad that my agency and myself have this opportunity to

From a clinical supervisor in California: I can assure you that all of my Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach staff members feel that they have grown as clinicians during the certifying process. The substance of the training has added value to the clinical structure of my agency as a whole by providing a way to define and organize clinical interventions and facilitating clinical communication. There is an added benefit to the model in its time-limited, curriculum-oriented format, which I think can do much to lower the barrier of treatment acceptance by non-Western populations. This is a problem that has stymied the field for a long time. Thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of this project. I look forward to continued collaboration and successes.

From a clinician in California: I really appreciate the time and care you provide for all of us undergoing the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach and Assertive Continuing Care certification. I want you all to know that I felt fully supported from the beginning, and I still feel that way today. There was always someone available to answer all of my questions, and I never felt like I was alone in this process. I am very proud of this accomplishment, and it is a wonderful feeling to be a part of this program. I am seeing first-hand the opportunities and client empowerment this program provides for our youth, their families, and our community, and it's amazing. Thank you all for this remarkable opportunity - I am truly grateful to be a part of this team.

From a clinician/clinical supervisor in Virginia: The team has provided valuable support and assistance in learning the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach and Assertive Continuing Care models. I am so pleased to be a part of this grant and I can see positive results already from the adolescents and families we are working with. I am a true supporter and believer in the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach.

From an initial training: This was my first experience being trained in a specific counseling model. It was such a positive experience! What I appreciated most was the humility of the staff. It has been my experience that the world is not short on knowledgeable people, but knowledge and humility are hard to come by. Thank you!

From an initial training: This was one of the best trainings I have been to. I believe it has to do with a combination of factors including that it was very well organized, had trainers who work well together and with us, and have a sense of humor, very knowledgeable trainers experienced at what they are teaching, and a nice combination of didactive and interactive teaching.

From an initial training: I thoroughly enjoyed and feel I gained so much information and knowledge. The trainers were friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, and willing to share. I want them to know how thankful I am for them and all their hard work.

From an initial training: I really enjoyed learning with everyone. I think this model will have a big impact on my community. It just makes sense. I also feel confident that if I have a question, I can email or call someone from Chestnut. You did a good job at creating that type of environment.

From an initial training: The trainers are doing an amazing job! I’ve never experienced this level of training in over 20 years in the addiction field... I am extremely impressed and grateful to have been a part of this training.

From a clinician/clinical supervisor in Missouri: I truly enjoyed the certification process. Initially, it was very stressful because I was responsible for getting certified as a clinician and as a supervisor (at the same time). However, I really feel like it was my EBT Coordinator's patience that got me through. It was a real pleasure working with her. She was always available for questions, as well as concerns... The trainings were very informative! Chestnut is definitely one of the most professional, caring, and patient groups I have ever worked with.

From a clinician in Canada: I wanted to take the time to let you know how appreciative I have been of the feedback given by the A-CRA reviewers assigned to rate our sessions. I have found that they have a gentle approach while providing us specific ways to improve our sessions. This has been encouraging and motivating. I also found their suggestions very helpful. I am learning a lot about myself, and at the same time, feeling validated in my work.

Testimonials from Adolescents and Caregivers

From the parent of a teenage boy: A-CRA/ACC has truly been a blessing to our family...the tension in our house has decreased. We have used communication skills with not only our child in treatment, but with his brother as well. A-CRA/ACC helped us get back on track.

From a fifteen-year-old male who completed treatment: There are a lot of things you think you can deal with on your own and take care of it yourself. But A-CRA/ACC helped me out and opened my eyes to a lot of things...it helped me solve problems better and go about things differently. It’s not like what I thought it would be; it was really helpful.

From divorced parents of an adolescent client who completed treatment: The A-CRA/ACC approach can work for divorced families who are willing to come together for the child. I really appreciate how you included us both and how you adjusted when it was needed...the tools put in place really do work once the intervention is over.

From a seventeen-year-old male, 12 months after beginning treatment: I learned coping skills that not only helped me with my treatment, but also with living life. So to the person who might not want to come in, I'd ask, 'What do you have to lose?' You get someone to talk to and get stuff off your back.

From a fifteen-year-old female during her last A-CRA/ACC session: You can really get a lot of help from A-CRA/ACC...I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot of skills that can help me in life in general. It's not just about not using drugs; it's about changing your life for the better.

From the parent of a seventeen-year-old male: My son learned how to communicate. He got a band scholarship because he did so well in the interview; this was because of the skills he learned from the therapist.

From a seventeen-year-old female: I am closer to my family now and that is what matters most.

From the parent of a seventeen-year-old male: We learned how to communicate. Kids are different these days; we were parenting the way that our parents did - you just tell them to do something and they do it. We learned how our whole family can talk.

From a single parent of a thirteen-year-old male: Thank you for everything the A-CRA/ACC program has done to help my son and I communicate better with one another. I appreciate you as a counselor, being more than someone we had to see, but that you were just as transparent with yourself in all aspects. I thank you for being so kind, coming out to the football games and helping my son get off probation. Thank you so much we really, really have love for you.

From a thirteen-year-old male who completed treatment: I appreciate you coming to my house and helping me with all the different ACRA/ACC skills like, drink/drug refusal skills, communication, anger management, and all that type of stuff. I appreciate you and the A-CRA/ACC program.

Adolescent and Adult CRA are used by more than 470 organizations throughout the United States and abroad.