The Challenges of Couples Therapy for Addiction: CRAFTing Attachment

Date and Time
Friday, September 6th 
4:15 pm 

35 Scudder Ave
Hyannis, MA 02601

Mark Green, MD
Karen MacKenzie, LICSW

Level of Instruction

CE/CME Credits

Substance use imposes a threat to couples’ relationships likened to the betrayal of an affair. Resentment and hurt can build for both parties, worsen the addiction and doom a relationship. Connection, support and the reduction of stress are crucial for recovery but enabling can prolong the use. How should therapists navigate these complex issues? The past stance of postponing therapy until abstinence is attained leaves couples discouraged, in pain, and feeling alone and hopeless, all factors that could precipitate or increase substance use. This is wrong and inadequate and wastes an important, sometimes the most important, reason to change. We will introduce CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach – Family Therapy) and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and show how and when to use each to maximize successful engagement, motivation and recovery of the addicted person and their partner.

Meet the Presenters

Mark Green

Mark Green, MD, has degrees in Neurobiology and Medicine from the University College London. He came over to NYC for his Psychiatry residency and Addictions fellowship (Payne Whitney Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Medical Center), and later conducted research in the neurobiology of addictions at Rockefeller University. He’s been on Faculty at Cornell (Asst. Prof), Vermont (Asst. Prof), and Harvard (Instructor) Medical Schools. He is dually boarded by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both general psychiatry and addictions.

Karen is a compassionate, focused and experienced therapist who has special expertise in working with couples and families, including those affected by addictions.

Her training includes Emotionally Focused Therapy, a short-term model proven effective in healing relationships, as well as psychotherapy from relational, systemic and CBT models and community Reinforcement Approach. In addictions work, she has learned from both 12-step and Harm Reduction perspectives and individualizes care.

She uses an experiential and systemic approach to assist clients in identifying patterns of feelings, thoughts and behaviors that occur in times of stress, and to change them so as to achieve success, happiness and intimacy. Karen believes that by collaboratively recognizing, honoring, and building on the strengths and resources clients possess as well as the impact of close relationships, they are able to glean a sense of hope and agency for the future.

Karen was a registered nurse before changing careers, studying psychology (summa cum laude) and then obtaining her masters in social work at Simmons.


Dr. Lamb obtained a BS in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and then obtained a master of humanities focused on philosophy and social theory from the University of Colorado before attending  medical school at Georgetown University. She then completed combined residency training in both family medicine and psychiatry at UC San Diego. She concurrently completed a fellowship in community and public psychiatry at UC San Diego and a fellowship in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center.

It was during residency that Dr. Lamb was first exposed to ISTDP and sought regular weekly supervision with Kai MacDonald and studied with Allan Abbass.  She subsequently completed core training with Patricia Coughlin and has received supervision from Tony Rousmaniere with a focus on deliberate practice. Dr. Lamb is now working with Jon Frederickson for supervision of a growing clinic based in the practices of ISTDP.  She and her staff are in core training with Jon and receive weekly group supervision from him as well.